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Wednesday
Jul232014

The Grave-Diggers

The Etobonais were now free to bury their dead. Work on a common burial site had begun, and neighbors from Belverne, Echavanne and Chenebier had come to dig the graves.

Saturday, December 2

The cannons are still firing near Thann, where the Germans are surrounded.

Jarko wants to leave tomorrow, but I ask him to wait until Jacques comes home in his coffin.  Oh, I’m so frightened!  I don’t want to see him, I push that vision away … And I remember that thug Vonalt, sitting there, near the stove, I hear his barking.  And that Blum, who stuck his muzzle into one of our coffee cups!  Oh, Jean, when you know the truth, you who send a card to your brother right when he was being killed!  His anguish went to your heart …  Since the liberation we are even more sad, sad that we can no longer be joyous.

Sunday, December 3

The able-bodied men of Belverne, Chenebier, Echavanne, come to dig two long common graves and a shorter one, going across, for our poor children, because we have no one to do this work.  We will build a monument in the center.  Pastor Lovy will preside at the service.

I went to see the diggers – it’s a beehive of activity.

M. Pernol has left for Chenebier to direct the painful work of exhumation.  The trucks have brought the coffins and twelve prisoners to help.  I’d prefer to pass on those guys.

Today they are opening the killing ground of the 27 victims at Banvillars.  M.P. went there yesterday.  He fears he’ll find more men of our village.  At Chenebier, they’ve already identified Gilbert and Henri Croissant.

Tomorrow I’ll ask the families to send sheets and pillows for the last sleep of our children.  And that they provide information on the clothing they were wearing to aid in identification.  What a trial!  No, I won’t go there.  I can’t.   I want to keep the memory of the handsome face of my son.  As for his soul, I know it’s not there.

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