What a farce!!
By Emile M Tubiana
January 1943 World War II story, I withessed an aerial Dogfights between British and German fighter planes.
What a farce!
January 1943 , I withessed a battle between British and German fighter planes. The Germans increased their air raids but we stayed outside of the farm buildings, as we were more afraid of typhus than of bombing. One day I recall watching aerial dogfights. We were stupidly following their attacks, as if it was a soccer game. The pilots tried to place their planes behind each other in order to have a better target. Whenever one of them succeeded they were alternately applauded by the Frenchs, by the Italians, by the Jews or the Arabs according to separate loyalties. But I did not enjoy this scene since I knew that these two men in the sky fought for their survival as one would probably die leaving his family bereft. Suddenly the British pilot positioned himself behind the German and fired at him.
The German plane wrapped in a black cloud headed down to the ground. It was heartbreaking to watch. Thank God the German had time to open his parachute, there was hope he would see his family again, although he might be held as a prisoner for a while! Unfortunately the English pilot not satisfied with his victory fired at the German's parachute. The German's head fell on his chest and his body thumped to the ground with a leaden sound. British soldiers the French Farmers and Jewish refugees ran out to rescue the body of that poor fellow who died for his motherland and freedom. In fact he died because his superiors sent him into battle. A small bible was found in his pocket but that did not help him very much. Possibly the British pilot had one too. No doubt they worshipped the same God. In the afternoon a brief ceremony was held and three salvers were fired in salute by a British platoon to honor the dead pilot. What a farce! One has just buried Jesus again. His parents will be notified by an elegant piece of paper saying "Your son is missing" or "Your son died for his country". They will never see him again. But I saw him alive and dead. He was too young to die, he knew death before knowing life.
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