May 29, 2023

The work in the fields gave pleasure to the prisoner of war amand

The work in the fields gave pleasure to the prisoner of war amand

Continued from 29. September … On this bitterly cold 29. December 1944 flamierge is still spared, but the front is only two kilometers away and the noises of battle move quickly through the cold winter wind.

And in one of the stables in flamierge, amand dubuisson stands among his little herd of cows. He likes it there next to his animals in the cozy atmosphere of the cow barn. The warmth of the animals and their chewing gave him a sense of peace and comfort.

There he stood under what had always been, trying to block out all the madness going on further outside. He puts his hand on the flank of his favorite cow and spurts through the warm skin of the animal the gurgle of the always busy belly. He looks at her udder, which is filling up, and looks at the veins on its surface. What a good girl, he thinks, who even now produces milk in these difficult times. He knows how lucky he is to still have his animals. It is known that many of the neighboring villages at the front have lost all their livestock in the last 13 days. The madness of war, thinks amand.

Amand weib, what war means

This time he had been too old to be drafted. But he had known the atrocities of war well. The other war they call the rough war, only 30 years ago. And he remembers how his entire unit was captured at the very beginning in 1914. He had been sent to germany, first to a camp. Food was scarce, and the conditions drained even the strongest of the men of all vital energy. But the german troops at the front needed food, and all the young men were away fighting.

Only the old, women and children had to devote themselves to work in the factories and fields. So he had been taken further inside germany, across the rough rhine to the vicinity of nurnberg, to work the fields in the village of frimmersdorf. He had spent four years there, the four years of the war, four years of his life.

Better than in the camp

And my good one, it was much better than being in the warehouse. Of course, the work was relentless and the conditions were harsh. There were the guards. But there was food, there was a safe place to sleep and rest after a long day's work in the fields.

And the local population had buried, strangely enough, the arrival of this deported population, in the midst of a war that they did not really understand and that seemed to be fought in countries that they did not know; that was discussed and planned in spheres that they did not reach and yet a war that had taken away their husband, their son, their brother.

Learned french

Amand spent his life in frimmersdorf during these four years of captivity. It had become his normality, his reality. He had slowly learned the local dialect and could quickly converse fondly with the locals. And despite all the adversity, he couldn't help but care for the earth, the soil with care and attention.

In his hometown in the belgian ardennes, he had always been an excellent farmer, and even here, working in the enemy fields, he took great pride in his work. And the locals have realized.


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