November 14th 1940
Thursday November 14th
Had a very bad night. Jerry was bombing savagely in the distance and the whole house shook repeatedly.
It transpires next day that a vicious attack had taken place on Coventry* where 250** people were killed and the best of a thousand wounded in one of the worst air raids of the war, comparable with the Fascist attack on Guernica*** in the Spanish War. Most of the city centre has been destroyed and all the medieval records, but above all the 14th century cathedral has been laid in ruins except for the tower.
This is supposed to be a 'reprisal' for our raid on Munich, but no one believes any such fairy tale. It is simply one of those attempts to break civilian morale by which, as a nation, the Germans are slowly digging their own grave.
Writing to Grace the other day a phrase occurred to me quite spontaneously from Sinclair Lewis’s It can’t happen here**** which I have been reading while I have been ill.
“Father, forgive them not, but curse them, for they know what they do”*****. I need not say more.
* See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coventry_Blitz#14_November_1940
** Now believed to be around 568 (see link above)
*** See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Guernica
**** This book is still in print. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It_Can%27t_Happen_Here. It seems very relevant to our times too, especially with respect to US politics and the popularity of Donald Trump. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It_Can%27t_Happen_Here#Legacy
***** An adaptation of Luke 23:34
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