Learning from War (Der Krieg als Erzieher)


We were told moving stories of the purifying effects of war, particularly in its early days. It was claimed that it stimulates everything noble and extinguishes everything base in the human spirit. Now, after more than four years of blows, thrusts and shots, we can begin to draw a fairly accurate moral balance of the war. It is a terrible deficit. It turns out that war punishes virtue and rewards vice, that it blesses the bad and curses the good, that under its auspices the good do badly and the bad do well, that it reduces the finest instincts of the human heart to absurdity, and leads its basest to success. It turns out that war is God’s enemy. For example:

Continue reading

The water carriers (Wasserträgerinnen)


Twenty years ago, I spent a few twilit days in a mountain village in central Italy – I will only mention its noble name to myself. It is a narrow village with dark alleys and a lot of wine bars, on whose ceilings sausages and horse cheeses hang, all mixed up. In front of the village gate there is a spring to which the girls came in the evening to get water.

Continue reading