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We Remember ...

There were more signs that the Germans were disengaging ... the Etobonais were able to ring the church bells on November 11 without permission and without complaint from the occupiers. Convoys continued to bring the dead and wounded from the front by the main road.

Thursday, November 9

The Germans have been waiting impatiently for November 7,  presidential election day in the U.S.  And it’s Roosevelt again.  They are not happy.

Emile Bonhotal, on a work detail to dig trenches at the front, hid the rifle of one of the guards.  (The rifle was found two months later, intact.)

Saturday, November 11

The eleventh of November!  We remember … We had two pastors today, M. Lugbull, who went on to lead worship at Belverne, and M. Nétillard, who led worship at 3:00.  Without asking anyone’s permission, we rang the two church bells.  No reaction at all.

Ernest was the only German in church.

Sunday, November 12

Rain and snow.  I took Jarko a piece of  sheet metal, a leather apron, and a calf skin to cover his hut.  He’s also received a sack of carrots, a sack of apples, an alcohol lamp, a cooking pot.  With that, he can hold on even in a big snow.  He has good sheep’s wool socks and René Bauer’s sabots, which were found in the school after the departure of our 67 men.

In front of the school, in a lake of mud, incessant comings and goings of trucks, cars.  Those that return from the front in the evening are usually loaded with wood.  Behind them, the dead.  On top, the wounded … The boches who’ve been stationed in this village won’t do us any violence when they leave us.  We know them.  We know if they’re Catholics or Protestants.  But those at the front!  We can expect anything.

Monday, November 13

A supposedly new invention is building up the morale of our occupiers.  It’s a winged torpedo, the V2, that goes up to 100 kilometers (they say!)  We’ll see.

Willy Imbey comes back muddy, his feet swimming in his flooded shoes.  We offer to dry them for him.  “Not worth the trouble.  Tomorrow, impossible to put them on.  Always in water.  Soon kaput.  Same to me to end like that.”

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