Home > Uncategorized > Lilika Nakos: “What’s the war got to do with God?”

Lilika Nakos: “What’s the war got to do with God?”

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Lilika Nakos: Selections on war

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Lilika Nakos
From The Children’s Inferno (1946)
Translated by Allan Ross Macdougall

“Our neighbor at Botanico was right,” said the other, “when she said that the world’s gone mad and we were cursed before we were born because we live in such an age.”

“Something’s been running through my head. When bombs are being dropped as they are now over there, I ask myself why men kill each other. Who can tell me that? Why do men kill each other like that without reason?”

The two others, stumped, did not know what to say. Then one answered: “It’s the will of God.”

“Aw, shut up!” said the positive Pireote. “You’re only talking nonsense. What’s the war got to do with God? You bring God into everything.”

“So, what else can I say? It is written.”

“Phooey! What does that mean, it is written?”

“So?”

“So, it’s this way, old man. The big ones, the big countries all want to divvy up something and that’s why they can’t get together. My uncle told me that.”

“Divvy up what?”

“The earth! They want to divvy up the earth.”

“The earth!” said Ianko indignantly. “But God made the earth for all men. He put the Frenchmen here, the Germans there, and further on the Turks. He gave them the earth to live on and all its produce to eat.”

“Go on, you’re crazy. You don’t understand. The produce is what the neighbors want to take. And that’s why every twenty years they fight among themselves. For instance, from us they’ve taken the bread, and that’s why everybody is dying.”

“It isn’t they who have taken it. It’s because of the blockade. I’ve heard tell it’s the fault of the English.”

“I don’t know whose fault it is,” said Yorgo; “what I do know, there’s no bread.”

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