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«When this ceiling is repainted, we will no longer belong to this world«. Such is the prominent phrase of a message recently found on a stone in the vault of the Church of Santiago in Antwerp, Belgium.
This week, the city government reported the curious finding. According to this chronicle, some workers who worked on spare parts in the dome, 26 meters high, they came across a brief but emotional message left there by colleagues in 1941, in the midst of World War II.
The short text was signed by John Janssen, Jul Gyselinck, Louis Chantraine and Jul Van Hemeldonck, who then painted the vault of the church. The obituary had been drawn up on the back of some coupons, and kept in a matchbox.
“When this ceiling is repainted, we will no longer belong to this land, we must tell our descendants that we do not enjoy our lives. We have witnessed two wars, one in 1914 and the other in 1940, "the workers report, adding that the second of the conflicts" is still ongoing.
«We come to work hungry, they squeeze us for every penny to eat some«, The painters wrote, making clear their plight in the midst of the Nazi occupation of their country.
In the obituary, the workers try to protect future generations to take the necessary precautions so that a new war does not take them by surprise. Therefore, they advise gathering "rice, coffee, flour, grains and tobacco" to "stay alive" and most especially "Enjoy life!", which they did not achieve.
They also advise single men not to delay in getting a wife. As for the already married, the advice is limited to "Go home!" to enjoy the family.
"Written on July 21, 1941 by John Janssen, Jul Gyselinck, Louis Chantraine and Jul Van Hemeldonck, building painters," he concludes.