Page:Above the battle.djvu/85

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Inter Arma Caritas

plenty of reliable evidence that in Germany and France alike the wounded of both countries are living in terms of friendship. There are even soldiers who refuse to have their wounds dressed or receive their rations before their comrades the enemy have received similar attention. And who knows if it is not perhaps in the ranks of the contending armies that the feelings of national hatred are least violent? For there one learns to appreciate the courage of one's adversaries, since the same sufferings are common to all, and since where all energy is directed towards action there is none left for personal animosity. It is amongst those who are not actively engaged that there is developed the harsh and implacable brand of hatred, of which certain intellectuals provide terrible examples.

The moral situation of the military prisoner is therefore not so overwhelming as might be imagined, and his lot, sad as it is, is less to be pitied than that of another class of prisoners of

    we have to transmit to their families—in which, for example, a German civil prisoner speaks of a pleasant walk, or of sea bathing, he has been allowed to enjoy. I have even come across the case of an entomologist who is peacefully absorbed in his researches, and profiting by his enforced sojourn in the South of France to complete his collection of insects.