Experimental Mayhem

In 1968, the year I wrote Slaughterhouse Five, I finally became grown up enough to write about the bombing of Dresden. It was the largest massacre in European history. I, of course, know about Auschwitz, but a massacre is something that happens suddenly, the killing of a whole lot of people in a very short time. In Dresden, on 1945-02-13, about 135,000 people were killed by British firebombing in one night. It was pure nonsense, pointless destruction. The whole city was burned down and it was a British atrocity, not ours. They sent in night bombers and they came in and set the whole town on fire with a new kind of incendiary bomb. And so everything organic, except my little POW (Prisoner Of War) group, was consumed by fire. It was a military experiment to find out if you could burn down a whole city by scattering incendiaries over it.

~ Kurt Vonnegut (1922-11-11 2007-04-11 age:84) A Man without a Country, 2005

I think some atrocities, such a Dresden, can be attributed to a childish desire to play with a new toy.