Monday, April 9, 2012

Kurt Vonnegut talks about the Bombing of Manila (sort of)

Earlier today (which, ironically enough, is the 70th anniversary of the Fall of Bataan), I came across this video of the Slaughterhouse-Five author talking about Allied carpet-bombing operations, which he wryly described as being like "giants walking" overhead.


 He was talking about Dresden, but it could well have been Manila.

 Similar carpet-bombing tactics were used in the "Liberation" of the Philippine capital in 1945, with disastrous consequences on the city's civilian population --to say nothing of the centuries-old architecture and historical heritage of the city.

 In fact, according to Time magazine, Dresden and Manila were the two most bombed-out cities in World War II --far more so than Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

 Vonnegut's remembrances of Dresden echo quite closely those of Filipinos who survived the Japanese Occupation: the rumbling of the giants' passing would haunt them for the rest of their lives.

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