British POW describes the horror of the bombing of Dresden
Partial Transcript of Interview with Victor Gregg, WW2 British solder and POW:
Interviewer: "Tell us how it was that you were in Dresden at that time."
Victor Gregg: "It was evil....thousands of firebombs dropping all over the place, heat, fire, people screaming, people burning, people alight. After about half an hour it started developing into something that was really bad....It was the second wave which really brought the tornado into being because then they started dropping the 4,000 lb bunker busters....It dehumanizes anything that you've experienced before. I've been through 6 years of war. I've lost all but 3 of the 28 blokes I joined up with in 1937. I've been in every battle in the Middle East...but nothing prepared me for seeing women and children alight and flying through the air. Nothing prepared me for that. Before Dresden, I could look at people get killed and they're dead. But after Dresden, I was a nutcase. It took me 40 years to get over it. I don't think I even laughed for 40 years. I couldn't even laugh at anything. You see people stuck in...they tried to cross over to us, a group of 'em. Cause I was on a bit of grass with these firefighters and we'd come back. And this group tried to cross this road. And the first lot of 'em got stuck in the middle of it, and couldn't get away. And in the end, they caught alight. They were still alive...and then they exploded. You can't talk about it....because nobody who hasn't experienced it, their mind can't grasp it."
Interviewer: "Was it a turning point for you when you viewed how the Allies were tackling what was seen as an evil menace at that point?"
Victor Gregg: "I never blamed the airmen. I've never blamed them because they was the same as the same blokes in the merchant navy. They're putting their lives at risk every time they went up. And they lost a lot of men -- 50, 55 thousand. But I said and I still say, and I've said it in print and on broadcast, I'll never forgive the people who ordered those raids. And that goes for all of them, Churchill, Atley. All of 'em. Whatever they can say. Because as soon as it came through after about two weeks, and it started sinking in, because they were still carrying on bombing other cities like this. And then of course, they tried to put the blame on somebody else. But, ah, no no....we were supposed to be the good guys. We was going to war to rescue Europe from the evil of the Third Reich. And we finished up being worse than they were. And I'm not going to say "we" because what annoys me is that all of this was done in our name."
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