This story will centre of 3 devastating disasters during World War 2. The stories are centred on the tragedies of Dresden, Hiroshima & Oradour-sur-Glane in the eyes of 5 children:
Gerda & Hans Schmidt; Yamato Yuuko & Ryukan; and Robert Haas
Dresden is the capital of Free State of Saxony, Germany, is sometimes known as the Jewel Box due to its history of royal residence & city centre. It became important for its educational, cultural, political & economical centers after the 1990s reunification of Germany.
Dresden was home to the Albertstadt, a military borough, but was specifically targeted during the air raids between 1944 & 1945. Dresden sheltered around 600,000 refugess, creating it's total population of 1.2 million.
It was attacked seven times during 1944-45 & taken occupied by the Red Army after German capitulation. The bombing of Dresden was by the Royal Air Force (RAF) & the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) during the 13th & 15th of Feburary in 1945.
Feburary 13th 1945, Shrove Tuesday, a carnival was happening. Many families & children attended, but what happened 10:30pm meant many would never see tomorrow. The RAF & USAAF were meant to target the train station, but on the morning of Ash Wednesday, after 11 more minutes of death, the bodies of the children were stacked there & the trains ran once more. No one knows how many were killed, but a likely estimate was 25,000.
The name 'Hiroshima' means 'Wide Island'.
On September 3rd 1939, the Axis & Allied powers agreed to not bomb civilians; However, 6 years later, the US bombed Hiroshima & Nagasaki. Innocent people were lost to the Atomic bombs.
Known as the first city to ever be bombed by a nuclear weapon by the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) at 8:15am, August 6th, 1945. The bombs' name was "Little Boy" & directly killed about 80,000 people, the radiation & injuries brought the total casualty list to 90,000-140,000.
After the war, Hiroshima was rebuilt & in 1949, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, or Genbaku Dome (Atomic Dome), was created & opened in 1955. A popular, true story rose the foundations of the Memorial, the story of the 'Thousand Paper Cranes'. Story here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadako_Sasaki
Hiroshima became recognised as the City of Peace 1949.
The town that was massacred by mistake by Nazi-German forces, the original village of Oradour-sur-Glane serves as a permanent museum & memorial, with its famous, singular word at its entrance:
642 people were killed by the Nazis after a SS officer was captured by the French resistance in Oradour-sur-Vayres.The Germans herded the men into barns, while women & children were locked into the church. The 190 men were shot first, then burned, while 207 women & children were machine-gunned & blown to bits by grenades. Only 10 lucky enough survived by a miracle, pretending to be dead.
21 of the 200 Nazi-Germans responsible for the tragedy were caught. To this day, Oradour-sur-Glanes stands to remind us what Wars really are & why we should remember them, so we can change the future for the better & no one else will have to live through them anymore.