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自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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75年前のロックダウン

 


ガーンジー島の読書会を2年前に紹介させてもらった時は日本公開されていませんでしたが昨年ようやく日本でも一般公開されましたね。5月8日の第2次大戦の欧州戦勝記念日に合わせてメディアでは第二次大戦関連のニュースが報じられますが、Yutaが目に留めたのはこの記事。映画を見たからこそ興味がでたものです。

By Antonia Windsor  8 MAY 2020 • 9:45PM

Seventy-five years ago, on May 9, the population of the Channel Islands came to the end of a five-year lockdown when the British Navy arrived to free them from the Nazi occupying forces a day after Germany’s formal surrender at the end of the Second World War. A major party had been planned for this year, but it will of course have to happen online, as the islanders face a lockdown of a different kind. 

Nobody saw the occupation coming. In early 1940, these sunny British Isles were promoting themselves as a wartime tourism destination, the perfect bucket-and-spade beach holiday for those having to abandon annual holidays further afield. With attractive pink granite cliffs strewn with wildflowers, golden sand beaches and renowned local produce, the Channel Islands were a favoured destination for UK holidaymakers in the 1930s. I have photographs of my paternal grandmother with her stylish bob, leaning on the sea wall in front of Elizabeth Castle with my grandfather (they enjoyed their holidays to Jersey so much that they encouraged my father to move there with them in the 1960s, and it is where he met my mother, a Jersey girl). 

当時の閉じ込められた状況の酷さを回想していますが、もっと酷い待遇を受けたのは強制労働で連行されたロシア人たち。映画でも登場していましたが、この記事でも触れています。

“It meant five years of being cooped up with no freedom to express yourself,” Bob continues. “You couldn’t trust your closest friend because, if that person was arrested and interrogated, they might give you away. It was a false kind of life that everyone here had to live.”

If life was hard for residents, spare a thought for the thousands of Russian slaves used as forced labour during the occupation. They were among the 12,000 or so prisoners-of-war sent to Jersey to build the fortifications that litter the island, though other nationalities were granted more privileges than the Russians. Bob played a major part in assisting any Russians who escaped, and in 2013 was appointed MBE by the Queen. 

現在チャネル諸島もロックダウン中のようで、どうしてもオーバーラップするようですが、今回は食糧があるだけマシだとか。

“Now, 75 years later,” he observes wryly, “we are prisoners again.” 

Jersey is currently completely locked down, with no passenger services in and out of the island by boat or plane and just one daily lifeline flight to Southampton. Anyone who does arrive there is subject to 14 days of quarantine, while locals are allowed out for a two-hour window each day to shop or exercise. “The difference is that we have enough food,” says Bob. “During the occupation we were desperately hungry. All the time, we thought of food. Children leaving school were two inches shorter than normal at the end of the war.”

D-Day以降フランスから食料が入らなくなったと語っていますが、連合軍のノルマンディー上陸作戦は1944年6月6日ですからほぼ一年近く厳しい状況が続いたようです。そういう状況を考えるとLiberation Dayである5月8日は忘れられない日になるでしょう。

The same will be true in Guernsey, where residents hope to join in a virtual sing-song. Among them is Myrtle Whitfield, 83, who was three years old at the start of the occupation. She remembers the difficult months at the end of the war, after D-Day, when the island’s food supplies from France were cut off. “This current lockdown is tough, but at least we have food,” she says, echoing Bob’s sentiment. “On the other hand, during the occupation we could at least socialise and go to church. The Germans took over all the school buildings, so we used to have little schools set up in people’s houses. We were taught by people who weren’t qualified teachers, but we survived.” It is another scenario that has echoes of today.

Myrtle usually spends Liberation Day at a big celebratory tea with Forties music, followed by dinner with friends at a local restaurant overlooking the fireworks. “This day has always been a huge celebration for us,” she says. “People dress up, there are parades. It’s a big party.”

同じロックダウンを経験していても、その歴史によってその土地によって連想されるものは変わってくる。そんなことを読み取れる感覚を身につけていきたいです。
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Yuta

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