A historical commission has concluded that the Allied bombing of Dresden killed up to 25,000 people -- significantly revising down previous estimates that said as many as 135,000 died in the 1945 attack.
The raids laid waste to eastern Germany's cultural gem
The bombing of Dresden -- eastern Germany's cultural center -- has been a sore point in German relations with the countries of the Allied forces, coming with such vengeance so late in World War II.
The city was devastated, and there were enormous casualties among civilians and refugees. Historians have argued about just how many people were killed in the firebombing on the night of Feb. 13-14, 1945, with estimates ranging from 25,000 to 135,000.
Now, a special commission of a dozen experts, including university professors, archivists and military historians have said that after four years of research, the lower figure is more accurate.
So far, they have confirmed 18,000 deaths and say they have found no reason to assume that the final tally will be significantly higher. Their research is to continue until 2009.
The team is drawing on archival and official documents, burial records and eye witness reports. They have ruled out one theory suggesting that the death toll was much higher due to an unknown number of casualties among war refugees. The authorities kept detailed records of all the victims -- both German and foreign, the researchers said.
Oil prices worldwide have been falling for the past year. And the return of oil from Iran - following its landmark nuclear deal - is expected to put further pressure on the prices. DW examines the global oil market.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia have said sharp drops in oil prices are unlikely to continue. At a meeting in Moscow, the two sides noted they expected the market to stabilize in 2016.
Thousands of people outside the French city Calais hope to be among the few who successfully make their way to the UK. The situation is dramatic, but hardly a storming of the Chunnel, reports DW's Bernd Riegert.