The argument of a “Just War” aside, one can’t help but be appalled by displays of man’s inhumanity to man in situations of (prolonged) armed conflict.
Naisip ko ito after I finished reading this nice book — “nice” hindi dahil sa kwento, kasi giyera nga siya, which is the opposite of nice… but for the way it captures the emotions connected with war, emotions from both sides of the line.
That book is Vasily Grossman‘s “A Writer at War,” edited and translated from the original by Antony Beevor and Luba Vinogradova.
Btw, this was lent to me by a dear friend and colleague, who is a fellow “booksale addict” (halata ba sa presyo nung libro? hehe)
What’s striking about the book, apart from the compelling story-telling, were the circumstances surrounding the author himself.
First off, Grossman, although a very talented correspondent, was a Ukrainian Jew — something very inconvenient to be in Stalin‘s Soviet Union, to say the least.
Second, due to events entirely out of his control, Grossman found himself witnessing the initial crushing defeats and subsequent overwhelming triumphs of the Red Army, ordered as he was by his superiors in the Soviet military newspaper, Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star), to stay very close to the frontlines of the Eastern Front.
Needless to say, I was often at the edge of my seat while reading the book… wait, make that “at the edge of the kutson” (masarap kasing magbasa habang nakahilata sa kama. hehehe…)
Maraming seryosong usapin ang inihatag ng librong ito. Pero ang pinaka-mahalaga marahil, at ito rin (yata) ang naging realisasyon ni Grossman sa dulo, ay ang sumusunod:
Nasa tama ka man o nasa mali, ang barbarismo ay barbarismo pa din. Kahit sa kalaban ito gawin, o kahit kasama ang gumagawa; dulot man ng poot at ng pagnanais na ipaghiganti ang mga mahal sa buhay … wala pa ring puwang sa mundo ang ganitong klaseng pag-uugali.
Saktong-sakto sa mga kaganapan sa Maguindanao nitong nakaraang araw 😦