Publish the Word
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Angelus -- Chapter 11

 

 The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it. Psalms 68:11

                    Chapter 11

 

June 30, 1944              I have thought more about my conversation with the cleaning girls.  What they say may not be untrue, though I hesitate to speak about it aloud to anyone.  Maybe I will ask Herr Speer, whose closest confidence I have.  Your father does not allow me to attend meetings or even listen to business talk with his generals.  He insists I go join the chattering wives, who I cannot stomach, though I am always polite.

But about a year ago as I was dozing on the sofa in his sitting room while he read,  Herr H. phoned him.  I pretended to be sleeping because the F. would have asked me to leave otherwise.  The F.'s questions were most unusual and troubling to me.  They were discussing a camp in Poland, one I had never heard of, but the F. said you must devise a more efficient way to dispose of the bodies.  There was a pause as he listened to Herr. H. on the other end.  Then the F. replied, how long does it take to burn a thousand bodies?  Then, how hot must the furnace be?  And then, how long does it take to extract gold from their teeth?   He paused and then said, Well, separate the younger ones out.  Their teeth won't be as decayed.

And so the discussion went.  I never dared ask the F. about the Jews, but neither am I stupid.  By acting disinterested, in my silence I have heard much.


Once when I was younger I boldly said to the Fuhrer, I can't tell a Jew from a Gypsy so I don't approve of persecuting them.  If Germany is not big enough for all people to live together, let them emigrate peacefully to the United States, or better yet, to Palestine where they lived when Jesus was alive.  Just think of the innocent children.  He patted my hand and responded in his wise uncle tone.  Don't worry your pretty head about these problems.  With the Jews no one is innocent.  Even the children are guilty.  I answered back, guilty of what?  I truly wanted to understand his reasoning.  He chuckled at me, as if I were a dunce and repeated, Of what?  Of what?  The children, he said, are guilty of being born Jews.  But what is their crime? I argued.  Their crime is in the blood, he said.  I was becoming exasperated with him.  They can't help what they are born, I said.  But he simply chuckled again, shook his head at my stupidity and with a wave of his hand dismissed the entire matter.

I am not anti-Semitic nor will I teach any of my children to be.  A child is truly innocent until he attains the age of reason.  I agree with the church.  A baby, be it Aryan or Jewish or Russian has committed no wrong.  But once an idea becomes rooted in the F.'s mind, I am hopeless to change him.


Over time, from listening to him propound his idea, I have compiled a list of why I think he holds such unyielding beliefs about the Jews.  I pray he never reads these words, but so you might understand your father and his complexities, I submit the following theorem.  1. On religious grounds, though baptized a Catholic, he read with relish Martin Luther's pamphlet Against the Jews and Their Lies, and agreed the Jews were responsible for crucifying the savior.  2. On philosophical grounds, he likes Nietzsche's proposition that a "Super Race" of white, Gentile, Germanic people must be uncorrupted by Jewish blood.  3. On artistic grounds, his favorite composer Richard Wagner holds the Jewish race to be the born enemy of humanity and everything noble in man.  4. On historical grounds, the Versailles Treaty which stripped Germany of its dignity and bankrupted the country was backed by international Zionist bankers.  5. On political grounds, Karl Marx was a Jew, Trotsky a Jew, the traitor Rosa Luxemburg a Jew, and in Munich, Kurt Eisner, Ernst Toller, Tovia Axelrod were all Jews and Bolsheviks.  6. On personal grounds, four of the seven professors who denied his admission to the Vienna Fine Art Academy were Jews.  On many occasions I have heard him fume that he would avenge this denial of his talent.

Also, though I cannot prove, (nor would I want to), a story I heard from Dietrich Eckart's wife after he died that the F. in his Vienna days was infected with syphilis by a Jewish prostitute, I have some personal knowledge this story has merit.  This is not to diminish your father's greatness, and I hesitate to write more on this subject.  One final curiosity I have heard from two different sources, and may the Lord God of Heaven strike me down if I believed for a second what I am about to write, but I want to prepare you for whatever lies you may hear spoken of your father.  It is this, that the F.'s grandmother, Maria Schicklgruber was impregnated by a wealthy young Jew from Graz, in whose household she worked.  The child of this unholy union was Alois, father to the future Chancellor.  Such an idea is treasonable.

As I survey  what I have just written, I probably said more than you should know about your father.  Perhaps I would be wise to destroy these pages.  For now, I will stop lest I continue along this imprudent path.

