"... we were burdened
beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired
even of life. Yes, we had the sentence of death in
ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but
in God who raises the dead...." 2 Corinthians 1:8-9
When at last the roar of the planes grew
distant and the explosions were suddenly replaced by an even
more deafening silence, we made our way cautiously upstairs.
... Live sparks filled the air and for an hour we fought to
save our house; by the narrowest margin, we won
the battle....All night we watched Dresden burn, a
sea of flame beneath us. We could feel the fire sear our
faces as we looked toward the city. Nothing could be done
for the poor people down there. The fires would burn until
there was nothing left to consume.
About seven in the morning, I left the
house to try to find a shop where I could buy a loaf of
bread for breakfast. On the boulevard the most dreadful
sight met my eyes. Broad as it was, the avenue was crowded
from curb to curb with pedestrians fleeing the city on foot.
were blackened with soot. White streaks showed under their
eyes where the grime had been washed away by tears and
sweat. Men, women and children struggled past in this vast
throng, pushing handcarts, bicycles, baby buggies,
childrenís toy wagons, anything on which a little bedding or
a few precious family possessions could be carried. Some
carried nothing at all, having saved from the holocaust only
the sooty, tattered clothes they stood up in.
Here and there were the injured hobbling
along, wrapped in blankets, their clothes having been burned
off or torn away by the force of explosions. Some spat
blood; others winced in pain as they walked, and leaned
heavily upon companions for support. The children were
crying pitifully but the adults were silent, many still in a
state of shock, too stunned and dazed to be able to feel the
magnitude of their loss. Behind them they left not only the
ruins of their homes but the bodies of loved ones....
Pity swept me at this terrible sight, even
though I knew I witnessed that morning in Dresden Godís
judgment upon a society that had followed its sinful way,
with Hitler and his military leaders, down the hard road of
the transgressors, Hitlerís road.
I felt very much humbled by my own survival. I knew that
some invisible hand had been placed above my head. I felt
that I must have been spared because the Lord had use for
me. I looked at the huge crater made by the two land mines
in the side of our bluff. I asked myself
what would have happened if that bombardier speeding at over
2OO miles an hour, 1o,ooo feet overhead had pressed the bomb
release just one tenth of a second later.