Monday, October 10, 2011

the child of the enemy

THE CHILD OF THE ENEMY : Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

Historic and literary representations of the first world war have traditionally been male centred, constructed around the powerful imagery of trench warfare and the haunting words of a small group of tragic soldier poets. Colette,  was one of the "other" voices of war, pursued through the writings of women who lived through,served in or otherwise experienced the nightmare first hand.                                                                                           
Child of the Enemy was written about the woman during WWI, Its written about occupying soldiers having sex with women in the occupied territory. Some of that sex was consensual, some prostitution, some was rape.

It talks from a womans point of view and how they feel having these babies. " They areno longer in those first hours, those first days of dark madness in which they cried out their shame and asked themselves: "what am i to do?" Do you really think that a bitter, nine month meditation bears no fruit? By all means, give shelter to those who need it, give them support and whatever else they may need: work..some baby clothes.. but after that leave them alone sothey can get on with it. Even the most desperate and vindictive of victim mothers, will in the end, not really be capable of a crime, despite those who are already absolving her in advance.

A war child refers to a child born to a native parent and a parent belonging to a foreign military force (usually an occupying force, but also soldiers stationed at military bases on foreign soil). It also refers to children of parents collaborating with an occupying force. Having a child with a member of a belligerent foreign military, throughout history and across cultures, is often considered a grave betrayal of social values. Commonly, the native parent is disowned by family, friends and society at large.


Children whose either parent was part of an occupying force or whose parent(s) collaborated with enemy forces were innocent of any war crimes committed by their parents. Yet these children have felt condemned by the crimes uncovered in the subsequent prosecution of their parents' acts. As they grew to adolescence and adulthood, many of them harbored the feelings of guilt and shame.

....Leave her be; no doubt she does not know herself. But it will come to her in time. She suffers, but the optimism transmitted to the female laden with a precious human life, will subdue her torment. It will plead for the child which trembling there, endows its mother with an extra instinct.

But let us have confidence in the moment when she will see, exhausted and subdued, defenceless against her best instincts, that the monster is only a new-born baby, nothing but a baby greedy for life, a baby with vacant eyes and silvery down, with crimped and silky hands like a poppy which has only just opened its cup

Leave the woman alone.Say nothing...Hold your PEACE

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