By Georges Connes, Lois Davis Vines, Marie-Claire Connes Wrage
This lyrical memoir deals a clean glance contained in the trauma of battle and captivity throughout the First international warfare, with resonance for modern day world.Georges Connes used to be a tender literature graduate whilst he used to be drafted and served within the notorious and bloody conflict of Verdun. A survivor, he was once captured through the Germans in June 1916 and have become a prisoner of conflict till his repatriation in January 1919. within the moment international warfare, he was once lively within the French Resistance, used to be arrested and detained, and eventually went into hiding. After the battle, he served because the meantime mayor of Dijon ahead of returning to his educational lifestyles as a professor of British and American literature.Connes stated his time as a POW as ''The different Ordeal', spotting that crucial pain persisted in the event you needed to undergo the 'firing, blood and dirt' of conflict. Connes makes a speciality of the human features of battle, that are all too effortless to omit within the age of mass media. He passionately argues opposed to the principal black and white view of 'us as opposed to them' to unearth the complexities of battle. instead of demonizing his German captors, for instance, he describes person examples of gratuitous acts of kindness.Connes bargains a pacifist, internationalist viewpoint on struggle. A survivor of 2 of the best conflicts in sleek background, Connes remained positive approximately humanity. This voice of desire offers perception not just into the 1st global struggle yet into the modern international.
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Additional info for A POW's Memoir of the First World War: The Other Ordeal (Legacy of the Great War)
We salute him back. It seems like a scene from the glorious past. A little further, at right angles to us, they line up eight or ten British navy officers who were rescued in the Skagerrack Straits at the very moment we were being picked up in front of Douaumont. All ages and ranks are represented, from the gray-haired naval commander to the beardless and rosy-cheeked midshipmen. They present the appearance of people who have been shipwrecked indeed. One has neither boots nor shoes but only a type of sock that is worn inside wooden shoes.
They didn’t give me back my blanket, which since Douaumont was my only possession, along with my clothes, helmet and shoes. Apparently blankets are war spoils. As a matter of fact, I had not paid for it from my own pocket; it belonged to the French army. It’s over. I am told I am assigned to room 40 of Building II. I am sent through a door, shown a corridor and a staircase, which I follow, soon finding myself dazed by the sunlight, stunned by the open space, a little lightheaded, slightly unsteady on my legs, and ‘free’ in a space of about ninety by ninety yards along with some 500 other prisoners.
From time to time, the door opens for some newcomers, some of whom we recognize, others we don’t. Finally, there are twenty-five or thirty of us. Conversations begin. Our minds are still much more preoccupied with the battle that is ending than with the beginning of our captivity. We are most worried about friends and the overall situation. 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.