Executive Summary Fire

Executive Summary Fire

Henri Barbusse
Fire
“The war is declared!” The first world.
“Our company is in reserve.” “Our age, we are all of different age, our regiment is a reserve, it was consistently supplemented by reinforcements – then the personnel units, then the militiamen.” “Where are we from? From different areas, we came from everywhere.” “What did we do? What do we want.” Who were we at the marked times, when we still had some place in our life, when we had not yet buried our fate in these burrows, where we were showered with rain and buckshot? Most of the farmers and workers. ” “Among us there are no people of free professions.” “Teachers are usually non-commissioned officers or orderlies,” “a lawyer is a colonel’s secretary, a rentier is a corporal, head of food in a non-combatant company.” “Yes, it’s true, we are different.” “And yet we are similar to each other.” “Bound by a common, irreparable fate,
“You always wait in war.” “Now we are waiting for soup, then we will wait for letters.” “Letters!” “Some have already nestled for writing.” “It is at this time that people in the trenches are again, in the best sense of the word, the same as they used to be.”
“What other news? The new order threatens with severe punishments for looting and already

contains a list of those responsible.” “A vagrant wine merchant passes by, pushing a wheelbarrow on which a barrel is sticking out, he sold a few liters of a sentry.”
The weather is terrible. The wind knocks down, the water floods the earth. “In the shed that was provided to us in the parking lot, it’s almost impossible to live, damn it!” “One half of it is flooded, there are rats swimming, and people are knocked together in the other half.” “And here you stand, like a pillar, in this pitch darkness, with your hands wide apart so as not to stumble on anything, you stand and shiver and howl from the cold.” It’s too dirty: the earth and stone slabs are covered with mud, and the straw mats are stamped with shoes and completely damp. ” “There is only one thing left: stretch out on the straw, wrap your head with a handkerchief or a towel to hide from the stench of rotting straw, and fall asleep.”
“In the morning,” “the sergeant watches vigilantly,” “so that all come out of the barn,” “so that no one escaped from work.” “Under continuous rain, along a diffuse road, there is already a second branch, collected and sent to work by a non-commissioner.”
“War is a mortal danger for all, there are no inviolable ones.” “At the edge of the village” “shot the soldier two hundred and fourth regiment” – “he decided to wriggle, did not want to go into the trenches.”
“Porylo – originally from Suchet”. “Our Germans were driven out of this village, he wants to see places where he lived happily in those days when he was still a free man.” “But all these places the enemy is constantly bombarding.” “Why do the Germans bombard Suchet?” It is unknown. ” “There is no one left and nothing left in this village”, except for the “hillocks on which the grave crosses are blackened, hammered into a wall of fogs, they resemble the crosses of the cross shown in the churches.”
“In the dirty wasteland, overgrown with burnt grass, the dead are lying.” “They are brought here at night, cleansing the trenches or the plain, they are waiting – many have been for a long time – when they are transferred to the cemetery, to the rear.” “Above the corpses fly letters, they fell out of pockets or pouches, when the dead were laid to the ground.” “A disgusting stench is carried by the wind over these dead people.” “In the fog there are hunched people,” “These are the nursing caregivers, loaded with a new corpse.” “Everything is bleeding from all things”. “We are leaving”. In these ghostly places we are the only living beings.
“Although it’s still winter, the first good morning tells us that soon spring will come again.” “Yes, the black days will pass, the war will end, and what will be there!” The war will probably end at this beautiful time of the year, it is already illuminating us and caressing us with its breaths. ” “True, tomorrow they will drive us to trenches.” “There is a deafening cry of indignation:” They want to kill us! “In response, the same dull sounds: -” Do not grieve! “
“We are in the open field, among the vast fogs.” “Instead of a road – a puddle.” “We’re moving on.” “Suddenly there, in the desert places where we are going, the star flares up and blossoms: it’s a rocket.” “There is a kind of cursory light ahead: a flash, a rumble.” This is a shell. ” “He fell” into our lines. ” “This is firing the enemy.” “Shoot a quick fire.” “Around us is a devilish noise.” “The storm of deaf strokes, hoarse, furious cries, piercing animal cries rage over the land, completely covered with tufts of smoke, we burrowed to the very neck, the earth rushes and swings from the whirlwind of shells.”
“… But the piece of green cotton wool that is spreading in all directions is waving and melting over the zone of fire.” “
“The fiery and iron whirlwind does not cease: shrapnel bursts with a whistle, large explosive shells rumble. The air thickens: it is dissected by someone’s heavy breathing, all round, deep and wide, the rout of the earth continues.”
“Clear the trench! Marsh!” “We leave this patch of battlefield where rifle volleys are shot, wounded and killed dead.” “We are driven to the rear cover.” “The roar of world destruction is subsiding.”
And again – “Come on!” “Forward!”
“We go out for our wire fences.” “Throughout the line, from left to right, the sky is throwing shells, and the earth are explosions.” A horrible veil separates us from the world, separates us from the past, from the future. ” “The breath of death pushes us, lifts, swings.” “Eyes flash, watery, blind.” “Ahead of the blazing collapse.” “Behind us they shout, they drive us:” Forward, damn! “” We are followed by the whole regiment! “We do not turn around, but, electrified by this news,” we are even more confident. “” And suddenly we feel: it’s all over. “” More there is no resistance, “” the Germans took refuge in holes, and we grab them like rats, or kill them. “
“We are moving further in a certain direction, probably this movement is planned somewhere there, by the authorities.” “We step on soft bodies, some still stir, groan and slowly move, bleeding to death.” The corpses, piled up and down like beams, crush the wounded, choke, take their life from them. ” “The battle quietly subside” …
“The poor countless toilers of battles!” “German soldiers” – “only unfortunate, vilely deceived poor people…” “Your enemies” – “businessmen and merchants”, “financiers, large and small businessmen who shut themselves up in their banks and houses, live a war and peacefully prosper in years of war “. “And those who say:” People hate each other! “,” The war has always been, it means it will always be! “They pervert the great moral principle: how many crimes they have built into virtue, calling it national!” “They are your enemies, wherever they may be born, whatever their name, in whatever language they lie.” “Look for them everywhere! Learn them well and remember once for all!”
“The cloud darkens and moves on the disfigured, exhausted fields.” “The earth shines sadly, the shadows move and are reflected in the pale stagnant water that has flooded the trenches.” “Soldiers begin to comprehend the infinite simplicity of being.”
“And while we are about to catch up with others in order to fight again, the black stormy sky is slightly opened.” A dark gleam appears between the two dark clouds, and this narrow strip, so mournful that it seems to be thinking, is still the news that the sun exists. “


Executive Summary Fire