By Uri Avnery, Christopher Costello
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Additional resources for 1948: A Soldier's Tale - The Bloody Road to Jerusalem
17 1948 The way back is just the way out in reverse. Around the guard, crawling up the slope. There’s a sentry standing by the gap in the wire. Five motionless minutes with his face pressed against the ground. At last he’s gone. Slip under the wire, one leap to the barracks – made it! The lights are still on in the barracks. It is warm inside. His comrades are arranging the beds. Chatting and swearing like always. As he comes in they look at him enviously. ” His friend approaches. “What was it like?
Someone points to a steep mountain to the right of us, with a flag waving. I take the field glasses. It is a blue-white flag. 20 We are a bit annoyed about this Castel. It became famous and overshadowed our victories although we saw them as the peak of military success. The people from Castel have climbed down to us on the road. Someone raises a tin of sardines in our honor: the symbol of the army at the front. Together we have fought to clear this road. They have suffered the same as us, made the same sacrifices, fought like us with grenade launchers, rifles, against fleas and sardines.
We will have to be ready – as soon as the command arrives – to depart within twenty minutes. In the late afternoon we return to camp. We have hardly had time to change our clothes when there is another roll call. We line up in silence. We are waiting for the list. The boss gives us a searching look. In his hand is a white sheet of paper. We know: the list. “I will read the names of reserve number one. The men will line up in three rows before me …” One name after another. After each name your heart skips a beat.
1948: A Soldier's Tale - The Bloody Road to Jerusalem by Uri Avnery, Christopher Costello