I thought the war would never end. And perhaps it never did, either.
Peace was declared, but not all of us were drunk with joy or stricken blind.
It's an old ploy of the bourgeoisie. They keep a standing 'art' to defend their collapsing culture.
The bourgeoisie and the petty bourgeoisie have armed themselves against the rising proletariat with, among other things, 'culture.'
What can I say about the First World War, a war in which I served as an infantryman, a war I hated at the start and to which I never warmed as it proceeded?
Very little changed fundamentally, except that the proud German soldier had turned into a defeated bundle of misery and the great German army had disintegrated.
The war was a mirror; it reflected man's every virtue and every vice, and if you looked closely, like an artist at his drawings, it showed up both with unusual clarity.
The cult of individuality and personality, which promotes painters and poets only to promote itself, is really a business. The greater the 'genius' of the personage, the greater the profit.
I had grown up in a humanist atmosphere, and war to me was never anything but horror, mutilation and senseless destruction, and I knew that many great and wise people felt the same way about it.
In 1916 I was discharged from military service, or rather, given a sort of leave of absence on the understanding that I might be recalled within a few months. And so I was a free man, at least for a while.