Germans remember Dresden bombing victims
Several thousand Germans formed a human chain in central Dresden on Monday to pay homage to the victims of a massive Allied bombing in 1945 and to protest against neo-Nazism.
Participants formed the chain as night fell in the city where up to 25,000 people died, according to an official commission, in three days of allied bombing in February 1945 at the tail end of World War II.
Some 2,500 people had earlier taken part in a march against Nazism in the city where for the past several years the bombing anniversary has seen clashes between neo-Nazis and extreme leftists.
The action is "a clear declaration against national socialism, racism and violence," Mayor Dirk Hilbert said.
Far-rightist were planning to hold their own march in the eastern German city later on Monday, and some 4,500 police officers were out on the streets ahead of the demonstration.
Last year police fired tear gas and water cannon in clashes with extreme leftists as more than 10,000 people sought to prevent the neo-Nazi march.
© 2012 AFP