The Unforgettable Night
excerpted from Savitri Devi's Gold in the Furnace (
I was coming from
I was traveling -- officially -- as a dresser in a theatrical company.
And I marveled at the network of circumstances that had been preparing for me,
of late, a new life. Never, perhaps, had I felt more grateful to the principal
of the company for having taken me to
After three years of despair and disgust, I had felt an inexpressible
happiness fill my breast. I had known from that minute that a new life had
begun for me; that all was not finished -- that all was perhaps just beginning.
I had then told Sven Hedin what I intended to do during this first journey of
So I had spent two nights copying on separate papers, five hundred
times, in my own handwriting -- for I knew nobody in
Men and women of
In the midst of untold hardships and suffering, hold fast to our glorious National Socialist faith, and resist! Defy our persecutors! Defy the people, defy the forces that are working to "de-nazify" the German nation and the world at large! Nothing can destroy that which is built in truth. We are the pure gold put to test in the furnace, Let the furnace blaze and roar! Nothing can destroy us. One day we shall rise and triumph again. Hope and wait! Heil Hitler!
And now I was sitting in a corner of the railway
carriage, with my precious papers in my pockets and in my luggage, waiting to
throw them out of the windows of the train at every station we passed through,
as soon as we reached
The train rolled on. I was not the only one to think of these things.
There were in the same compartment as myself three Indian girls -- three
dancers of the company with which I was traveling -- and also two Jewesses. One
of the Indians, a Maharashtrian of the warrior caste, started relating how, in
Stockholm, she had read in an American magazine an article discussing the
question whether Adolf Hitler is alive or dead; and she added: "How I do
wish he is alive! For the good of the whole world, such a man should
live!" My first impulse was to press the girl in my arms for having said
that. My second one was to reply that such men always live, but that this ugly
world of knaves and fools is unworthy of them. I refrained from both these
forms of self-expression, and merely gave the girl a sympathetic smile. With
five hundred leaflets in my pockets, I could not afford to attract further
attention to myself. But I thought: "Even a twenty-year-old girl from the
other end of the world finds it impossible to feel herself nearing the German
frontier without thinking of our Leader." And I recalled in my mind the
words heard long ago, in the days of glory: "Adolf Hitler is
But the two Israelites present did not allow me for long to think in
peace. "How dare you?" exclaimed one of them, turning to the
high-caste Hindu, while the other sprang up like a wounded snake from the place
where she was reclining and thrust herself at the girl: "Yes,
indeed," said she, "how dare you praise such a man? -- Hitler, of all
people! What do you know about him? You should learn before you speak..."
Her eyes flashed. And she spat out, against the Germans in general, and against
the Leader himself, the vilest, the most nauseating tirade I had ever heard
since the gloating of one of her racial sisters over the Nürnberg Trial, in a
The world accuses us of cruelty. I am supposed to be "cruel"
and -- if given power -- would surely be more merciless to our enemies than any
other National Socialist whom I personally know. And yet even I have never said
-- never thought -- that I would "be delighted to see" any man, any
devil, "torn in two." I have not said that of the rascals who
conducted the Nürrnberg Trial, nor of those who organized the bombing of
I shuddered as I heard that young daughter of
The train rolled on toward the German border. There were some
difficulties awaiting me at
"Yes, I am."
"Well," he continued, "there are rumors about you. Can you tell me how far they are justified?"
"What rumors?" said I.
"You surely know."
"I do not. I have not the faintest idea. People say so many things."
"Some say you are a Nazi. Are you really?"
"Does it matter what one is, in a land to which you are supposed to have brought 'freedom' -- so you say?" I replied ironically.
"It does," said the man. "We don't welcome people likely to make the already difficult task of the Occupying Powers still more difficult."
"I don't see how anyone could display such might from behind the windows of the Nord Express," I answered -- wishing all the time I could.
I had hardly finished saying these words when one of the youngsters of the company, who knew I was wearing my lovely and dangerous earrings, pulled the shawl off my head from behind, "for a joke," he later explained. The "joke" could have proved a tragic one. But the boy did not know -- nobody knew -- what I was carrying withh me and what I was intending to do. The hallowed Symbol of the Sun gleamed on each side of my face, in that first German frontier station, now in June, 1948, as it did in the streets of Calcutta in glorious 1940.
