a book review on Dresden Bombing
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
It was a year ago that I stumbled upon this book .My student child had joined a book club and they were to discuss it . I had a look at the topic .It was WW II . From the point of view of an American prisoner of the war Kurt Vonnegut .It was about the cruelty on the German civilian population in the city of Dresden ....My father was a six year old little child when he nearly died during the WWII in Hungary . I was nearly adult when I first heard of that . So I thought I would read that .A book about a well-known topic WWII from other point of view ...It was not a thick book -it even offered some humor -easy reading ....
By the time i finished the book -my heart was full of sorrow ....I was very very angry about all what has happened and how it is hidden from the public .
I felt I had to talk about this book . I kept preparing for it for months . It is not easy .February 14th we should all remember about that terrible massacre as we commemorate Hiroshima victims ... But the bombing is still treated as a taboo ...
So I read the book of Kurt Vonnegut because I wished to know what it was like . Kurt Vonnegut was there .He was an American soldier a prisoner of war . Humiliated and forced to work by the Germans nearly bombed to death by his own people .His personal account interested me much.
It was an interesting reading . It told the story of Billy Pilgrim the young optimetrist student who was captured by the Germans within the first week he landed in Europe .
Billy was dying though survived and through his visions and dreams we could learn more about his past and his future .The tragedy of that beautiful city wounded his soul for life .He escaped to the aliens for comfort . Just to know that time is our four dimension and death is not so terrible if we understand the different time perception of those little green men .
Otherwise the truth about Dresden bombing is too horrible with our Earthling perception of time to be able to live with its memory .It was an open city . Strategically nothing important .Under the protection of Red Cross .Undefended .Full of refugees -as it seemed to be the only safe place in Germany .The war was about its end .
It was an open city . Strategically nothing important .Under the protection of Red Cross .Undefended .Full of refugees -as it seemed to be the only safe place in Germany .The war was about its end .
Then out of the blue sky came the planes and attacked the city .Allied forces .First the traditional cluster bombing .Which was bad but most people would have survived that if there was not a second bombing of burning materials which turned the shallow shelters into burning catacombs .Those people who managed to get out from there were rushing to the river which was burning as well .Those who escaped to the squares or public parks got special bombs .Fire tornadoes lifted up people .They burnt into ashes or melted into liquid substance .
Out of 35 thousand buildings only 7000 remain .Nobody knows exactly how many people died as the town was full of refugees . They estimate that more than a million people were residing there .
The author survived only because he was accommodated at a slaughterhouse which had a really deep meat cellar .
"appalling number of women and children ...Burnt alive, suffocated, crushed - men, women, and children indiscriminately killed.
They day after the bombing when they came out of their shelters to get some food and water the allied forces were flying so low that they were able to see that some people still alive and were shooting on them by machine guns or dropped on them smaller bombs .
After all the author does not think that all this attack was designed by evil people -just ignorant .They just wanted to hasten the end of the war .
These remarks made me feel that the book was censored . Kurt Vonnegut had a letter published after his death in which he called the Dresden attack obscene brutality
Kurt Vonnegut is easy to read .Humanism is radiating from every page.
the allied forces were flying so low that they were able to see that some people still alive and were shooting on them by machine guns or dropped on them smaller bombs
He claims that 135 thousand people died .Some claims 25 thousand only . The Russians used to speak about 500 thousand victims. If we see that how big percentage of the buildings were destroyed we have to suppose that similar percentage of people perished as well . The city was home to 600 thousand people and jammed with refugees .But nobody knows how many were there at that inferno .
This was the biggest massacre in Europe .
And it is still not taught at schools .It is not commemorated widely .
Dropping bombs on civilians and refugees is still in fashion not so far from Europe . . .
So it goes .
This was the biggest massacre in Europe .
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to always tell the difference."
K .V .
More Pages On Dresden Bombing
- The Bombing of Dresden
This UK site talks in a surprisingly honest way about the whole issue .
- A survivor account
Read how a young woman in her twenties survived the inferno .
- inglorious moments of WWII
Will they tell us about the firebombing of Dresden, where 300000 people died in fire, including about 10000 English and American POWs while the only building of military significance- the railway station survived? That was in 1945, when Russi
Out of 35 thousand buildings only 7000 remained .Nobody knows exactly how many people died as the town was full of refugees .
GERMANY is to open its first museum dedicated to bomber offensives of World War II that will lay bare how the Allies attacked civilian areas.
In the world war to defeat fascism and that ended the Holocaust, the Allies committed a legion of militarily unnecessary and criminal acts, from British and American bombers intentionally firebombing hundreds of thousands of civilians in German and Japanese cities
what do you think ?