#20: Standing Up to His Commanders as a Small Act of Rebellion
In times of war, survival often comes down to quick thinking and clever tactics. This was certainly the case for the author’s grandfather, who lived through both World Wars. As a skilled mechanic, he was put to work fixing vehicles for the invading German army during WWII. However, instead of using his fluency in German to his advantage, he pretended not to understand a word of it.
This clever ploy allowed him to make honest mistakes that didn’t put him in too much danger, much to the frustration of his commanding officer. Despite their mutual animosity, the officer recognized the value of his skills and kept him on. In a final act of defiance, when the Germans received orders to retreat, the grandfather bid them farewell with a powerful, profanity-laced speech. It’s stories like these that remind us of the resilience and ingenuity of people during difficult times.