Because I am so keen to learn more, I circulate the camp, foolishly throwing caution to the wind, asking questions in broken English and my rather imperfect French. ‘What are you doing?’ I hear an English sergeant shout. He grabs me by the shoulder and drags me away. His words are incoherent after that but I get the gist that I am being accused of spreading propaganda.
‘Sorry, sorry!’ I stutter. I am truly terrified by my stupidity but I cannot defend myself. I am sandwiched between two soldiers, who lift me up and throw me into an isolation cage. I crack my head as I land on the concrete ground and everything goes black. When I come to, they have closed the door and the heat is pressing down on me. Slivers of light filter through cracks of my box-like, steel prison. There is a smell of old sweat and urine from previous captives and I know I have acted like an idiot. I remain locked up there for a couple of days. I am fed bread and water twice a day for which I am grateful. However, the inactivity and suffocating heat nearly drives me insane.
Finally, they release me and of course, I have learnt a lesson and keep my mouth shut. It was a hard and necessary lesson to learn. All the same, I am still keen to find out if there is any other news. Luckily, I don’t even have to ask questions, as everyone is talking about Pearl Harbour and the fact that eighteen US navy battleships were either run aground or sunk. ‘Nearly two hundred American aircraft destroyed with more than twenty-four hundred American soldiers killed and over a thousand more injured,’ says one of my Italian colleagues. ‘Italy and Germany have officially declared war on America after Japan’s tactical strike!’
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