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Slaughterhouse-Five

Slaughterhouse-Five

by Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse-Five Chapter 1, Section 12 Summary

  • After this, the narrator and O'Hare go into the living room to look up the Children's Crusade in a book called Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.
  • The author of this book, Charles Mackay, thinks the whole Crusade thing was pretty dumb in the first place, what with the loss of millions of lives and lots of money just so a few knights could hang onto Palestine for a hundred years.
  • The Children's Crusade was only slightly dumber than most wars: in 1213, two monks decided to raise armies of faithful kids in Germany and France to sell them as slaves in North Africa.
  • About thirty thousand kids volunteered to fight the Ottoman Empire for control of Jerusalem. About half of them drowned in shipwrecks. The other half made it to North Africa, where they probably were sold into slavery.
  • A few of the children went to Genoa, Italy, by accident. The people of Genoa gave them some money to go home.
  • Mary O'Hare cheers for the people of Genoa.
  • The narrator goes upstairs to sleep. O'Hare has left him a book, published in 1908, on the history and artistic development of the city of Dresden. (This book is called Dresden: History, Stage, Gallery, by Mary Endell.)
  • The book reports that, in 1760, Dresden suffered from a siege by the Prussians. A lot of the city's art work and beautiful buildings were destroyed.
  • There is an account of this siege by the famous German poet and writer, Johann Wolfgang van Goethe.

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