Last modified: 7:58 AM Saturday, 14 January 2017

Scenes from the Blitz

London, 17 September 1940:

“There has of course been a big exodus from the East End, and every night what amount to mass migrations to places where there is sufficient shelter accommodation. The practice of taking a 2d ticket and spending the night in one of the deep Tube stations, e.g. Piccadilly, is growing....”

George Orwell

George Orwell: separated at birth from twin brother Rashid Nezhmetdinov?
[ Image Source ]

So began Orwell’s entry for this night of ordeal. He continued:

Everyone I have talked to agrees that the empty furnished houses in the West End should be used for the homeless; but I suppose the rich swine still have enough pull to prevent this from happening. The other day 50 people from the East End, headed by some of the Borough Councillors, marched into the Savoy and demanded to use the air-raid shelter. The management didn’t succeed in ejecting them till the raid was over, when they went voluntarily. When you see how the wealthy are still behaving, in what is manifestly developing into a revolutionary war, you think of St. Petersburg in 1916.

Funny. These sound quite like our 21st-century rich swine: “Homeless? They should have thought of that before they let their houses get bombed. And now they expect free shelter? Nobody has to take care of me!”

Originally published as a review of an entry in George Orwell’s diary reproduced in a wordpress blog.

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