Sunday, November 11, 2007

When will we learn from history?

geeft acht!
plaats rust!
hoofd rechts!
richt u!
rechts om - links om keert!
over - geweer!
zet aw - geweer!
laadt - geweer!
legt an! zet af!

Today, November 11th, at 11 a.m. [plus 11 seconds], those Germans being fond of carnival, celebrated the start into their so-called fifth season.

Today, November 11th, at 11. a.m., 89 years ago the armistice being considered as the end of the first World War came into effect.

Isn't life strange? On the same day, some people are celebrating carnival, others are remembering the victims of war.

No, I do not mind the carnival revelers along the Rhine and elsewhere getting beside themselves with joy.

But I do recommend visiting James Higham's blog (nourishing obsurity) and read following two posts:

[armistice day] the story behind it


[monday, november 11th, 1918] pray for humanity

I do have nothing essential to add to what James wrote.

Only this: The orders above which I think need no translation I took from a "Flemish phrase book", printed (around 1915?) "primarily for the German soldiers and officers in Belgium".

I do hope there will no phrase books being printed again - in whatever language(s) - containing such phrases.
Unfortunately, I am no magician, and therefore my spell to learn from history will (probably) not come into effect.


  1. Somehow, I was at that carnaval.I've just read this. I felt really strange...

  2. The first part was Dutch, Flemish is a little different..))

  3. There is an interesting blog on the internet about a soldier's letters sent to his wife and brother from the front in France.

    Pvt. Harry Lamin's letters are timeless and universal for all soldiers writing to loved ones back home. These letters are posted on the site by his grandson, exactly 90 years to the day after they were penned by Pvt. Lamin himself in the trenches.

    With exactly one year left to the day for the war, we aren't sure if Harry Lamin survives.

    To find out Harry's fate, you need to follow the blog!

    Interesting read as his letters are full of history and emotion.

  4. All:
    Will you please forgive my long delay?

    Miss Copernicus:
    Good you felt "strange"! And thank you very much for telling.
    Nevertheless, I do hope you enjoy(ed) your time. Enjoy every second as long as you do not forget you are "privileged".

    Surprising or "typical" German? The contents would not hold what the title promises.
    What would have been the correct Flemish?

    Thanks for the link.
    Unfortunately, those longing for not much more than living a peaceful life are sitting on a powder-keg, and a few others are sitting at the other end of the fuse.