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“Firestorm Survival weaves together the fragments of several people’s experiences to illustrate the fragility and strength of human endurance and sanity when actions are dictated by powers beyond their control. Above all, the book is a tribute to those who lost everything and survived to enjoy a return to more peaceful times, harbouring no bitterness against any race or country.”

“In February 1995, the 50th anniversary of the bombing, I met others at Heathrow who were Dresden-bound and heard of their reasons for going there. Those who did not talk, one could only wonder, Agatha Christie like, as to the background to their pilgrimage. The late Lord Menuhin was with the party as he was conducting a concert. As the plane landed we could see snow had fallen. We all disappeared into the night to our separate destinations to reappear regularly at our meeting place by the ruins of the Frauenkirche or the foyer of the Hilton.” Excerpt from the book Why Dresden?

“Lord Menuhin, one of the Trust’s (Dresden Trust) patrons has frequently recalled, with great depth of feeling, his first visit to Dresden in 1929, when as a boy of 13, he gave his first concert in the Opera House. More recently Joan Woolley has recorded the history of her mother’s ‘survival’ in her book of that name.”

As the coach left Dresden, I watched the skyline until it disappeared from view and I am sure I was not alone in wondering about how and when the next chapter of the story would be written. Alan’s admonition to us not to die before 2006 when we all want to be standing under that Orb and Cross as it shines over the city, rang in my ears as one of our travelling companions whose asides had kept us laughing murmured: ‘It’s worth staying alive for!’” Excerpt from the book Why Dresden?

World War
Social History
Joan Woolley