Spina, Belgrade, 2005 (The Legionary)
* 1968, Belgrade, Yugoslavia
Prison: Central Prison, Belgrade (Map)
From back cover:
" 'And what kinds of stories have you heard?'
'For instance, that deserters get swallowed by the dark and...'
I think that at the very beginning I told you that stories like these are spread about the Legion by losers who have served only one term or have deserted. They were mostly bad soldiers and could not find themselves in the Legion's family, so after leaving it, presumably to cure some of their complexes, they started to tell yarns in front of mere mortals so as to rise to unbelievable heights and so please their vanity ad basic instincts. Those stories were told for decades and on their basis was spread the myth of the Foreign Legion, wheras the truth was completely different.
That is why, among other reasons, I decided to write a book so that ordinary people could understand the truth, for the Legion is no ogre, but an honourable and professional army whose existence is based on a respected tradition."
"It is common knowledge that having graduated from the military academy at Saint Cyr, only the best young colonels can be sent to serve in the Legion. That service guarantees the advancement in the french armed forces and that is why many young officers struggle to start their service precisely in the Legion after the Academy.
Even today, the Legion has reserved the right to assign false identities to their people, if the legionary should so desire. Owing to those rules, the legionary who changes his identity has true anonimity and enjoys incomparable protection for as long as he is in service, and only he can decide when he wants to put an end to it.
One of the Legion's commanders, general Negrillet is known for these views: 'You legionaries exist to die and I send you were that is likely to happen!'
During my time in the Legion, I realised that man is the greatest beast and that his limits of endurance are outside the limits of reason.
The Legion somehow believed more in the readiness of the soldier than all that technology, like the Americans do. The machine can falter and break down, but a well-trained legionary never!
I was lost and at the edge of the abyss.
That is when I met Sandra. The love of my life. She opened my eyes and brought back my confidence weathered all my psychic crises and syndromes, because there were many things in this land which was alien to me at the time I could not understand."