With a large contingent, the police secured events in Dresden on Monday evening to commemorate the destruction of the city in World War II. The officials intervened to separate participants in different demonstrations, according to the Elbestadt police department. Pepper spray was also used, it said. However, the police contradicted reports that people had broken through construction site barriers.
According to the police, five preliminary investigations were initiated – among other things, for dangerous bodily harm, violations of the Assembly Act and property damage. In addition, the identity of several people was determined. They are accused of violating the Assembly Act. According to the police, around 1,200 officers were on duty, including colleagues from Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Thuringia and the federal police.
"With a view to what happened at the meeting, they managed to keep the different camps separate and to guarantee freedom of assembly with a protest within hearing and sight," summed up Dresden's police chief Lutz Rodig.
Dresden city center was destroyed on February 13, 1945 and in the days that followed in attacks by British and US bombers - up to 25,000 people lost their lives. Right-wing extremists have been misusing the Dresden commemoration for their own purposes for a long time and want to put Germany's guilt in the Second World War into perspective with marches. Again and again there is protest against this appropriation. The central element of the commemoration event is a human chain as a message for peace and reconciliation, to which thousands of residents flocked again on Monday.
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