Kamarad /Kamerad

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Senior Member
Dear all
Any idea what's meant by "Kamarad" in the following context, chosen from "The Three Soldiers" by John Dos Passos.
Location: a small room in a tavern somewhere in France, nearly filled up by a dining table. At the end of the table, leaning on her elbows, there's a woman looking with a certain defiance at the men who are standing about the walls or sitting at the table.
"You told him you came from Marseilles, and him you came from Lyon," said the boy with the milky complexion, smiling genially. "Vraiment de ou venay vous?" ...
The woman jumped to her feet suddenly screaming with rage. The man with the red hair moved away sheepishly. Then he lifted his large dirty hands in the air. "Kamarad," he said.
Nobody laughed.
Could it be a German word for "I surrender?"
  • kahroba

    Senior Member
    I'd like to inform that I've received my answer from a dear member in English forum:
    It appears that in World War I, individual German soldiers would surrender by throwing aside their weapons, throwing their arms in the air and yelling "Kamerad", German for "friend, or comrade". The Americans spelled it Kamarad.


    Senior Member
    "Kamarad" is a spelling adaption. As you already mentioned, it is "Kamerad".
    It has no relation to a political party like English "comrade", and it does not necessary include "friendship" - at least a friend is not exactly a "Kamerad".

    But "Friend!" can be a good rendering.

    Usually a Kamerad is someone (in the same group/company/country), and you are fighting together with him.
    It has the same linguistic root as "comrad" - you are living in the same room (Kammer).


    German (Germany)
    Kamerad is the traditional term to refer to fellow combatants in the German armed forces. The word exists in other contexts too but saying Kamerad as way to hail a person is in modern German exclusively military jargon.
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