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Dresden and the ‘Anglo-American Terror Raid’

In response to:

The Born Rebel Artist from the February 14, 2008 issue

To the Editors:

John Golding refers to Courbet’s The Stone Breakers [NYR, February 14] as “presumably destroyed in the wholesale bombings of [Dresden] by the British during World War II.” On February 13 and 14, 1945, some 796 RAF Lancasters and 311 USAAF Flying Fortresses dropped over 4,500 tons of high explosives and incendiary devices on Dresden, which had until then hardly been damaged. In Dresden it was known as the “Anglo-American Terror Raid” and at least that spreads the blame accurately.

I read the article on a crowded commuter train and only when turning to the second page did I realize why I was getting strange looks from the girls sitting opposite me who had been viewing your color reproduction of L’Origine du monde, which had been hidden by your subscription flap.

Robert Avery

London, England

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