Each had defended his own country; the Germans Germany, the Frenchmen France; they had done their duty.
We thrust our fingers into our ears to stop its moan; but it was no good; the cry cut like a drill into our heads, dragging minutes into hours, hours into years. We withered and grew old between those cries.
We revolutionaries acknowledge the right to revolution when we see that the situation is no longer tolerable, that it has become a frozen. Then we have the right to overthrow it.
Soldiers and peasants lived together on friendly terms; they knew each other and their everyday routines, and trusted each other; they shook their heads together over the war.
The revolution is like a vessel filled with the pulsating heartbeat of millions of working people.
And suddenly, like light in darkness, the real truth broke in upon me; the simple fact of Man, which I had forgotten, which had lain deep buried and out of sight; the idea of community, of unity.
Slogans which deafened us so that we could not hear the truth.
As a boy I used to go to the Chamber of Horrors at the annual fair, to look at the wax figures of Emperors and Kings, of heroes and murderers of the day. The dead now had that same unreality, which shocks without arousing pity.