Last night I emceed the Annual Dinner of the Center of the American Experiment, as I have for each of the last several years. It was a great event as always. Our featured speaker was Charles Krauthammer. He was, as you would imagine, a very interesting guy to spend time with.
One fact that Krauthammer noted was news to me, although it apparently has been reported for a while: on his upcoming trip to Europe, President Obama will visit Buchenwald and travel from there to Dresden. Krauthammer thought the pairing showed unspeakably bad judgment, as everyone in Germany, and most in Europe, will see an implication of parity between the concentration camp and the city that was fire-bombed by the Allies. He said this would occur even if Obama doesn’t mention the fire-bombing when he speaks in Dresden.
I think that’s right. I also think that the chance of Obama speaking in Dresden, even if only to greet local citizens briefly, without mentioning the WWII bombing, is close to zero. On his last visit to Europe, Obama apologized for just about everything in American history, from the Indians on. Apologizing to Germany for World War II is about all he has left. I predict we’ll hear it; and I predict that the supposedly close analogy between the concentration camp and the fire-bombed city will emerge as a significant theme of his German visit.
Barack: Stop apologizing for America!.
PAUL adds: Ted Bromund has an excellent post on Obama’s scheduled visits to Dresden/Buchenwald, which I have been meaning to link to. Bromund has recently published a paper about the “mythologies of Dresden.”