Why (Warum)?

Thu, 03 Mar 2016

WHY (Warum)?

From Issue 5 of the Lager Zeitung newspaper dated 1 March 1917

As well as the humour, the newspapers dealt with the shared frustration and boredom of life within the camp. From Camp 4's Lager-Zeitung second edition in November 1916, this poem probably summed up what so many of them were feeling:

“And, because you have time enough,
On this and that, you ponder,
Why things are like this, and sadly
Why things are this way, you wonder.

Why, for instance, one was
Eliminated from the world
Which, but a short time ago,
One so delightfully adorned.

Why was one so far away
When war crept over the home terrain,
Why was one not at home?
One had a functioning brain!

Why have we no idea whether
This thing will last the duration,
After all, there’s little joy
In indefinite incarceration.

Why should a criminal convict know
The day when he’ll be free
Yet knowledge of this vital date
Is denied to an internee.

Why the question, day in, day out,
Why do we keep asking ‘why?’,
Why all this stupid thinking:
You think, why think at all”














With their wide circulation, copies of Knockaloe and other internment camp newspapers can be found in private collections, archives and libraries around the world.  The Copies above were obtained as follows: