THE GHOSTS OF 1894
1894 – 1994
I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation.
Born after the birth of Berlin’s 1894, Habineza lives shortly in the villages of Rwanda until the 1959 Hutu Revolution when he and his family are forced to flee the country into Uganda – into the fangs of Idi Amin’s ghosts. Believing that the ghosts of Idi Amin will never be exorcised, he leaves for his home country where he starts a family until the ghosts of 1994 emerge and set fire upon the highly inflammable Army, militia, and the people.
Again Habineza is on the run, this time in the company of his wife, two children, a journalist, and a family friend. Will they slip through the bloody roadblocks set up by the dreaded Interahamwe militia? Or will the UN headquarter look the other way?
“What shall we do?” the King asked. “Will the Britons save us from the Germans?”
Maybe, maybe not.
The superior Germans marched into Belgium with vengeance. They destroyed the country. With premeditated assault, they executed civilians throughout eastern and central Belgium. They burned villages, ravaged cities, set civilians on fire. Even libraries were soaked in gasoline and torched.
If it was true that the war between the French and Germans had caught Belgium between a hammer and anvil, it was a gross understatement.
They had been walking for hours and now they were about to enter the enemy territory. If they had to make true their threat, this was the time. The forest was lonely and quiet except for the occasional singing of birds and croaking of frogs. A thick canopy, dripping with trapped dew and rain, blocked the sun and the warmth.
“They’ve ravaged our land in Europe, it’s time gentlemen, in the spirit of revenge, to ravage theirs here in Africa,” the Belgian officer told his troops. And they laughed sheepishly, then, remembering the carnage forced upon them by the bombastic and impetuous German Emperor, the desire to avenge the murder of their people overwhelmed them. They trudged east and attacked the representatives of the Emperor, annexing Ruanda-Urundi.
As the Germans retreated under heavy fire, the Belgians sang,
One day we will kill your children and rape your women,
Just like you killed our women in Liège
Just like you murdered our children in Leuven and Dinant
They gorged the eyes of three German soldiers and as the Germans screamed they sang,
To the screams of our dying men and burning children in Aarschot
They burned their shelters. And as they fled, they sang,
This is to our villages of Tamines and Brabant.