Jozef viewed the war as an opportunity to show his courage and as a point of difference between him and his father. He understood that there was no glory in tending sheep on the hillside and this forced him to forge his papers so he could enlist together with his step brother. He expected the war to offer him nothing short of a glorious experience and anticipated that the two opposing groups would fight fiercely. He also believed in his shooting skills which he acquired from his father and expected to kill members of the opposition with ease.
“The imagined valor of heroic battles, and the thought that death would be a thing I doled out to others who dared resist.”
When he went to Pastvina his ideas of the war and what it looked like were further developed by the stories he heard from other boys. His idea of the field was soldiers clad in prim uniforms fighting for glory.
"When we went back down to Pastvina for the winter in 1914, all we heard was talk of the war.”
These ideas of the battlefield increasingly fueled his desire to join in the fight, which he did eventually.
As though virtuosi who would one day be given their concert hall solos in some great symphonic concerto, conducted by our maestro, Sergeant Major Bücher, who had been fighting on the western front since August 1914...