Seventy years ago, one of the great cultural centers of Europe, Dresden, was annihilated in a senseless firebombing in the last year of the most destructive war in man’s history.

Some say it was just part of the war. But most of the victims were women and children, burned alive in a manner not too dissimilar to the Jordanian prisoner executed by ISIS. Several thousand were killed.

To reflect on this tragic event in history, here is a video of Kurt Vonnegut, author of the famous book Slaughterhouse Five that recounted his experience of the firebombing, discussing his memory of the incineration.

Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time – Dresden from 9.14 Pictures on Vimeo.

And to show the contrast between the Dresden of today and the Dresden of 1945, here is a gallery showcasing the aftermath of the bombing and what the city’s streets look like in the present day.