DRESDEN, Germany, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Police prepared for potentially violent confrontations in Dresden during a neo-Nazi march on the 68th anniversary of the Allied bombing of the German city.
About 3,000 police from across Germany were expected to be in Dresden Wednesday to keep the 1,000 neo-Nazis separated from an estimated 10,000 demonstrators, the German edition of The Local reported.
"The police consider [it is our] duty to be a neutral party guaranteeing the freedom of assembly," Dresden Police Chief Dieter Kroll said.
Right-wing extremists gather in Dresden annually on Feb. 13 to condemn the bombing that devastated the city only months before World War II ended.
Saxony state Prime Minister Stanislaw Tillich and Dresden Mayor Helma Orosz last week called for a peaceful commemoration of the city's destruction.
"I hope that many people will take part in the remembrances and human chain in the city," Tillich said, referring to the year effort to peacefully block the path of the neo-Nazi march.