The morning is grey, it was still summer when we came up, and we were one hundred and fifty strong. Now we freeze, it is autumn, the leaves rustle, the voices flutter out wearily: "One- two- three..." and cease at thirty-two. And there is a long silence before the voice asks: "Anyone else?"- and waits and then says softly: "In squads-" and then breaks off and is only able to finish: "Second company-" with difficulty: "second company- march easy!" A line, a short line trudges off into the morning. Thirty-two men.
"...The coffin has hit the fourth man in our hole on his outstretched arm. He tries to tear off his gas-mask with the other hand. Kropp seizes him just time, twists the hand sharply behind his back and holds it fast.Kat and I proceed to free the wounded arm... Fortunately, the man swoons and Kropp is able to help us. We no longer have to be careful, but work away till the coffin gives with a sigh before the spade that we have dug in under it.
"...'Leave me alone, let me go out, I will go out!" He won't listen to anything and hits out, his mouth is wet and pours out words, half choked, meaningless words. It is a case of claustrophobia, he feels as though he is suffocating here and wants to get out at any price. If we let him go he would run about everywhere regardless of cover. He is not the first