Next in sequence         Previous in sequence         Home         Pastel index

Zouave (see in Wikipedia)
Jos. Louis Helmlinger (from Riedwir, Alsace)

This war which has wiped out so many traditional images, which has given a new look to the glory of the forces’ uniforms, has robbed us of the Zouaves. No longer do we see the baggy trousers, the white leggings, the braided jacket; this brilliant dress which evoked the north African wars, the capture of Smalah (see in Wikipedia) and the helmet of father Bugeaud, nothing is left but the fez. The Zouaves of the great war, lost in their khaki uniforms, planted their fez over their ears and like their predecessors, they demonstrated to the enemy that nothing could resist their bayonets. They were fine heroic soldiers, renowned in imagery and song. Looking at this Zouave from Alsace we rediscover all of his kind: in the firm shape of his brow, in the curve of his chin is revealed the tenacious willpower, the energy which nothing will overcome; and in his slightly veiled expression, like a melancholy born of all those harsh times, the pursuit of a dream. A trooper, whipped by the wind of all those battles, hardened by the harshest life men have ever lived through, traditional trooper with discipline and faith, the peace will return him to his country, his land. Outside the large farms of Alsace he will recount his campaigns, and when in the evenings he will walk again with Suzel or Fritzi, his red fez will be illuminated like a poppy in the cornfield.