"I see it is useless talking to you any longer, Mrs. Mukherji," said the man to me. "You'd better stay off the train. We shall search your luggage."
"You can," I replied with outward calm. But I ran to the principal of the company, who was taking a stroll, and took him aside at the other end of the platform. "You must help me to get on that train again at once, without their searching my things," said I.
I explained what had happened, and the principal promised he would try to help me.
I could not tell what he said to the official or semi-official "member of the police" who had questioned me. He probably pointed out to him that no person seriously intending to indulge in Nazi underground activities would be such a fool as to advertise herself beforehand by wearing a pair of golden swastikas. And the argument apparently proved convincing. My very stupidity saved me. My luggage was not searched. At last the train moved on. "The gods still love us," thought I, as I rolled triumphantly into German territory.
Right and left the land stretched out, green and smiling, in all the glory of its summer garb -- "as beautiful," thought I, "as when he ruled over it."
I stood in the corridor, with as many of my leaflets as my pockets and handbag could carry some concealed in packets of ten or twenty cigarettes or in small parcels of sugar, coffee, cheese, or butter (whatever I could buy in Sweden), others placed in envelopes, others just loose. The railway ran parallel to a road. Walking along the road were a woman and a child. I waved to them and threw a little packet of sugar out of the window -- a packet with a leaflet in it, naturally. The woman picked it up and thanked me. I was already far away. By the side of a small station through which we passed without stopping was a cafe. A youngster and a girl were seated at one of the tables, out of doors, drinking beer. I threw them a packet of cigarettes also containing a leaflet. The packet fell a little further from the table than I had thought it would. The young man got up to take it and smiled at me while I leaned out of the window to catch a glimpse of him. He was a fine young man: tall, well-built, blond, with bright eyes. The girl -- a graceful and slim maiden with golden locks -- had also got up and was standing at his side. She too was smiling, glad to have the cigarettes.
As the train carried me further and further away out of their sight, I imagined them opening the packet, finding the paper, unfolding it. I imagined their eyes sparkling as they saw at the top -- once more after three dark years -- the unexpected Sign of the Sun, and as they read the words written for them from the depth of my heart: "Hold fast to our glorious National Socialist faith, and resist! ... One day, we shall rise and triumph again."
They had thought they had got twenty cigarettes, and, lo, they had got that along with them: a message of hope. I was happy. The idea did not enter my head that the message was perhaps wasted on them; that, after all, they might not necessarily be Nazis. I took it for granted that they were, at heart. However much this may seem childish, nay, foolish, utterly out of keeping with the seriousness of what I was doing, they struck me as too beautiful to be anything else.
And on I went, through the lovely country side, my head at the open window. Whenever we passed through a station, or whenever I saw anybody within my reach -- workmen on the side of the railway, people walking along a road or waiting at a level-crossing for our train to pass -- I threw out some small parcels and a handful of loose leaflets. The faces of which I caught a glimpse were haggard and tired but dignified faces; faces of men and women who, obviously, had not had enough to eat for a long time, but whom an iron will kept alive and whom an invincible pride kept unsubdued. I admired them.
A little before we reached
The sun had already gone down, and we were running through the suburbs
Tears came to my eyes, not because these were the ruins of a once prosperous town, the lamentable remnants of happy homes and useful human industries, but because they were the ruins of our New Order; all that was materially left of that supercivilization-in-the-making which I so admired. Far in the distance, I noticed the steeple of a church standing, untouched, above the general desolation -- like a symbol of the victory of the Cross over the Swastika. And I hated the sight of it.
Once more, as in the last days of the war and in the months that
followed, I experienced for a while the feeling of despair. In my mind, I
recalled those darkest days: my departure from Calcutta already at the close of
1944 -- when one knew what the end would be -- not to hear, not to read, and,
if possible, not to think about the war; not to be told when National Socialist
Germany would capitulate; and then my wanderings from place to place, from
temple to temple, all over central, western, and southern India, without my
being able to draw my attention away from the one fact: the impending disaster.
