Traces of World War I

World war I. The Great War. Austria-Hungary was not only one country in 1914 but also the largest country in Europe. When they talk in France and Belgium about le Grande Guerre, they mean WW1 and not WW2. Personally, I think WW1 is a much more interesting war than WW2. In those days people thought differently about wars. Wars were necessary at the time to “liberate” a country from rabble, unemployed and dissenters. To make men out of boys, to make the economy grow after the war, to make people feel that they need a government. Volunteers were fighting at the registration desk at the time and walked home crying when the train to the front was full. This war should be romantic.Yesterday we visited a part of the front line (Traces of WW1). We drove over deserted roads to villages that were wiped out, where only the foundations are still standing. The landscape looks different here than in the rest of France. Everywhere you see holes and bumps of up to 25 meters deep. That is a result of the 24-month bombing of this environment. For example, 10,000 soldiers lost their lives in a battle for just a little mountain. Many soldiers suffered from “shellshock”, a mysterious mental illness as a result of the continuously pressure waves of bomb attacks. These people were not seen as sick but as deserters. After their treatment, they were executed. See video below for shellshock.

 

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