Sex, fear and looting: survivors disclose untold stories of the Blitz





The slackers, the looters, the promiscuous and the just plain terrified men and women of the Blitz are finally being heard, more than 60 years after the last bombs fell. The voices often edited out of the patriotic official version of Britain's finest hour resurface in a new history of the Blitz and the Battle of Britain, based on thousands of hours of recordings of survivors, held in the archives of the Imperial War Museum.

Joshua Levine, who spent almost a year listening to the memories of sailors and civilians, many now dead, said: "History is never black and white. Instead it's many shades of grey.

"There was heroism, but there are stories of real people behaving badly under stress, lots of sexual activity, fiddling rations, looting, getting through it all as well as they could.

"This was a crucial time in the whole social structure of the country. All the barriers were down, people were eating the same food, wearing the same clothes, sheltering together. Poor city children were evacuated to much richer families. All the old rules were broken and could never be put back together again. For good or ill the origins of modern Britain lie in this period."




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Vernon Clayson - 10/9/2006

For a minute I thought it sounded like today's American politics but then discovered it was just desperate people in England during a war. In any event it appears you could substitute the English for the countries involved in war at the present time and for many third world countries it's a way of life and has been for centuries.

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