I saw myself again in a train on my way to Tiruchchendur, at the extreme south
of the Indian peninsula. A man holding a newspaper in English was sitting opposite
me. And I could not help reading the headlines in big letters: "
One must have seen with one's own eyes the ruins of
Broad, lurid streaks of phosphorus filled the sky. In their glaring, white light the outlines of a city could be seen for the last time. A few seconds later the whole place was ablaze; a few hours later it was a heap of ruins still on fire. The very earth, soaked in phosphorus, burnt on slowly, for days.
Not one, not ten or twenty, but all the German towns were submitted to
that systematic destruction by the enemies of the New Order -- "Crusaders
The most effective devastators of all times, the Assyrians in Antiquity
and the Mongols in the Middle Ages, were pretty thorough in warfare; nearly as
thorough, in fact, as the airmen who poured fire and brimstone over unfortunate
Today, as one walks through the bombed streets of Hamburg, Cologne,
Coblenz, Berlin, or any other German city; or even as one beholds, from the
windows of a railway carriage, those miles and miles of ruins in whatever part
of the country it charred walls of which the torn outlines stick out against
the grey or blue sky, or the glow of sunset, as far as the eye can see;
impossible piles of twisted iron, disjointed stones, and blocks of cement,
heaped over endless waste spaces where life once flourished, where men once
were happy; where the Leader held out his hand to little children less than
five years ago -- as one sees that, I say, and as one recalls in one's mind the
inferno that preceded and caused such appalling devastation, one does not only
think of the glorious pre-war days and feel: "That is what they did to
kill new Germany!" One also evokes another, and quite different picture:
the muddy beach of Dunkirk and the pitiable survivors of the British
Expeditionary Force gathered there in the late spring of 1940, tattered and
torn, wounded and hungry, but, above all, scared out of their wits like hunted
animals; the roaring sea before them, the German divisions behind them, rain
and lightning and the dark night all round them; awaiting in terror the only
fate that seemed likely to befall them: death. It would have been easy for the
victorious German Army to step forth and kill them all off -- and put an end to
the war. Oh, so easy! But orders came from above, to the bewildered generals
and the soldiers on their onward march; orders from that Man whom England was
fighting, but who was not fighting England; from the generous, loving, trusting
German Leader, who recognized no enemies in the misled Aryans who composed the
bulk of the British Army: "Leave several kilometers between them and the
German Army"; in other words, "Spare them! Allow them to wait
undisturbed for their ships and to reach the coast of
One remembers, I say, that episode of the Second World War, as one
beholds the ruins of all the German cities, the plight of men and women in the
overcrowded areas still fit to live in, and all the misery, all the bitterness,
consequences of that devilish bombing. Streams of fire, tons of phosphorus,
relentlessly poured over the people for five years, these were
Under that continuous terror the German people suffered, at first with the hope that the ordeal would soon be over, that victory was at hand; and then, more and more, as months passed and no sign of betterment appeared, with no hope. The traitors became bolder and bolder. And disaffection grew among the ordinary folk who could not understand how anything -- including unconditional surrender -- could possibly be worse than what they were enduring.
In May, 1945, when
The eastern gang raped all the women they could catch; stole everything they fancied; drove millions out of house and home in order to replace them by Russians, Poles, or Czechs. The western gang, while behaving with perhaps a little less savagery as regards women, were hardly better in other respects.
