Moved by a common impulse, we all stood to seek gropingly the even flow, the exultant unity of the Internationale. An aged, grizzled woman soldier sobbed like a child. Alexandra Ollontaï could hardly restrain her tears. The great song filled the hall, burst through doors and windows and rose to the calm sky. "The war is over, the war is over," said a young working woman next to me. Her face shone. And when it was finished and we remained there in a kind of embarrassed silence, a woman at the end of the hall cried, "Comrades, let us remember the women who died for liberty." And then we intoned the Funeral March, a slow, melancholy and yet triumphant air.
Translated by David LeVay
From Les guéillères ( Minuit, 1969; Viking, 1971).