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ISBN: 9781459411050-15

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Friends and Enemies

From: The Great Class War 1914-1918

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In all the armies there exists a strict apartheid between the officers, representatives

of the upper class, and their subordinates, almost exclusively proletarians and other

members of the lower orders. The majority of the officers look down on the simple

soldiers with contempt and treat them accordingly. Conversely, they are despised

as enemies by the soldiers. The official “foe,” on the other hand, is not considered

by many of the men to be a genuine enemy. This is illustrated by meetings

and fraternizations between allied and German soldiers, of which the famous

“Christmas truce” of December 1914 is merely the most spectacular example . . .

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Jacques R. Pauwels

JACQUES R. PAUWELS has taught European history at the University of Toronto, York University and the University of Waterloo. He is the author of several books on twentieth-century history, including The Myth of the Good War, in which he provides a revisionist look at the role of the United States and other Allied countries in the Second World War. An independent scholar, Pauwels holds PhDs in history and political science. He lives in Brantford, Ontario.