More than half a century on, the allied bombing of Germany's cities during the second world war remains a controversial topic.
On Wednesday, Britain's ambassador to Germany, Sir Peter Torry, travelled to the city of Kassel to mark the 60th anniversary of its destruction by British warplanes. Around 10,000 people died on the night of October 22 1943, when an immense firestorm swept the city.
"In the peaceful Europe which we live in today, it is hard for those who did not experience the second world war to understand the bitter emotions to which it gave rise," the ambassador said.
There is nothing new about senior British officials touring German cities that were destroyed by British bombs: the Queen and Prince Charles have visited Dresden and Hamburg in recent years.
However, Sir Peter's speech comes at a time when the role of the RAF during the second world war is being debated afresh.