Michel Corday: Blood! Blood! But there is still not enough
From The Paris Front (1934)
Translator not identified
– Here are points from a soldier’s letter: “We entered a village. Blood! Blood! But there is still not enough. It is only Boche blood.” You may say what you will – but an age which can rouse and stimulate such sentiments is an age of horror.
– The trenches form a vast furrow in which seethe two million men. What will be the harvest?
– Phrases from letters published in the Press: “I have killed ten! I have killed twenty!” But they never publish a single news item revealing generosity, affection, humanity. Ferocity, and ferocity alone, is extolled and paraded.
– One speaks of a “widow,” an “orphan” – expressions for a woman who has lost her husband or her parents. But there is no such word for a woman who has lost her child.
– Maniacs are people who think differently from the rest of the world. Since the war, the situation has been reversed.
– Many New Year’s greetings express the desire for “the end of this horrible war.” But that, of course, has to be put in a sealed envelope. It cannot be expressed openly on a postcard.
– People say: “Let us go on to the bitter end, to save our children from war.” But what proof is there that our children would become involved in war? To remove any doubt, they are making quite sure by having them killed now, without waiting.
– Our military chiefs are determined to stamp out anything which may hamper their operations. Hence their ban on feminine visits, however justified. In their eyes, affection implies weakness. They are at daggers drawn with sentiment, with all the acquired qualities of civilised man. They insist on our reversion to the brutality of primitive times. No sweethearts, no artists.