I had a neighbor over the other day to share some birthday cake in celebration of my son's first birthday. We run into each other all the time, but this is the first time we'd actually sat down and had a conversation. I knew she was getting up there in years and German, but for some reason it'd never occurred to me that this meant that she'd potentially lived through The War in Germany. Intellectually I think we all know that war is hard and weird and divisive, etc, but it's a very different thing to be sitting there being genuinely relieved that the allies never found the munitions plant, which would have annihilated the town, instantly killing her whole family, and at the same time thinking perhaps that was the factory that made the 16 bullets that hit my grandfather. For the record, she was 11 when the war broke out and had the good fortune to live in a farming hamlet where they were all more valuable making food than being forced to become cannon fodder.