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Almost all Americans have been educated many times over of the horrors inflicted by the Nazis during World War II.

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The author Kurt Vonnegut was a prisoner of war in Dresden Germany during the allied bombing raids and was later forced to dig out bodies from the ruined city.

In papers discovered by his son after his death last year, buy omega 3 1 cod he provides a searing eyewitness account of the ‘obscene brutality’ that inspired his novel Slaughterhouse-Five The blood of Dresden Germany It was a routine speech we got during our first day of basic training, buy omega 3 1 cod delivered by a wiry little lieutenant: “Men, buy omega 3 1 cod up to now you’ve been good, buy omega 3 1 cod clean, buy omega 3 1 cod American boys with an American’s love for sportsmanship and fair play. Buy omega 3 1 cod We’re here to change that. “Our job is to make you the meanest, buy omega 3 1 cod dirtiest bunch of scrappers in the history of the world. Buy omega 3 1 cod From now on, buy omega 3 1 cod you can forget the Marquess of Queensberry rules and every other set of rules. Buy omega 3 1 cod Anything and everything goes. “Never hit a man above the belt when you can kick him below it. Buy omega 3 1 cod Make the bastard scream. Buy omega 3 1 cod Kill him any way you can. Buy omega 3 1 cod Kill, buy omega 3 1 cod kill, buy omega 3 1 cod kill – do you understand?” His talk was greeted with nervous laughter and general agreement that he was right. Buy omega 3 1 cod “Didn’t Hitler and Tojo say the Americans were a bunch of softies? Ha! They’ll find out.” And of course, buy omega 3 1 cod Germany and Japan did find out: a toughened-up democracy poured forth a scalding fury that could not be stopped. It was a war of reason against barbarism, buy omega 3 1 cod supposedly, buy omega 3 1 cod with the issues at stake on such a high plane that most of our feverish fighters had no idea why they were fighting – other than that the enemy was a bunch of bastards. Buy omega 3 1 cod A new kind of war, buy omega 3 1 cod with all destruction, buy omega 3 1 cod all killing approved. , buy omega 3 1 cod three small-town merchants’ wives, buy omega 3 1 cod middle-aged and plump, buy omega 3 1 cod gave me a ride when I was hitchhiking home from Camp Atterbury. Buy omega 3 1 cod “Did you kill a lot of them Germans?” asked the driver, buy omega 3 1 cod making cheerful small-talk. Buy omega 3 1 cod I told her I didn’t know. This was taken for modesty. Buy omega 3 1 cod As I was getting out of the car, buy omega 3 1 cod one of the ladies patted me on the shoulder in motherly fashion: “I’ll bet you’d like to get over and kill some of them dirty Japs now, buy omega 3 1 cod wouldn’t you?” (snip) There was no war in Dresden. True, buy omega 3 1 cod planes came over nearly every day and the sirens wailed, buy omega 3 1 cod but the planes were always en route elsewhere. Buy omega 3 1 cod The alarms furnished a relief period in a tedious work day, buy omega 3 1 cod a social event, buy omega 3 1 cod a chance to gossip in the shelters. The shelters, buy omega 3 1 cod in fact, buy omega 3 1 cod were not much more than a gesture, buy omega 3 1 cod casual recognition of the national emergency: wine cellars and basements with benches in them and sandbags blocking the windows, buy omega 3 1 cod for the most part. There were a few more adequate bunkers in the centre of the city, buy omega 3 1 cod close to the government offices, buy omega 3 1 cod but nothing like the staunch subterranean fortress that rendered Berlin impervious to her daily pounding. Buy omega 3 1 cod Dresden had no reason to prepare for attack – and thereby hangs a beastly tale. Dresden was surely among the world’s most lovely cities. Her streets were broad, buy omega 3 1 cod lined with shade-trees. She was sprinkled with countless little parks and statuary. She had marvellous old churches, buy omega 3 1 cod libraries, buy omega 3 1 cod museums, buy omega 3 1 cod theatres, buy omega 3 1 cod art galleries, buy