Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Page 59

The reverse of this leaflet reads:

He also had been told
that the Germans are a horde of Huns and barbarians, posing as supermen and with only one idea, to bring all Europe under their tyranny of terror.

He also had been told
that it was the sacred duty of all liberty-loving men to free Europe from the bestial cruelty of these Nazis.

He also had been told
that in fighting against these Huns it was necessary to hold out to the last, as the Germans illtreat and even kill their prisoners.

The day came when he was taken prisoner.
The "Hun" who had captured him pulled out his first-aid kit, bandaged his wounded hand and gave him a cigarette.
The "Hun" who brought him to the dressing station gave him a drink from his own flask
and saw to it that hat he came under the doctor's care at once.
The "Hun" doctor who skilfully and gently extracted the splinter from his hand, gave him another cigarette and sent him off with a friendly pat on the back.
The "Hun" who brought him to the prisoners' camp knew a little English and told him and some of his pals all about his home and his family.

Then he understood

that all these German soldiers were neither Huns nor wild beasts nor did they pose as supermen. Thev were boys like his friends Bill, Fred and George, boys with the same claims on life as the English soldiers and, like them they were also fed up with war.
And so everything was quite different
from what his newspapers and wireless, full of hate-propaganda, had been dinning into his ears. He had been the victim of a swindle, for he knew well enough now from all the German soldiers he had met and learned to know, that they were incapable of committing the atrocities recounted daily by his papers. They wanted to live in peace and attend to their work, and for this it was necessary that the world should allow them the same rights as any other nation. They were fighting for these rights and would not cease fighting until they obtained them. But nothing was further from their thoughts than to wish to dominate Europe. On the contrary, OR their Eastern Front they were fighting the battle of this very Europe against the Asiatic hordes of the steppes beyond the Urals and the Caucasus, who, stirred up by Bolshevism, had attacked Europe with murder, violence and robbery. They would not be satisfied with the conquest of Germany alone, their goal was the revolutionising of the whole world. And while the Germans were fighting desperately against this onslaught,they were defending' not only their own lives but were fighting for Europe and also for England, for him. Bill, Fred, George, and for everyting that made life worth living.
And so he began to reflect!
If everything that the anti-German hate-propaganda was saying was untrue, if the truth was something quite different, then there must be someone with an interest in this senseless Slaughter, among the nations of Europe. There must be someone who profits by all the suffering and misery of war.
Who is it?
This is a question worth thinking over.

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