realizing it, by German reaction. Salomon describes them as 'we, who are pursued and pursuers; who are even filled with disgust at our own deeds.' Salomon still lives in Germany, although he is not a Nazi.
from The Outlaws by ERNST VON SALOMON, translated by Ian F. D. Morrow
IN THE MIDDLE of December the troops returned from the front. Only one division, from the neighborhood of Verdun, was expected in the town.
The crowd was gathered on the footpaths. A few houses timidly displayed red, white, and black bunting. There were a great many women and girls, some of them carrying baskets of flowers or little parcels. The main streets were crowded with people who, after some pushing, consented to stay quietly on the pavements, waiting for the troops. We felt as if the depression which had hung over the town for weeks past had suddenly been lifted a little; as if the spell that had kept people apart had all at once been broken. It almost felt like the old days, when a big victory had been announced. We were ready to give rein to our enthusiasm; we were inclined to credit everybody with being moved by the same sensations as ourselves. We had all suffered; and the troops would bring the solution of our difficulties. We stood, craning our necks to see if they were not in sight yet, and all our hopes centered on this one idea: that everything would be changed. We stood and waited for the 'best of the nation.' Their sacrifice could not have been worthless. The dead had not died in vain-that could not be, that was impossible. It seemed significant to me that we were all standing and waiting, each one formulating his own wishes. How various these wishes must be! Yet they must be at one in recognizing that each wished for the best. Our troops were coming, our brave army, which had done its duty to the uttermost, which had given us glorious victories; victories that seemed almost unbearably splendid now that we had lost the war. The army had not been conquered. Our men had stood firm to the last. They, were coming home and they would knit up all the old bonds.