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To be a German (Part 2)

Michael Colhaze

April 11, 2010 

Every Jew, somewhere in his being, should set apart a zone of hate — healthy virile hate — for what the German personifies and for what persists in the German.

Elie Wiesel, Nobel Prize winner and  "chief witness" to the Holocaust


Those who sow wind will harvest a Tempest.  

Hosea 8,7 

It did not take long and the rumours turned into a thunderclap so deafening that everybody stood benumbed, unable at first to grasp its full impact.  

Germany had begun to recover amazingly fast. At Nuremberg the Allies did a thorough job and strung up those ringleaders that weren’t of further use, while the lesser satraps got locked away or were let off with the proverbial black eye. Something not in store for the German prisoners of war who died by the tens of thousands in Eisenhower’s atrocious winter camps or Stalin’s monstrous gulags. The propaganda machinery continued for a while at full pelt, presenting Hitler’s Germany to the world as a nation of aggressors, gangsters, murderers, barbarians, collaborators and petty criminals, to name but a few, and in short the beastly Hun of old who had fully deserved his terrible fate.  

History is written by the victors, and even those who knew better clenched their teeth, shrugged, thanked God for their miraculous survival and busied themselves with clearing away the rubble. While those who were already duped into believing their implicit guilt thought it a reasonable price for a full belly and tried to look forward and never backwards again.  

As the years went by and the ugly Bear behind the Iron Curtain began to growl always louder and more threatening, Germany’s strategic importance became paramount. Which required a change of tactics, including an upgrading of the Hun into something like a human being. One that had to be accepted, with much grovelling and tail-wagging from its intellectual quarters, into the Family of Man again. The capitalist edition, naturally.          

My mother meanwhile had remarried, a union of convenience soon fraught with discord. It did not last long and sadly clouded the most formative period of my youth. She died recently, and the last time I saw her she asked me to take off my shoes and lay by her side. Already on the threshold and fading fast, she saw not the son but his father instead, the only lover of her long, long life. On my occasional visits to one of our great cathedrals I light a candle for both, and pray that they may be united again in a world of pure light, happy as on the day they first met, and their love a pledge that will outlast Eternity.  

Caspar David Friedrich  Summer  Oil on Canvas 1807

For a while at least I became part of a real family, and one of its great moments was the arrival of a TV set. I still remember vividly the advent of the ruinous machine, font of utter stupidity, manipulator, death knell of civilisation’s last foundations. Though in those years it had a simple and almost innocent demeanour. Small, black and white, with a flickering screen, did its only channel disseminate carefully filtered news, much culture, Hollywood B movies, and some home-grown entertainment of dubious merit. High on the agenda stood a quiz show whose novelty remunerated for the sheer imbecility of its content. The quiz master himself became Germany’s most famous personage, focal point of a shattered nation’s rebounding dreams, and unaware that he was the brainchild of Freudian hoodlums who had, as part of a much subtler propagandistic machinery, taken it upon themselves to keep the tamed Hun from getting mischievous again.  

A new and more reliable High Priest for the young, they said approvingly, and, with disgust, for the elderly an ersatz magician in lieu of the real one who had blown his brains out only ten years previously.  

Some news items of those years are still much on my mind. Particularly the day when Sir Winston Churchill received the Karlspreis, or Charlemagne Award, at Aachen in the great Emperor’s beautiful chapel that dates back to 800 AD. Which had miraculously survived the combined USAF and RAF onslaught, contrary to countless civilians who had not. I don’t know to this day who came up with the idea, if one of those bootlicking, spineless, blathering politicians that are so endemic among modern democracies, or someone with a sardonic touch and a bright mind. Whatever the answer, the old boogie had just been given the boot by his own conservative buddies and was vainglorious enough to accept yet another distinction. Wheezing and shuffling down the long road to extinction, he must have felt positively bemused while observing a Germania redux, its new and somewhat synthetic phoenix rising powerfully from the ashes, whereas his own empire crumbled irreversibly into oblivion.      

‘It can’t be true’, whispered my mother as we watched the ghostly pageant in black-and-white. ‘This man is responsible for the death of millions! What has happened to the world? Have we all gone mad?!’  

