In 2005, for the sixtieth anniversary of the Allied bombing of Dresden, the BBC interviewed author Kurt Vonnegut about his experience as a P.O.W. and Dresden survivor.
As you may know, Vonnegut would use the bombing as a setting for his 1969 unstuck-from-time classic Slaughterhouse-Five, which had a hell of a time getting off the ground. Here's Vonnegut's remembrance of the wreckage in May 1945, three months after the bombing:
On about February 14th the Americans came over, followed by the R.A.F. their combined labors killed 250,000 people in twenty-four hours and destroyed all of Dresden — possibly the world's most beautiful city. But not me.After that we were put to work carrying corpses from Air-Raid shelters; women, children, old men; dead from concussion, fire or suffocation. Civilians cursed us and threw rocks as we carried bodies to huge funeral pyres in the city.And for more Vonnegut on video, see the author on the shape of stories and how to write a short story. [Via Dangerous Minds]
Sunday, March 25, 2012
io9 - Watch Kurt Vonnegut recall the bombing of Dresden in his final years
Interesting to hear his perspectives near the end of his life . . . . The horrendous carnage of Dresden is one of the terrible details of WWII that is seldom discussed. Slaughterhouse-Five brought it to public awareness.