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Zweibund — the Dual Alliance — Germany and Austria-Hungary united, were the core of the Central Powers, and here join hands. The bars of Germany's flag border the top left, and those of the Habsburg Austrian Empire and ruling house the bottom right.
Text:
Schulter an Schulter
Untrennbar vereint
in Freud und in Leid!'

Shoulder to shoulder
Inseparably united 
in joy and in sorrow!

Zweibund — the Dual Alliance — Germany and Austria-Hungary united, were the core of the Central Powers, and here join hands. The bars of Germany's flag border the top left, and those of the Habsburg Austrian Empire and ruling house the bottom right.

Image text

Schulter an Schulter

Untrennbar vereint

in Freud und in Leid!'



Shoulder to shoulder

Inseparably united

in joy and in sorrow!

Other views: Larger, Back

Saturday, June 24, 1916

"One night, returning from work, we found the shelter surrounded by thirty or so very young men—volunteers, or forced conscripts from the classes of 1917 and 1918 not yet called up.

Skinny, beardless, and with insolent looks and talk full of the cheekiness of a Parisian Gavroche, these were what they called 'seasoned' guys, despite the fact that some of them had the faces of girls or of kids of fifteen. . . .

To these kids precocious in vice, they had opened the prison gates in exchange for enlistment for the duration of the war. This was offered as a form of rehabilitation."

Quotation Context

Excerpt from the notebooks of French Infantry Corporal Louis Barthas, late June, 1916. Barthas' reserve regiment had served at Hill 304 in the Verdun sector from May 6, to May 19, 1916 where the regiment lost as many as 1,050 killed, wounded, and missing. The losses were replaced with young men, and the reserve regiment was made an active duty, regular regiment. Among the young men Barthas describes were some who had come directly from reform school, others who had pocketed some money while working, some were pimps, and one had kidnapped a girl of 14 to marry her against her parents wishes. Gavroche, to quote Barthas's translator Edward M. Strauss, is a 'character in Victor Hugo's Les Misérables, the quintessential street-smart, wise-cracking urchin of Paris. [p. 401]'

Source

Poilu: The World War I Notebooks of Corporal Louis Barthas, Barrelmaker, 1914-1918 by Louis Barthas, pp. 225, 226, copyright © 2014 by Yale University, publisher: Yale University Press, publication date: 2014

Tags

1916-06-24, 1916, June, reform school, street kid, sullen boy