We have, apparently. Though in those days, and already heavily indoctrinated, I missed the full meaning of her words. Whereas now I don’t, particularly after reading Patrick Buchanan’s Unnecessary War and Kevin MacDonald’s Culture of Critique. Who really boil it down to one single, terrible truth, namely that this man and his paymasters were the instigators not only of the death of Britain’s and America’s finest young men, but also of the greatest carnage, the worst fratricide committed in Mankind’s entire history. It is really here, in the inordinate hate for Germany as the old heartland of our incomparable Christian-European civilisation, that the roots can be found for the ever intensifying assault on the White Man’s right to exist.  

I wonder sometimes how this man must have felt during the twilight years of his life. Terrible, most likely. Fiddling with some pitiful canvas utterly devoid of human warmth, let alone artistic gratification. Abandoned by his old paymasters because that’s what they inevitably do once you’ve lost your expediency. Deserted by his political cronies who knew damn well what mess he had landed them in. Prowling the casinos of Monte Carlo where a greasy Onassis dropped an occasional chip into his pocket since he had blown his pension already at the tables. Bored to death by all the glorifications and laurels and distinctions which honoured, as he himself knew perfectly well, only the one great lie that was his life.  

And haunted by Agnes the Lamb and millions like her.  

If the Hereafter could be described as a mirror image of our present deeds and aspirations, their accumulated medium as independent of time and space yet perfectly real, then I prefer to see this man not sizzling in one of Hell’s deepest dungeons, but rather in an icy and echoing void where the whole Universe has recoiled into itself, leaving him alone with the terrible truth of his crimes, and the knowledge that whatever hope for redemption he has left must be abandoned, now and forever and into all Eternity.  


Caspar David Friedrich  Sea of Ice  Oil on Canvas 1824 

The thunderclap came one leisurely evening between supper and a glass of red wine. It was called By Night and Fog and changed my life forever.  

A documentary, it was called. Whereas in fact it was the testimony of an atrocity so vast that it defied imagination. Six million innocent souls killed in cold blood, with ruthless German efficiency, in the most horrible way possible. 

Three and a half million in Auschwitz alone. 

I have never seen the flick again. I couldn’t, and now I won’t. I don’t even remember particular sequences of it. All I can call to mind, in a sort of general way, are mountains of corpses, mountains of shoes, mountains of spectacles. And while I and the country still digested the seismic aftershocks, even worse was to come. 

Human bodies made into soap, human skin used as lampshades, human skulls boiled down to half their size like those of the Amazonian headhunters. Barbarous SS men smacking new-born babies against a wall. Dr. Mengele conducting unspeakable experiments with small children… 

A deathly pall fell over the country. Whoever had dared until then to point out the injustice of Versailles that was really the reason for everything in its wake, whoever maintained that Hitler’s Germany was not only the dreaded Gestapo and sinister SS but in many ways also amazingly caring and sane and clean, whoever stated that Hitler only wanted to recuperate stolen German land and never sought war except perhaps with Stalin and his murderous gang, fell silent for good. Because whatever had been done to Germany was total peanuts compared with what Germany had done to the Jews.  

Which was the reason why the land of Bach, Goethe and Kant became for the next fifty years a colony of lepers, openly or secretly despised by everyone except for their money, a commodity they lavished generously on the rest of the world in a timid effort at absolution.  

My education has been reasonably complete. Added were over the years more languages, simply by living, sometimes for over a decade, in various European countries. I read Byron, Leopardi, Lorca, Villon in the original. I adore them, of course, just as I adore Verdi or Vivaldi. Yet I could never, in a strictly subjective manner, prevent myself from being most awed by the incomparable phalanx of poets, composers, painters, philosophers, mystics and educators my own country has produced over the centuries. There was never any arrogance in this sentiment, though surely a subdued pride. And a deep and continuing sadness, even dread, that the holocaust could have happened in a nation of such intellectual magnificence.     

Soon I began to feel its effects on a practical level.  

On my first visit to Amsterdam a young Dutchman told me expansively, in perfect German and with the friendliest smile, of how to get in the quickest possible way to the Central Train Station. I walked for half an hour until I realized that he had sent my into the opposite direction. When I finally arrived, my train was long  gone and another one would leave only the next morning. So I stretched out on a bench in the waiting room, ready to pass the night there. But an official came and growled: ‘No Nazis here!’ I slunk away, and in a quiet street found another bench under a wide tree. When I woke well before sunrise, stiff and cold with an aching back, the resident company of doves had thoroughly splattered my coat with their droppings.      

