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Few return form war.

Michael Lehofer writes the following text in reference to Aurelia Meinhart’s project.

Few return from war. Some die, others are damned to always think, talk and dream of it. Some of the survivors remain silent. They are silent and remain forever concealed from themselves and from others.

Many who returned from war alive describe the war as the last time in their lives when they were actually alive. It is not easy to live when so many parts inside are already dead.

Some cling to life because they don’t want to give up hope that their own lives will return from the war prisons. They believe in miracles. We all know how often miracles happen.

The war letters to wives and mothers are brave letters. Combat journalism of the heart is different from anything we know. The hopeless console, the fearful encourage, the injured give first aid. This shows: there is only one way for us to get healed. It is to face the situation and not look away.

Mortal danger and fear of death are constant companions that you can’t leave behind. You can’t get rid of them. You can gild them, but after the next rain everything is washed off and you can see them again, crystal clear and threatening. You can try to chase them away with alcohol, work, ideologies, brotherhoods, but in the end nothing helps that should.

In the end the inner stiffness becomes apparent. To live life in a living body but with a dead stiff soul tears one apart. It doesn’t take much and you make up for what you could avoid during the war.

The others don’t understand anything, which makes the loneliness even more acute. Only with old comrades you have a silent agreement, a consciousness of the common secret. The rest of your life is a funeral and a promise from the past.

Few return from war.

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