'On March 16, 1945, about 90% of the city was destroyed in 17 minutes...'

internet website

‘Why was Wurzburg targeted?’ the tourist asked the museum attendant at the Wurzburg Residence. ‘It wasn’t a military target.’

The city had been rased to the ground in 17 minutes according to the posters’ captions there in the bright hall.

‘Uh..what was his name...Second World War..English...’

‘Churchill?’

‘Ja. Churchill ordered all towns with a population of 100,000 to be bombed.'

There was silence for about half a minute whilst the tourist stared glassy-eyed through the attendant and through the window behind to gaze at the blue horizon and the oblivion behind that.

‘What absolute stupidity,’ the tourist managed to get out after having pounded his chest, as if hoarse. ‘How could they be so stupid?’

‘All wars are stupid,’ replied the attendant.

The tourist looked again at the large room’s photos of volunteers clearing away burnt debris. They seemed determined, focused, optimistic.

‘I’m so sorry,’ the tourist finally managed to get out before nearly blubbering and then wandered away.

A quarter of an hour later when he had finished visiting the Residence’s other rooms the tourist returned to make his way out. He waved vaguely to the attendant who was now at the opposite side of the room.

He wanted to show him that he was composed and brave now like the volunteers in the photos.