In Paris the proprietor of a run-down pension asked me, once the bill was safely paid, if I had been a guard in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. In Copenhagen some snotty poof who insisted he was part of young Elton John’s entourage wanted to know if my father had been an SS colonel. In Belgrade a woman spat into my face for reasons I can only imagine. And in Cadiz, during my seafaring days, I got into a fight with some Swedes who taunted me for once beyond endurance. Which left the pub in shambles, the Swedes on the floor and me with a black eye and three front teeth missing. Plus a night in jail and a heavy fine. Whereby the latter, to my great relief, was revoked after I had lisped my version of events to the Captain of Guardia Civil in charge. 

Keeping it in a nutshell, Germany’s glorious history had been reduced to a mere twelve years of unspeakable barbarity. Attempts at damage limitation were of course underway, like outing Hitler and his gang as Germanically  atypical, him a heathen Austrian at that. But whenever I stated in some foreign parts my name and nationality, I saw the minute hesitation, felt the slight inner recoil, and knew perfectly well what people were thinking. To tell the truth, and as the years went by, and me not being timid or over-sentimental in any case, it didn’t bother me too much. I began to know my own worth, and screw those who refused to recognize it. But as a result, the ugly German in me, and on the whole in many of my compatriots, tried always to be marginally more upright and just and honest than everybody else, even more forgiving. Which, not surprisingly, served us well in the long run. Only recently, after many a year, I revisited one of my old haunts high up in some Spanish mountains where I had spent nearly a decade and employed half the village in a varying and often hazardous enterprise. The warmth and simple joy I was received with made me swallow hard and wrestle down an aberrant tear.       

In my early twenties, while roaming through Europe by way of hitchhiking, I hung out for a few days in one of Rome’s many youth hostels. As the usual soiree of cheap Chianti and even cheaper Grappa got into full swing, a Jewish gentleman of Eastern provenance approached me and asked for a favour. He had twinkling little eyes, an uncommonly large and bulbous nose, high blood pressure, an ample midriff and must have been about seventy five years old. I fell of course over my own feet to accommodate him. His English was atrocious, and it took me some time to understand that he was on his way to Germany and needed a letter of introduction. Or better, a document that would help him to claim indemnifications. What for, I asked appalled, fearing immediately the worst. A good question, he conceded, and wanted to know if I had any suggestions. So we sat down and cooked up a story whose details I don’t remember anymore, but would probably blush crimson if they were read to me today. Rounding it off, he needed a name, since his was acoustically too cumbersome, too long and too Cyrillic in any case. As an experienced cosmopolitan I suggested Cohen, which for unclear reasons didn’t sit well with him. After some deliberations I came up with Germany’s foremost nonsense poet, and thus Mr. Morningstar was born. I hope he achieved his aims, continued to shine brilliantly, and lived happily ever after. When all was done, he patted my cheek approvingly and said: ‘Son! You are a good Nazi!’ Which left me, historically speaking, with the profound satisfaction that there must have been at least one of those in the whole wide world.  

Nazi, then. 

A label that became, like an unspecified threadworm, part of my inner make-up. It lurked at the back of my head, needed only one of the many catchwords to spring to attention, and haunted me sometimes in my dreams. As to the catchwords, Germany began practically to drown in them. Nourished by the war’s spineless intellectual leftovers and their aforementioned paymasters who had crept into every strata of the burgeoning media, they soon became a perverse gutter creed that secretly and intentionally challenged the established religion. It scuttled and hunkered wherever you looked, jumped onto your back in the most inappropriate moments, and snapped at your heels when you knelt down for a moment of silent prayer. To prop it up a giant and worldwide propaganda avalanche was launched in clearly predictable intervals, flaunting yet another horror story that had so far been overlooked by the prostrate historians. Which ended inevitably with the payment of yet another billion of German taxpayers’ money to some holocaust victims’ great-grandparents, great-grandchildren, third-degree-cousins and their murdered pet hamsters.  

As for myself, it took nearly fifty years until the first doubts began to appear. Doubts as hideous as the certainties that had beset me for most of my life.

  Left: Auschwitz (Original Photo); Right: Auschwitz (Wiesenthal Centre Rendering)   

Michael Colhaze (email him) is a pen name.

Permanent URL: http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/authors/Colhaze-GermanyII.html 

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