Warriors’ rest?


To listen to this post in French, click below

1940 – My father (long sleeves) with fellow POW at Surgères
This photo was taken during the Phony War, la drôle de guerre. I have no information about who took this photo, whether it was taken by a fellow prisoner or by a German soldier.
Here again, everyone looks cheerful, looking at the camera, the two sham fighters posing, my father pretending he is going to join the “fight” and the other men all turned towards the camera. One man on the ground playfully waves at the photographer.
As my cousin Léo wrote in one of his comments on Diving into the Past, Most POWs’ photos I have seen show smiling inmates. Maybe they were just savoring these moments of rest when they didn’t have to pretend they were working for the enemy.

An afterthought: I had mixed feelings about this picture, but did not see why, until after I posted this. It suddenly dawned on me that anyone who has known my father would describe him as anything except a warrior. He was the most cultured, peaceful and civilized man, the oppposite of a macho, a man who enjoyed astronomy, reading, being with his family. And unlike a lot of men who enjoy telling about their soldier days, he never talked about being a POW or even about being in the army. A wonderful man.


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