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Michael Colha ze
April 11, 2010
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.
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
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
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
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
Oil on Canvas
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
Three and a half million in Auschwitz
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
version of events to the Captain of Guardia Civil in
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
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.
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.
Left: Auschwitz (Original Photo); Right: Auschwitz (Wiesenthal Centre Rendering)
Michael Colhaze (email him) is a pen name.