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Vonnegut On War: Give Me Knowledge August 10, 2011

Posted by rogerhollander in Art, Literature and Culture, History, War.
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08.09.11 – 12:05 PM, www.commondreams.org

 

Roger’s note: This photo depicts some of the damage resulting from the WWII Allied bombing of Dresden, a city with no military strategic value whatsoever.  The fire-bombing of Dresden (which sort of prefigures the napalming of Vietnam) was promoted I believe by that great humanitarian Winston Churchill, as a way of punishing the German people for “allowing” the Nazi takeover of their country.  As an aside, in a rare show of heart, Obama got rid of a statue of Churchill from the Oval Office because of torture of the president’s grandfather in Kenya under Churchill’s rule.  Kurt Vonnegut had been captured by the Germans and was a prisoner of war in Dresden, where he survived the fire-bombing, which destroyed the city and killed thousands of civilians, in a shelter.  His acclaimed novel, “Slaughterhouse Five,” was inspired by this experience. 

 

by Abby Zimet

A nicely Tralfamadorian response to a decision by the Republic, Mo. school board to ban Slaughterhouse-Five,” Kurt Vonnegut’s trippy anti-war classic about the fire-bombing of Dresden, from its high school: the Vonnegut Memorial Library will offer a free copy to 150 students. The book was deliberately “jumbled and jangled,” he once said, “because there is nothing intelligent to say about a massacre.

“All these people talk so eloquently about getting back to good old-fashioned values… and I say let’s get back to the good old-fashioned First Amendment of the good old-fashioned Constitution of the United States.”

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