The Effects Of War In Slaughterhouse Five By Kurt Vonnegut

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World War II was a horrific ordeal. Many people, innocent people, died during this war. There are many war survivors that believe that warfare is horrid and they share how the war affected them firsthand. Many of the survivors of the firebombing of Dresden lent their testimonies of what happened hoping that it would gain public awareness so people could see the tragedies of war. In Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut he tells a story about the effects war can have on a person by telling a story about Billy Pilgrim. Pilgrim was must affected in the war after the bombing of Dresden, which was an unexpected horrific event. In many survivors accounts of the Dresden firebombing, which includes Vonnegut and others, the reveal the military, …show more content…
War is fought between countries, but even in times of conflict between states, civilian affairs must continue. The Allied governmental leaders “who approved it were neither wicked nor cruel, though it may well be that they were too remote from the harsh realities of war” (Vonnegut 187). Unlike the military leaders, the governmental leaders were not present on the battlefield. Without witnessing the reality of war, the Allied leaders could not hope to grasp the true consequences of their actions. They dealt with numbers and spreadsheets rather than physical brutality. Germans, both citizens and soldiers, fell into two categories: potential threats and neutralized combatants. In each decision the Allies made, there was a distinction between Allies and Nazis, between the “good guys” and “bad guys.” These distinctions allowed removed leaders to become callous to the murder of those they considered evil. In this respect, the Allies became “a willfully deaf and blind enemy” (193). Carnage committed on enemy soil appeared as clever and practical strategy, while domestic sorrow at the loss of their own soldiers was ever present. An event “beyond belief, worse than the blackest nightmare” (Metzger 2) was bound to have a negative effect on those who approved it. With the ever present danger of public scrutiny, the American government chose to keep the Dresden bombing a secret. Buried in obscurity, the Dresden bombing was initially prevented from becoming a political detriment to those who approved it. The truth, however, was eventually know due to firsthand accounts and Slaughter House Five because “pro-government historians are allowed to bury mass murder stories only when the survivors maintain their silence” (Harkins 2). Once the Dresden bombing was public knowledge, many governmental authorities felt the need to justify themselves by citing “the necessary effort to completely defeat and utterly destroy

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