How many died in the Allied bombing of Dresden?
The debate has long raged with German far-right groups claiming up to 500,000 people perished.
But now an official commission of experts in the city has concluded five years of research by putting the number of dead far lower than often estimated.
According to Rolf-Dieter Mueller, the head of the study, there are reliable reports of around 18,000 killed, suggesting the overall total could be up to 25,000 victims.
The panel’s investigations were intended to end uncertainty over one of the Second World War’s most controversial chapters.
The 1945 bombings by Britain and the US, just before the end of the conflict in Europe, reduced much of the historic city to rubble. Critics say the air raids were strategically unnecessary, targeted civilians and should be classified as a war crime.