11 November, 2013

The first world war written out in full letters

Hundreds of Angevins gathered on November 11th in Leclerc square to comme-morate the anniversary of the end of the first world war. Under the grey and wet sky, the Angers public communed with soldiers of the conflict, through the letters these sent to their families, letters read by pupils of some of the city schools. One of them, wrote by Jacques Pineau, a corporal of the French army, entrusted with liaisons missions, told about one century later, the horrors of which he was the witness.

Born in La Pommeraye, Jacques Pineau was sent to the front, in the Haute-Marne, from the beginning of the war. There, he wrote to his family dozens of letters about his daily "life". If the reading of a single extract by a child made (unvoluntary) disappear the emotional dimension of the letter (because it's not easy to speak in public), the texts were really for the attendance an historic lecture about the world war because many of the sufferings soldiers endured have, for a long time, disappeared from teaching books.

It is sure through that story, about a soldier and from a soldier, is able to bring closer that generation of 14-18 and their des-cendants. Jacques Pineau's experience is even very contemporay because he tells in his letters how he managed to avoid to watch the execution of two deserters who, in the years to come, could be exculpated from what was, then, a crime. Corporal Jacques Pineau was killed in June 1915.

No comments:

Post a Comment