They stamped about the streets, loaded with edibles, in front of the
starving population. They brought their families over to occupy the best remaining
houses and to be fed and fattened at the expense of exhausted
Whatever might have been their professional efficiency, none of these
were allowed to retain the positions they had formerly held. Most were not
permitted to work at all. Thousands were arrested, imprisoned, savagely
tortured, sent to concentration camps or to their doom. Among these were
Hitler's closest collaborators: the members of the National Socialist
Government, the generals of the German Army, the leaders of the SS regiments
and of the Youth Organizations -- some of them the finest characters of modern
times. For weeks and weeks, months and months -- in fact, for over a year and a
half -- the all-too-famous Trial of 1945-46, that most repulsive of all the
parodies of justice staged by man since the dawn of history, dragged on. It
ended, as everyone knows, by the ignominious hanging, in the slowest and
cruelest possible way (each execution lasting about twenty-five minutes), of
men whose only crime was to have done their duty without having succeeded in
winning the war. And that atrocity took place in what was left of the old,
medieval city which, only a few years before, had been witnessing the glory of
When, between the two wars, a couple of Italian Communists, Sacco and
Vanzetti, were tried and executed in the United States of America, a wave of
indignation rose from the four corners of the earth. Placards were posted
against walls and public demonstrations were held in all the large towns of
How I remember that silly, vulgar, cruel, positively nauseating gloating of English-speaking apes of varied breeds over the greatest crime of history, and that hypocrisy in addition to it all! Never, perhaps, could one feel more keenly what a curse the very existence of Christian civilization was. Pagans would not have disgraced themselves to that extent. We would certainly not have behaved in any like manner, had we won the war -- we whose aim was to resurrect the proud Pagan spirit among the Aryans of the whole world. We might have crushed all opposition out of existence, but we would have neither made a farce of justice in order to condemn our enemies, nor tried to convert them to our philosophy. For we know how to kill, and we know how to die; but we do not know how to lie in order to justify our actions in our own yes and in other people's. Our only justification is the triumph of National Socialism. We need no other. Our enemies persecute us in the name of "morals" in which they do not believe. We despise them from the bottom of our hearts. We despise them more than we can ever hate them. Maybe we lost this war; but we would prefer to perish forever, even in men's memories, having remained ourselves to the end, rather than to rule the world and resemble our victors. We would prefer to perish, and leave in the dark infinity of time, as a flash in the night, the unrecorded fact of our brief and beautiful passage, rather than to acquire a single one of their democratic "virtues."
In 1945 torn and desolate
In the winter of that same awful year, 1945 -- or was it in the beginning of 1946?; the eye-witnesses who reported the episode to me did not remember -- a train passed through Saarbrücken, carrying off to different concentration camps in occupied Germany several thousands of German prisoners of war whose sole crime was to belong to that elite of the National Socialist forces: the SS. The young men, squeezed against one another, had been standing for goodness knows how many hours in the dark, freezing cattle wagons, without food, without water, without the most indispensable human commodities. They were going toward a destiny worse than death; toward the very chambers of hell, and they knew it. And yet, although no one could see them (for the wagons were completely closed save for a narrow slit at the top) one could hear them. They were singing -- singing the glorious song of the SS legions in defiance of their horrid present conditions and of the still more horrid future awaiting them. As the train rolled past, well-known words reached the silent and sullen crowd gathered on the platform -- an echo of the great days of National Socialism and, in the midst of Germany's martyrdom, the certitude of indestructible might and already the promise of the new rising, never mind when and how: "If all become unfaithful, yet we remain faithful ..." [Wenn alle untreu werden, so bleiben wir doch treu ...] Every bystander was moved to tears. And so was I, when now -- nearly three years later -- the fact was brought to my knowledge.
The train passed by and disappeared in the distance. One could no longer hear the song of the SS. But one knew the young warriors were still singing. And one remembered the words that sprang from their lips -- the motto of their lives tomorrow, for months, perhaps for years, in hunger, fever, and agony; in torture at the hands of the cowardly Jew and of his agents, till the very minute of death: "... faithful as the German oak trees, as the moon and as the sunshine." [... treu wie die deutschen Eichen, wie Mond und Sonnenschein.]
Where are they now, those fine young National Socialists, real men among apes, followers of a god among men? Dead, probably, by this time, most of them; or back from captivity with a ruined health and apparently no future -- crushed by the all-powerful machinery of "de-nazification," that whole organization set up in Germany by the sub-men to grind to dust all that is naturally strong and beautiful, alive, intelligent and proud, and worthy to rule; all that the worms cannot understand and therefore hate.
I was thinking of all this as the train halted in
I soon noticed a gathering before one of the windows of our train -- the window of a compartment nearer the end than the one I occupied. People were rushing forward, pushing one another, struggling with one another for something at their feet on the platform. Then, for a minute, all was calm again -- all eyes were once more gazing at the window in expectation until, at last, the desired thing fell, and all again rushed to pick it up. The thing was a cigarette -- a single one.