omega 3 1 cod beer gardens, buy omega 3 1 cod a zoo and a renowned university. It was at one time a tourist’s paradise. Buy omega 3 1 cod They would be far better informed on the city’s delights than am I. Buy omega 3 1 cod But the impression I have is that in Dresden – in the physical city – were the symbols of the good life; pleasant, buy omega 3 1 cod honest, buy omega 3 1 cod intelligent. Buy omega 3 1 cod In the swastika’s shadow, buy omega 3 1 cod those symbols of the dignity and hope of mankind stood waiting, buy omega 3 1 cod monuments to truth. Buy omega 3 1 cod The accumulated treasure of hundreds of years, buy omega 3 1 cod Dresden spoke eloquently of those things excellent in European civilisa-tion wherein our debt lies deep. I was a prisoner, buy omega 3 1 cod hungry, buy omega 3 1 cod dirty and full of hate for our captors, buy omega 3 1 cod but I loved that city and saw the blessed wonder of her past and the rich promise of her future. In February 1945, buy omega 3 1 cod American bombers reduced this treasure to crushed stone and embers; disembowelled her with high explosives and cremated her with incendiaries. (snip) The night they came over, buy omega 3 1 cod we spent in an underground meat locker in a slaughterhouse. Buy omega 3 1 cod We were lucky, buy omega 3 1 cod for it was the best shelter in town. Buy omega 3 1 cod Giants stalked the earth above us. Buy omega 3 1 cod First came the soft murmur of their dancing on the outskirts, buy omega 3 1 cod then the grumbling of their plodding towards us, buy omega 3 1 cod and finally the ear-splitting crashes of their heels upon us – and thence to the outskirts again. Buy omega 3 1 cod Back and forth they swept: saturation bombing. “I screamed and I wept and I clawed the walls of our shelter, buy omega 3 1 cod” an old lady told me. Buy omega 3 1 cod “I prayed to God to ‘please, buy omega 3 1 cod please, buy omega 3 1 cod please, buy omega 3 1 cod dear God, buy omega 3 1 cod stop them’. But he didn’t hear me. Buy omega 3 1 cod No power could stop them. Buy omega 3 1 cod On they came, buy omega 3 1 cod wave after wave. There was no way we could surrender; no way to tell them we couldn’t stand it any more. Buy omega 3 1 cod There was nothing anyone could do but sit and wait for morning.” Her daughter and grandson were killed. Our little prison was burnt to the ground. Buy omega 3 1 cod We were to be evacuated to an outlying camp occupied by South African prisoners. Our guards were a melancholy lot, buy omega 3 1 cod aged Volkssturmers and disabled veterans. Buy omega 3 1 cod Most of them were Dresden residents and had friends and families somewhere in the holocaust. Buy omega 3 1 cod A corporal, buy omega 3 1 cod who had lost an eye after two years on the Russian front, buy omega 3 1 cod ascertained before we marched that his wife, buy omega 3 1 cod his two children and both of his parents had been killed. Buy omega 3 1 cod He had one cigarette. Buy omega 3 1 cod He shared it with me. Our march to new quarters took us to the city’s edge. Buy omega 3 1 cod It was impossible to believe that anyone had survived in its heart. Buy omega 3 1 cod Ordinarily, buy omega 3 1 cod the day would have been cold, buy omega 3 1 cod but occasional gusts from the colossal inferno made us sweat. Buy omega 3 1 cod And ordinarily, buy omega 3 1 cod the day would have been clear and bright, buy omega 3 1 cod but an opaque and towering cloud turned noon to twilight. A grim procession clogged the outbound highways; people with blackened faces streaked with tears, buy omega 3 1 cod some bearing wounded, buy omega 3 1 cod some bearing dead. Buy omega 3 1 cod They gathered in the fields. Buy omega 3 1 cod No one spoke. Buy omega 3 1 cod A few with Red Cross armbands did what they could for the casualties. Settled with the South Africans, buy omega 3 1 cod we enjoyed a week without work. Buy omega 3 1 cod At the end of it, buy omega 3 1 cod communications were reestablished with higher headquarters and we were ordered to hike seven miles to the area hardest hit. Nothing in the district had