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NB: Another poem. I wanted to keep a record of it for posterity. Thanks to my mother for saving it. A very different “religious” work than I usually create. I wrote it in my early 20s.

 

From the white Bavarian Alps, you could see the red.

It was the wine-drenched cloth of the National State,

draped over Europa after plundering her.

To the East, the rose-colored wave surged onto the mystic steppe; (1)

it was a rising, fermenting Islam (2), flooding onto Asia.

 

On the bench, Leader and Architect sat. (3)

From it, they oversaw the white and black and red.

They oversaw the music drama, they oversaw the Rhenish wave; (4)

they oversaw the thunderous lines and ripples of the new religion.

 

At the Berghof they had met with every Angle (5). The Leader had told each 

that he wanted no occidental war. That he looked, instead, to the mythic East.

That Russia was India; that all his actions—to occupy, annex, agree and award— (6)

were with the end of Russia as India in mind.

 

But the Angles did not believe in eagles or wolves,

and they did not believe in red-bearded emperors. (7)

Except the folk (8) did. They followed him, like a Johannine messiah (9), clause after clause. (10)

They followed him as he occupied, annexed, agreed and awarded;

it was because indeed, they were the ones who had contracted him.

 

You see, the peace had blamed everything on a check.

It had blamed the old order. It had blamed Habsburg and Hohenzollern.

The peace spoke of self-rule, of self-governance, (11)

but banned any admission which would have benefited the folk.

The peace thus aroused an imperial feeling,

and it was this that made the next Struggle inevitable.

 

So from the north they descended with a Wagnerian cry! (12) They fell from Gotland

to the Vistula, and then from the Vistula

to the Volga. From its left bank, one could smell Asia.

They were there to Germanize the world like it had once been Hellenized.

They were to pedestal an Alexandrine leader’s vanity, and to follow a malicious destiny.

 

Indeed, their State was corporate. Each organ was a part of a body,

contributing and extending, eastward and tumescent. But the corpus,

of course, was run by compensatory fantasists, by virgins (13) with untenable insecurities,

who thought the crux of their pains was traceable to imagined, eternal wanderings. (14)

Everywhere, they betrayed the draped white cloth of the National State.

It was stained like a painter’s rag, a rag which was also used for onanism. (15)

 

At the Berghof, Leader and Architect planned cities, planned wonders,

and planned utopias. Everything was to be large for the Leader; (16)

they were to outdo Alexander, Augustus and Napoleon.

There was to be an arch of Titus that could stretch over Germania,

to embody a symbolic closure to a diaspora. (17)

 

Their edifices were to have a quality to them which was both inhuman and artificial.

Their gross structures were to be like pornographies, with inflated breasts or genitalia,

but transported with those proportions to the actual world.

 

Except on the first day there was a portent which foreshadowed the last day.

Over the Wolf’s Lair there was a sign, a sky which was sickly and colored.

This was because the epics, you see, ended always in Twilight.

It could never be New York which assented to fire, but Munich (18)

and Vienna and Nuremburg. Each, in its turn, would bathe in the glow.

 

As time passed, the steppe became haunting and dim. There was no more goose-stepping,

only a white-noised resonance, a chained-linked palpitation,

which preceded the trembling of the folk.

 

And then, with a shot, (19) the folk turned. There came an explosion of symbols, (20)

an explosion of pornographies, an explosion of artificialities.

Down came each crumbling artifice, each monolithic, quite strange construction.

The Leader, not married to the State (21), was empyred.

No Triumph, no Ariya, only Twilight. (22)



Notes

1. The mystic connotation of “the east” was likely inspired by Hitler’s readings as a youth. Despite his disparaging comments about America, he widely read novels about the “wild west” in Vienna and reread them during the Great War, which likely implanted the idea of eastern Europe occupying a similar, mystic connotation for the Germans.