 


July 12, 1944               Sunning myself on the veranda this afternoon, I so longed for the pleasant days we previously enjoyed here at our Grand Hotel before this infernal war.  After a relaxed morning of imposed silence because the F. would sleep late, at noon we would convene on the terrace.  The men would stand and smoke, but we women usually lay on the wicker recliners to chat about fashion or the latest cinema.  Smartly-dressed attendants from Herr Dietrich's Bodyguard Regiment would circulate with trays of champagne, fruit juice or lemonade until Heinz, your father's valet, would announce lunch in the dining room.  And then the 15 or 20 of us would gather around the enormous table set with lovely, hand painted Rosenthal china awaiting the fresh-baked breads, cheeses, steaming tureens of soup, vegetable platters, potato salad and witty conversation.  Herr B. would bore us with his latest scheme to improve honey production, but his queens were forever abandoning the hives (unlike his poor wife who had nine  Bormann children to raise).  And then Putzi would get us roaring with a racy joke while we kept glancing sideways to see if the F. was also laughing.  Marion T. would prattle on with gossip about some actress, or Colonel Schmundt from the Luftwaffe, with his protruding donkey's ears, might try to provoke army adjutant Engel into some argument.  The secretaries would usually flirt with Walther Hewell from the Foreign Office, an eligible bachelor who had lived in India.   My terriers would sit astride my feet quietly unless someone dropped a morsel and then they would scurry off.

We lived like gods and goddesses on Mt. Olympus, so far above the realm of mortal men and women.  Why, I want to shout aloud, could this enchanted life not go on forever?  Why indeed?!  We live in a sinful world where forces of light and darkness must forever contend for supremacy.  How I miss the F.'s long-winded sermons over the dinner table about vegetarianism.  You sad carrion eaters, he would say, then recount for the hundredth time his visit to the slaughterhouse to see the cows hung upside down with their slashed throats and the squealing, dying pigs, the butchers knee deep in blood.  Then he would reprimand anyone who ate the cooked flesh of dead animals as not being spiritually advanced.  But what about those liver dumplings you enjoy? I would tease him, until he turned red in the face and would say, Enough! Fraulein Braun or I will turn my Alsatian loose on your mongrels, though we both knew my little dogs were much fiercer than his Blondi and would corner her into submission.  Oh, what grand times we had!


I especially miss celebrating New Year's Eve.  We would wait for the fireworks to go shooting off the teahouse pavilion into the nightsky.  Max Schmelling, the boxing champion and his wife, Czech film star Anny Ondra were here one year.  Herr Werlin from the Daimler-Benz company had come and driven me around Berchtesgaden, nearly frozen, in a silver convertible.  Herta, was here, my sister Gretl, Drs. Morell and Brandt with their wives, the dentists Blaschke and Richter, both Bormann brothers, and our regular company of Herrs Bruckner, Schaub, von Puttkammer, Albrecht, von Below, some of the wives and secretaries, Gerda, Christa and Johanna.  We listened to recordings of Franz Lehar, Wagner and Hugo Wolf.  I wore a new organdy dress, a matching necklace, brooch and bracelet.  My handmade shoes from Ferragamo of Florence pinched my toes.


I can almost relive every detail in my mind.  I was flitting about with  my little movie camera, but the light was fading.  Everyone was eating caviar and drinking aperitifs.  The F. commented on my sheer dress, but his custom is to compliment each woman in some manner.  Frau Mittelstrasse lit candles about the room, which was festive with paper lanterns and Christmas decorations.  Someone pointed out the bonfires in the distance, the baroque spires of Salzburg, the moon rising to the south.  The F. had taken my hand as we stared out the window, then he drew me closer.  I remember turning toward him.  Candle reflections danced in his blue eyes.  I expected him to say something so romantic that his words would pierce my soul.  Instead, he asked Fraulein Effie, are you wearing your Air Bleu perfume?  Yes, my love, I replied.  It is about to make me sneeze, he said, twitching his nose like a short-eared hare.  I playfully slapped his cheek, then leaned my head against his chest.  I want to be this happy always, I said.  Just you, me and our friends on this mountain hideaway.  And I would like that too, he said.  He held me for a long time as the party continued about us, the others becoming  phantoms and shadows.  The music of Parsifal swirled dreamlike throughout the room.  I don't want this night to end, I said.  But we will never enter the new year, he said.  Nor will we bring universal peace unless we go forward.  Let me be selfish, just for tonight, I said.  He smiled at my coquettishness.  You are my treasure, he said. 

 

I am nostalgic for those happier times.

  

 

 
 
 

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