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A POW's Memoir of the First World War: The Other Ordeal by Georges Connes, Lois Davis Vines, Marie-Claire Connes Wrage

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 throughout the First international battle, with resonance for present day world.Georges Connes was once a tender literature graduate while he was once drafted and served within the notorious and bloody conflict of Verdun. A survivor, he used to be captured via the Germans in June 1916 and have become a prisoner of conflict until eventually his repatriation in January 1919. within the moment international conflict, he was once energetic within the French Resistance, was once arrested and detained, and finally went into hiding. After the struggle, he served because the intervening time mayor of Dijon ahead of returning to his educational lifestyles as a professor of British and American literature.Connes talked about his time as a POW as ''The different Ordeal', spotting that an important agony persevered in the event you needed to suffer the 'firing, blood and dust' of conflict. Connes makes a speciality of the human elements of warfare, that are all too effortless to fail to remember within the age of mass media. He passionately argues opposed to the foremost black and white view of 'us as opposed to them' to unearth the complexities of struggle. instead of demonizing his German captors, for instance, he describes person examples of gratuitous acts of kindness.Connes deals a pacifist, internationalist point of view on warfare. A survivor of 2 of the best conflicts in glossy heritage, Connes remained positive approximately humanity. This voice of wish offers perception not just into the 1st global battle yet into the modern international.

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Sample text

And then, by an extraordinary chance, out of the ‘salting tub’ will come a small group of friends 40 The Citadel at Mainz: Eighteen Months who were with me at the beginning of the campaign, whose destiny I will share from then on. For the moment, I can observe without being observed. The general impression of the splendor of these prisoners that I had received on first arriving and quickly crossing the courtyard now fades on closer examination. 5 They would walk right over you without blinking.

We are no longer as utterly destitute as we were a few days ago. The canteen sold us white cloth knapsacks, some toiletries and some mediocre food items. The prisoners’ baggage, which will become quite substantial for the well-off among us, is beginning to accumulate, but for the moment we can easily carry it. They count and double count us, interspersing guards, who purposely show off loading their weapons 23 The Other Ordeal in front of us. Let’s go! We are afraid we will have to go through the town in full view of the local population.

We don’t have the strength to face tomorrow and don’t give any thought yet to our future. A totally ordinary German soldier is our only link with the outside world. From the mess hall he brings back, at reasonable prices, decent food in sufficient amounts for those who have money or for those with friends who lend them money, and everyone finds such friends. We are still so close to the front! The fraternity of the trenches hasn’t yet become an empty word. Only later in captivity the selfishness of the least generous will awaken little by little, without, however, the generosity of the combatants ever completely dying out.

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