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1914 reality ... even for hardware collectors.

946 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Bayonetcollector
Something interesting came out of the crash of my old PC. I forgot all about it but ...
The attachment is a poster printed and distributed by the German army at the very start of WWI in Belgium. It speaks for itself and I made a translation that (I hope) says what it was all about ... no more, no less!
Because it is my mother tongue it strikes me that it must have been printed in a hurry. There are, at least, 20 errors or typos in this very short old Flemish text. This poster was made for the city of "Namen" ("Namur" in French because it is Walloon country) I know, you all are collectors of real things, weapons, gear etc. Please go a step further and try to follow my drift.
The original text, addressed to the civilians, reads like this (translation is word by word, IMHO it's the only way to give the utmost reality to the interested reader):

Flemish text:
The Belgian and French soldiers must be delivered, as prisoners of war, before 4 o'clock at the prison.
The civilians which will not follow this order will be condemned at forced labour for life. Every soldier that will be found will be shot immediately through the head ... Every street will be occupied by a German watch which will take ten hostages per street, these will be guarded severely. If there would be an attack in the street, the hostages will be shot through the head.
The residents of Namur have to understand that there is no greater or more cruel murder than the existence of the town or the lives of the inhabitants if they decide to attack the German army.
The General:
Von Bulow.
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Dear tplan, I can understand that not everyone is interested in WWI or WWII. It's gone, it is the past. My daughter asks me sometimes about some things, when she has looked at the WWI chests (they contained my dad's belongings) I allowed her to take from the cellar. Even in my twenthies I was to young to get an answer from an old dog of war. I said it before ... I would give a fortune to have one day (only one!) of conversation with my late dad about his adventures, his sorrows, his fallen comrades, his joys in Paris, his WWI-life when he was young. My beloved wife calls me an adventurer, I admit that I am somewhat like this but realize that she would have taken a great step backwards if ever she could have looked in my dad's eyes.
This is a collectors board, it interests me and I realize that the only thing I can offer to all of you is my interest in old German texts.

Big Commander, even of you had that day with your Dad, unless you have been to war yourself, it is unlikely he'd be enthusiastic about discussing the war, nor would you, probably, really understand the real issues if he did. There are things that happen that cannot really be explained or understood unless you've been there. And it is my opinion it is better if you manage to avoid that particular understanding if possible and can do so without dishonor. I know for sure I never really understood until I'd been in Southeast Asia for a while. And if i could forget that part of my life, I might or might not. be more comfortable if I could, i guess. But I'd also be be amputating a part of myself and i guess i wouldn't want to do that. Besides - it makes me more cautious about wanting to resort to armed force than might otherwise be the case, and that is a good thing I do believe...

And WWI, especially in the line, was MUCH worse than the war i had. Much worse, unbelievably worse.
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