I walked down the corridor to the carriage from which it had dropped. It was the one occupied by the stage manager of the company, the Jew whom I mentioned. And there I actually saw Israel T. standing at the window, gloating over the ruins of Hamburg and of all Germany at the top of his voice -- saying he was sorry an atom bomb had not been dropped on each town -- and throwing onto the platform one cigarette at a time (only one) just to have the pleasure of seeing twenty people rush forward to pick it up. Twenty people who less then ten years -- less than five years -- ago had acclaimed the Leader at the height of his glory with their right arm outstretched and the cries of "Sieg! Heil!" -- twenty people who had fought for the triumph of the Aryan Ideology and for the over-lordship of the Aryan race in this world were now, after three years of systematic starvation, oppression, and demoralization, fighting for a cigarette thrown to them -- like a dry bone to a pack of hungry dogs -- by a fat, ugly, mean, cruel, gloating Jew! My heart ached with shame and indignation. I wanted to get down from the train, to rush to the ones on the platform -- to my Leader's people; to my people -- and tell them: "Don't pick up that thing! It is the gift of mockery. Don't!"
But the train had already started moving on. I turned to
The Jew looked around at me and said; "I keep my cigarettes for Englishmen, and would advise you to do the same, if you have any."
"Mr. T.," I replied, "what have you in common with
It was the first time I ever had shown the creature my National Socialist feelings in all their glaring nakedness! He was taken aback. "What is the matter with you?" he said. He did not know me enough -- yet -- to understand at once.
"What is the matter with me?" I repeated. "Nothing. We
The train moved forth between further expanses covered with ruins. Yes,
we were in
It was now dark. A bright, starry night and that desolation -- those
endless charred and blasted walls and those emaciated, stern, and dignified
faces -- beneath the splendor of the heavens; and I, still standing in the
corridor with a new supply of leaflets in my pockets. Why had I not come years
before, during our great days? Why had I not stood, I too, along those now
devastated streets and cried out "Sieg! Heil!" at the passage of the
one Man of my times whom I revered as a god? Why had it been my destiny to
spend all those years six thousand miles away from
Tears filled my eyes as I gazed at the deep, sparkling sky and then at
the rare lights scattered here and there in what was left of that immense city:
I was alone in the corridor save for a young man standing there -- a handsome blond with a frank, trustful face. I had sworn to myself not to touch food or drink of any sort and not to sleep as long as I was in Germany -- a manner of self-imposed penance for not having come before and a symbolical expression of solidarity with the starving and the homeless among my Leader's people.
I continued to distribute my leaflets. Save for two papers concealed,
one in a packet of sugar and the other in a small tin of butter, I had now only
loose messages left. Each time we stopped, I expected the police to come, the
train to be searched, and me found out and arrested. I knew I was doing
something risky and had not for one moment hoped to get away with it. When on
the morning before I had seen the
The young blond I have mentioned did not seem to be watching me or even
to have noticed what I was doing. Yet I thought I had better try to find out
who he was and what views he held ... "in case." I went up to him,
and we started talking. He was a Dane, he told me. I had met in
He smiled and replied: "Better than since they left." I
thought for a minute that he had guessed his answer would please me. But no.
That could not have been. It was not written on my face that I am a National
Socialist. And also, I was then dressed in the Indian style, in a sari, as I
always had been, for years, before I came to live in occupied
"Yes," he said, "I see you throw cigarettes and food to these people."
"And better than that," I suddenly replied, as though something had prompted me to betray myself -- or as though I were sure the young Northerner would not betray me.
"What do you mean by 'better than that'? What is better than food for the starving?" said he.
"Hope," I replied; "the certitude of a future. But don't ask me for further explanations."
"I shall not. I think I understand you now," he said. "And you have all my sympathy," be added in a voice that seemed sincere. "But may I ask you only one question: you are not yourself a German, are you?"
"I am not."
"Then what is your nationality?"
"Indo-European," I replied. And I felt my face brighten. In a
flash, I imagined on the map of the world the immense stretch of land from
I did not add: "And I love this land,
I was now sure he would not. He talked a little longer to me and then
withdrew into his compartment. I soon was alone, awake in the sleeping train
rushing on at full speed in the night through
The train halted at
The train moved on ... but stopped again. Had I been discovered this time? I experienced that same uneasy feeling of danger which I had known so often since my narrow escape at the frontier station. Then I noticed two men in railway uniform get into the train by one of the doors that opened into the corridor where I was standing. One of them was carrying my coat. The uneasy feeling left me all of a sudden, as by a miracle, and was replaced by absolute calm. I now was sure I was going to be caught. I watched the two men walk toward me as the train started once more.