escaped the fury. Buy omega 3 1 cod A city of jagged building shells, buy omega 3 1 cod of splintered statuary and shattered trees; every vehicle stopped, buy omega 3 1 cod gnarled and burnt, buy omega 3 1 cod left to rust or rot in the path of the frenzied might. Buy omega 3 1 cod The only sounds other than our own were those of falling plaster and their echoes. (snip) We cut our way through a basement wall to discover a reeking hash of over 100 human beings. Buy omega 3 1 cod Flame must have swept through before the building’s collapse sealed the exits, buy omega 3 1 cod because the flesh of those within resembled the texture of prunes. Our job, buy omega 3 1 cod it was explained, buy omega 3 1 cod was to wade into the shambles and bring forth the remains. Buy omega 3 1 cod Encouraged by cuffing and guttural abuse, buy omega 3 1 cod wade in we did. We did exactly that, buy omega 3 1 cod for the floor was covered with an unsavoury broth from burst water mains and viscera. A number of victims, buy omega 3 1 cod not killed outright, buy omega 3 1 cod had attempted to escape through a narrow emergency exit. Buy omega 3 1 cod At any rate, buy omega 3 1 cod there were several bodies packed tightly into the passageway. Buy omega 3 1 cod Their leader had made it halfway up the steps before he was buried up to his neck in falling brick and plaster. He was about 15, buy omega 3 1 cod I think. It is with some regret that I here besmirch the nobility of our airmen, buy omega 3 1 cod but, buy omega 3 1 cod boys, buy omega 3 1 cod you killed an appalling lot of women and children. Buy omega 3 1 cod The shelter I have described and innumerable others like it were filled with them. Buy omega 3 1 cod We had to exhume their bodies and carry them to mass funeral pyres in the parks, buy omega 3 1 cod so I know. The funeral pyre technique was abandoned when it became apparent how great was the toll. Buy omega 3 1 cod There was not enough labour to do it nicely, buy omega 3 1 cod so a man with a flamethrower was sent down instead, buy omega 3 1 cod and he cremated them where they lay. Buy omega 3 1 cod Burnt alive, buy omega 3 1 cod suffocated, buy omega 3 1 cod crushed – men, buy omega 3 1 cod women, buy omega 3 1 cod and children indiscriminately killed. For all the sublimity of the cause for which we fought, buy omega 3 1 cod we surely created a Belsen of our own. Buy omega 3 1 cod The method was impersonal, buy omega 3 1 cod but the result was equally cruel and heartless. Buy omega 3 1 cod That, buy omega 3 1 cod I am afraid, buy omega 3 1 cod is a sickening truth. When we had become used to the darkness, buy omega 3 1 cod the odour and the carnage, buy omega 3 1 cod we began musing as to what each of the corpses had been in life. Buy omega 3 1 cod It was a sordid game: “Rich man, buy omega 3 1 cod poor man, buy omega 3 1 cod beggar man, buy omega 3 1 cod thief . Buy omega 3 1 cod . Buy omega 3 1 cod .” Some had fat purses and jewellery, buy omega 3 1 cod others had precious foodstuffs. Buy omega 3 1 cod A boy had his dog still leashed to him. Renegade Ukrainians in German uniform were in charge of our operations in the shelters proper. Buy omega 3 1 cod They were roaring drunk from adjacent wine cellars and seemed to enjoy their job hugely. It was a profitable one, buy omega 3 1 cod for they stripped each body of valuables before we carried it to the street. Buy omega 3 1 cod Death became so commonplace that we could joke about our dismal burdens and cast them about like so much garbage. Not so with the first of them, buy omega 3 1 cod especially the young: we had lifted them on to the stretchers with care, buy omega 3 1 cod laying them out with some semblance of funeral dignity in their last resting place before the pyre. Buy omega 3 1 cod But our awed and sorrowful propriety gave way, buy omega 3 1 cod as I said, buy omega 3 1 cod to rank callousness. Buy omega 3 1 cod At the end of a grisly day, buy omega 3 1 cod we would smoke and survey the impressive heap of dead accumulated. 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