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A Brave Friend

The dead were buried, but the suffering continued. Jarko, a Serbian soldier who had been hidden at Etobon, was finally able to return home. He had fought alongside the maquis and become a well-known figure in Etobon. Pierre Goux, shot in Bavilliers, returned to his home in a coffin. He would be buried near his companions.

Sunday, December 10

Jarko has left, never to return, to hide his tears.  Armed with a document of safe passage, he will go to Paris, from where he’ll return to Serbia.  A brave friend has left us … This Sunday seems so long, without their presence.  My heart feels like a stone in my chest.

Monday, December 11

Misery!  A car brought yet another coffin.  I help carry this poor Pierre Goux into the sacristy, where, not long ago, we had lain Raymond Besson.  Since then, only the dead.  I stayed alone by the coffin for a long time and thought about many things.

Tuesday, December 12

We’re burying Pierre Goux near his comrades.  It’s almost more sad than the other day, when we had to organize, transport the dead, unroll the ropes.  Today, its’ definitive.  Each one cries near their own dead.  Oh, that my sister would have pity on me in front of these two graves!  And Suzette and Aline, and everyone.  I’ve never seen so many people weeping together.  The outsiders have left.  Now it’s only us, faced with our dead.  And there are more to come.  Even for us the war isn’t over yet:  every day the mines create more victims.  The mayor of Brevilliers, a teacher from Héricourt, a soldier burned to cinders in his tank, blown up by these diabolical things.  At Chenebier, little Roland Hénisse, 10 years old, killed by a grenade.  Others at Ronchamp … And the list is not complete. And the concentrations camps are still at work. [Monday, May 14, 1945, we learned of the death, in the camps, in atrocious conditions, of Fernand and Raymond Nardin, then Jacques Christen, the brothers Edgar and René Quintin, children of 17 and 19 years old, Raoul Clainchard, three days after having been freed.  Since December 12, more deaths, everywhere, by mines and grenades.]

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