What happened with the paratroopers while we were there, is the story that most shocked me in the army, they told us about taking apart rubber bullets.
What does that mean?It means you have a pack, rubber bullets come in packs of three, they take it apart, put (shoot) one or two so that the force is much stronger, of the bullet.
That’s what they told you?Yes, and with pride. We were sitting around with their guys, [and they] told us how they take apart the rubber bullets to make the force of every bullet stronger.
And they told you this sort of to show you what kind of…That they’re real men.
This in whose presence?Soldiers, there were only soldiers.
Like, sitting around in the evening, in the smoking area and whatever?Totally, totally like that. Totally like that.
And what do you say to them?Listen, I felt… Like, I realized that it wasn’t okay. I was very… I didn’t react to them about it. I didn’t take part in the conversation and I didn’t respond to them in this case, because also they weren’t friends of mine, it wasn’t anyone I knew, it wasn’t a deployment I was in. Also at the end of the day, I’d say… Because, you know, in that situation you don’t really know what’s happening yet. You go, “you know what, they’ve been here four months. I really have no idea what’s happening. Really, who am I [to know]?” It didn’t sound like something that’s right to do, but I also didn’t know what the consequences really were. I said, like, you know, I don’t know, maybe a rubber bullet… I didn’t know. I didn’t have a clue. I said: I don’t really know.
How did you know it was prohibited? Did you know it was prohibited?During that period I also didn’t know it was prohibited, when they told me, that’s true. Only later I understood it in retrospect. I can tell you that if something like this had happened to me at the end of the service, I would have been all up in someone’s face about it, because I simply understood the situation, I knew there was no need, that there’s no logical reason to do something like that and that it’s illegal. But [back then] I didn’t say anything to him.