In an unusual and somber twist to memories of war, the German city of Dresden, bombed into rubble and flames in the last months of World War II, will mark the 50th anniversary of the allied attack by inviting representatives of other war-damaged cities to attend ceremonies on Monday marking the assault.
The city, not considered a prime war target, was nevertheless bombed on the night of Feb. 13, 1945, by British Lancasters and the next day by American B-17s. Deaths in the raids have been estimated at 35,000.
Representing Britain at the ceremonies will be the Duke of Kent, while Nick Nolan, mayor of Coventry, an English city heavily bombed by the Germans, will also attend.
Representatives from St. Petersburg and Rotterdam, two other cities bombarded by German planes, have also been invited. German President Roman Herzog will give the main address.