Reading for Wednesday, 15 April
But all of this was just more calm before yet another storm. Everyone’s rounded up and the French are on the move again.
The thing to note with this chapter is, of course, Tolstoy’s view that men, under normal circumstances, do not act inhumanely. I’m not entirely in agreeance with him, but nonetheless the flow of this book has been from the French, who become almost humane to their prisoners in the last couple of chapters – but now become cold again as they are swept along by the movement of events.
It’s very much the old question that often gets asked about the Germans in WWII. Were they all anti-Semitic willing servants of Hitler? Or were most of them against him and terrified? Obviously, a bit of both, but who can tell what most drives someone’s actions at any given point of time? At the end of the day, you only have their actions and either what they say their motives were or what someone else thinks their motives were.