13 Oct 1918: POW Graudenz

Sunday. Oct 13th     Latest news! Germany’s new socialist or democratic government has accepted Wilson’s terms, have consented to evacuate Belgium and France, prior to discussing peace terms, as a guarantee of good faith.

Have since had a most interesting and enlightening talk with a very decent interpreter.  He confidently expects peace within a week.  He told us with tears in his eyes of the way the German people had been led by the nose, how that, for the sake of their country and the cause which they had been taught to believe was right their armies had struggled in the field and their civilians had suffered at home; how that his wife and five kiddies had been nearly starving in Berlin for two years – living on the barest rations, existing in rooms with no fire throughout the winter, allowed gas for cooking for only an hour or so each day; how that theirs was no isolated case, but common to all Germany; how that they had all, soldiers and civilians stuck it out, only to find now that they have been deceived by their leaders.  It transpires that Wilson promised them peace in 1916 and again in 1917 with his guarantee for Alsace Lorraine – but their leaders, lustful of conquest, and the large firms like Krupps, desirous of continuance of the war, rejected the proposal, nor had the average man in the street in Germany the slightest inkling that a tentative proposal had been made.

The sufferings, he added, they had cheerfully borne, but now, to know that, not only was it in vain, but actually in a wrong cause, was heartbreaking.

It was a very interesting and rather a pitiful tale he told.  But what most concerns us is that, please God, we’ll be home by Xmas, or soon after.  Hurrah!!!

Inman dressed up as a girl tonight.  Quite a success.  The German officer was frightfully tickled when he entered for the evening roll call.

On parole the other day we met a whole crowd of French officers.  We all saluted and yelled greetings to each other and one officer waved to me and called out ‹À bientot en France›