24 July 2008

Les chiens, les pensées

Quietly [Gilbert] adds that the soldiers also murdered 37 members of his family.

"My little cousins," he says, "I still can't forget the little cousins you see, I used to play with them and they were so..."

But then his voice trails away and I can see him pushing the memory back under.

Instead he tells me his story of survival, how for two nail-biting hours his mother, sisters and the two sheep dogs hid silently in a stream under a bridge while unsuspecting German officers yelled orders above them.

"Why didn't they discover us?" Gilbert asks. "Why didn't the sheep dogs who always barked at loud noises, give us away?"
-- from The forgotten French village massacre.

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