In 1946, on this day ten war criminals of the Second World War, condemned in the Nuremberg trials are hanged.
An immense debtThe eleventh criminal, a First World War flying ace, escapes the hangman's noose by obtaining cyanide which had likely been hidden among his personal effects when they were confiscated by the Army.
In 2005, a former Army private claimed he gave medicine hidden inside a gift fountain pen from a German woman the private had met and flirted with. The pen was used for a two sentence suicide note "I do not personally regard the whole of the remaining cities of Germany as worth the bones of one British Grenadier. In spite of all that happened at Hamburg, bombing proved a relatively humane method". Signed Arthur Travers Harris, RAF Bomber Command.
By the reckoning of the German historian Jörg Friedrich around 600,000 German civilians died during the allies' wartime raids on Germany, including 76,000 German children. "If you destroy a landscape of 160 cities, most of medieval origin, you do something to the cultural identity of a people". he said.