By Georges Connes, Lois Davis Vines, Marie-Claire Connes Wrage
This lyrical memoir bargains a clean glance contained in the trauma of conflict and captivity in the course of the First international battle, with resonance for latest world.Georges Connes used to be a tender literature graduate while he used to be drafted and served within the notorious and bloody conflict of Verdun. A survivor, he was once captured by means of the Germans in June 1916 and have become a prisoner of battle till his repatriation in January 1919. within the moment international warfare, he was once energetic within the French Resistance, used to be arrested and detained, and finally went into hiding. After the battle, he served because the intervening time mayor of Dijon earlier than returning to his educational lifestyles as a professor of British and American literature.Connes observed his time as a POW as ''The different Ordeal', spotting that crucial discomfort persisted in the event you needed to suffer the 'firing, blood and dirt' of conflict. Connes specializes in the human points of warfare, that are all too effortless to overlook within the age of mass media. He passionately argues opposed to the fundamental black and white view of 'us as opposed to them' to unearth the complexities of warfare. instead of demonizing his German captors, for instance, he describes person examples of gratuitous acts of kindness.Connes deals a pacifist, internationalist standpoint on struggle. A survivor of 2 of the best conflicts in smooth historical past, Connes remained positive approximately humanity. This voice of desire presents perception not just into the 1st international battle yet into the modern global.
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Extra info for A POW's Memoir of the First World War: The Other Ordeal (Legacy of the Great War)
But, on the other hand, he is a hero for whom no reward is too high when he does the same thing among our prisoners for our benefit. They have brought us our first official prisoner’s meal, a thick, unidentifiable mush that seems to be made up of potatoes and semolina but is less disgusting than some mixtures we will encounter later on. Some of us, our stomachs shrunken by days of hunger, fever and nausea or already loaded with nondescript Norwegian sardines, nameless cheese, and generic beer from the canteen, are unable to eat the grub; others, however, gorge on it.
And what would happen if someone refused? Confinement to the cell? Being undressed and put in the shower by force? I have no idea. I don’t even know if it ever occurred. ’ Here is how the operation goes: we are locked up in groups of seven or eight – field officers in smaller groups – in rooms that all open onto the same hallway patrolled by a sentry. Each room has only one window, which opens onto the courtyard, but the windowpanes are frosted with white paint and the windows nailed shut. Moreover, we have been warned that the police station, situated just below us, has orders to shoot if they perceive any attempt to communicate with the outside world.
Already they only sell artificial products that have replaced natural ones, ‘ersatz’ items limited in quantity for each customer. We are not treated any differently from other people. The waiters just politely refuse to sell us more than the regular ration. Certainly we are already far from the relative abundance of the canteens at the front, and these are hard times for Germany. 16 Too bad we didn’t load up on food supplies at Stenay, to the extent possible, even though the available items were nasty.
A POW's Memoir of the First World War: The Other Ordeal (Legacy of the Great War) by Georges Connes, Lois Davis Vines, Marie-Claire Connes Wrage