Sunday, February 13, 2005

Chess and the Bombing of Dresden

From The Independent:
Rudolf Eichner produces a blackened piece from the pocket of a tattered shoulder-bag....

Years after that terrible night, which he spent huddling for shelter from the savage air raid and the firestorm that razed 75 per cent of Dresden and killed 35,000 people, Mr Eichner, now 80, found the chess piece - a knight. It was on the small patch of ground where he had endured the onslaught.

...."My father and I were chess players," he recalled. "My father brought his chess set to the hospital to help me while away the time. When the bombing started, I just thought I must hang on to the chess set."

In the end, only the board was any use - for beating out the flames on his and his companions' heads and, when all their hair had burned, to put out the flames on their clothes and skin.

Read the article...
Hat Tip: Art of Chess

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