"Billy survived, but he was a dazed wanderer far behind the new German lines. Three other wanderers, not quite so dazed, allowed Billy to tag along. Two of them were scouts, and one was an antitank gunner. They were without food or maps. Avoiding Germans, they were delivering themselves into rural silences ever more profound. They ate snow!"
This is my second attempt at this book, which I just couldn't get started on a few years back. It astonishes me how much I love it now and I just started. Maybe there is a right mood or mind set needed for reading a book, maybe I have grown...I really hope it is the latter:)
It is a book about ... many things really, but centers around the firebombing of Dresden, Germany. I love the idea of an anti-war book, in the time frame of WW II, where the focus is the bombing of a German city. That's just brilliant.
"February 13/14 1945: Holocaust over Dresden, known as the Florence of the North. Dresden was a hospital city for wounded soldiers. Not one military unit, not one anti-aircraft battery was deployed in the city. Together with the 600.000 refugees from Breslau, Dresden was filled with nearly 1.2 million people. Churchill had asked for "suggestions how to blaze 600.000 refugees". He wasn't interested how to target military installations 60 miles outside of Dresden. More than 700.000 phosphorus bombs were dropped on 1.2 million people. One bomb for every 2 people. The temperature in the centre of the city reached 1600 o centigrade. More than 260.000 bodies and residues of bodies were counted. But those who perished in the centre of the city can't be traced. Approximately 500.000 children, women, the elderly, wounded soldiers and the animals of the zoo were slaughtered in one night." ...more here!
Now excuse me, I am still in chapter two. I keep re-reading passages dozens of times, plus the book has only 9 chapters. You are tempted now, aren't you?