2. Carl Jung compared Nazism to Islam of the 7th and 8th centuries, describing it as a “political religion” or a “military religion.” Hitler himself compared his movement to “a religion.” Just as Islam demanded the surrender of individuality to the movement, Nazism did as well.

3. This refers to Hitler and his chief architect (and the closest thing he ever had to a “friend”), Albert Speer. The two would meet at Hitler’s retreat in Berchtesgaden in the Bavarian Alps and plan architectural and cultural projects for Nazi Germany.

4. Rhenish references a type of wine. The drunkenness motif repeats, affirming the theme of individuals entering a trance or state of intoxication during the mania of the war.

5. A play on “Anglo-Saxon.”

6. The early actions of Hitler: to re-occupy the Rhineland, to annex Austria, to take the Sudetenland, to award the border region of Slovakia to Hungary. Hitler met with Neville Chamberlain and other British leaders at Berchtesgaden in the late 30s. Hitler stated openly to his acolytes he wanted conflict with Russia and the east, not the west.

7. References Frederick Barbarossa, who the invasion of the Soviet Union was named after.

8. Refers to “volk.”

9. The Gospel of John often labels “the Jews” as a hostile group opposed to Jesus, and is interpreted as antisemitic.

10. Clauses of the Treaty of Versailles.

11. The western powers conceded that the “14 points” of Woodrow Wilson had been applied justly to all the other powers of Europe, but not the Germans - ie, the exclusion of Austria from Germany. This rationale allowed Hitler to get away with many of his early foreign policy actions in the late 1930s.

12. When he lived in Vienna, Hitler’s preferred recreation was listening to Richard Wagner’s famous operas or “music dramas.” Wagner was also famous for his antisemitism.

13. Hitler likely had few sexual expriences and was described by some as sexually repressed. His two definitive relationships during his lifetime were to his cousin Geli Raubal and to Eva Braun. Psychologists have speculated that sexual repression was the basis for his interest in war, and for his fixation on either complete “conquest” or “annihilation.” These tendencies reflect pathologizations of the primal unconscious forces described by Freud of “eros” and “thanatos,” sex and death.

14. Refers to a common trope of Nazi propaganda, the “wandering Jew.”

15. Hitler was a painter. The latter line reflects the incredulity even in Hitler’s own time that some observers felt about his grandiose visions for the future - excessive and self-indulgent, and to be disparaged.

16. Hitler had a size fixation. He was obsessed with setting records, scale, etc. The intersection of unconscious sexual forces in his personal and political psychology is thus inescapable. The most famous example was the massive domed “pantheon” (Volkshalle) he planned to construct with Speer’s assistance in the future capital of Nazi Germany.

17. References the Holocaust. Titus refers to the Roman general (later emperor) known for suppressing the Jewish Revolt.

18. This is a reference to a recurring vision of Hitler which he stated to his subordinates, the idea of New York City in flames. During the war, plans were made to engineer the extremely long-ranged “Amerikabomber” to make this image a reality.

19. Refers to Hitler’s suicide in the bunker at the end of the war.

20. Refers to one famous event in particular, which was captured on film: the Red Army useing explosives to destroy the Nazi swastika over the Reichstag after the Battle of Berlin.

21. Hitler was famously portrayed as a bachelor “married to Germany.” At the end of the war this ended, and he married Eva Braun shortly before their mutual suicide. Hitler was additionally not burned on a pyre - his adjutants took his body to the courtyard, where his corpse was unceremoniously burned using fuel salvaged from derelict cars left in the Fuhrerbunker’s garage.

22. Concludes with several powerful references - to the “Triumph of the Will” of Leni Riefenstahl, a film portraying the grandiose Nazi Empire; “ariya,” the Sanskrit word for “noble” that was appropriated by the Nazis; and “Twilight” referring to the “Twilight of the Gods” or final battle of the apocalypse referenced by Richard Wagner (and originating in Germanic mythology). Ultimately, Hitler would lead the Germans to annihilation and self-destruction: Ragnarok.