They greeted me and asked me whether I spoke German. "A little," said I.
"You come from
"And you threw that coat out of the window?"
"Yes. It is my coat. I hoped someone among the people would pick it up."
"But there are papers in the pockets of that coat -- very dangerous papers. Did you know of them?"
"Yes," I said calmly, nearly casually -- my fear had completely vanished -- "I wrote them myself."
"So you know what you are doing, then?"
"In that case, why do you do it?"
"Because, for the last twenty years, I have loved and admired Adolf Hitler and the German people."
I was happy -- oh, so happy! -- thus to express my faith in the superman whom the world has misunderstood and hated and rejected. I was not sorry to lose my freedom for the pleasure of bearing witness to his glory now, in 1948. "You can go and report me, if you like," I added almost triumphantly, looking straight into the faces of the two bewildered men.
But neither of them showed the slightest desire to report me. On the
contrary, the one who had spoken to me now gazed at me for a second or two,
visibly moved. He then held out his hand to me and said: "We thank you, in
the name of all
They dared not repeat the now-forbidden words. But they returned the
gesture. The man holding my coat gave it back to me: "Throw it out in some
small station in which the train does not stop," he whispered. "It is
no use taking unnecessary risks." I followed his advice. The coat -- and
the papers it contained -- must have been found at daybreak, lying on the
lonely platform of some station of which I do not know the name, between
The name of Düsseldorf reminded me of the early days of the National
Socialist struggle, of the days when the French occupied the
In the meantime, the words of the unknown railway employee filled my
consciousness: "We thank you, in the name of all
The train rolled on. I was still there in the corridor, standing in the
same place. I was neither tired nor sleepy, although this was the third night I
was spending awake. The thrill of danger and my devotion to our Leader
sustained me. And the memory of those glorious, unexpected words addressed to
me by one of the thousands who still love Him -- and the first German in the
country who had spoken to me -- filled me with joy and pride. I would soon be
I saw people pass in the streets below the level of the railway -- those
same worn and dignified faces I had noticed all over
I imagined him reaching his home -- some cellar or some narrow rooms in a half-destroyed house -- and opening it; seeing the old, sacred Sign of the Sun, which is also the sign of National Socialism, at the top of the paper; reading the writing. He would show it to his friends. And when his friends would ask him where he had got it, he would say: "From nowhere. It dropped from heaven into the street. The gods sent it." Yes, the gods. And the words of hope would travel from one end of the country to the other.
The train moved backward. Had someone at last betrayed me, and was I
going to be asked to get down? No. I was not to be arrested till several months
later, in this very station of
The train started to move again, slowly. For a while I went back to my
carriage, where I found two of the Indian girls alone. The Jewesses were not
there thank goodness! I stood at the window, gazing at what was left of
The Hindu girl saw how moved I was, and heard my appeal to heaven. She
looked up to me from her corner and said: "Savitri, believe me, I
understand you. The way these people treated
"Jawohl, alles kaputt," I repeated -- all lies in the dust. "But that is not the end. The great days will come back, believe me," I said, with the accent of sincerity. I had no leaflets left to give her. But I knew their contents by heart. I told her what I had written: "We are the pure gold put to test in the furnace. Let the furnace blaze and roar! Nothing can destroy us. One day we shall rise and triumph again. Hope and wait."
She looked at me, bewildered, hardly daring to believe that she really heard my words. "Who are you?" she asked me.
"An Aryan from the other end of the world," I answered. "One day, the whole race will look up to the German people as I do today." And I added in a whisper, as she pressed my hands in hers: "Heil Hitler!"
She looked at me once more. Her tired face now shone. "Yes," she said, "he loved us -- the poor, the working people, the real German nation. Nobody ever loved us as he did. Do you believe he is still alive?" she added.
I said: "He can never die." Some people were coming. We parted.
The two Jewesses were walking up the corridor with the stage manager. The female who had spoken like a devil from hell on the evening before did not address a word to me -- the gods be praised! But the other one burst out at me in anger. She felt she could say what she pleased to the dresser.
"Where were you all night?" she asked me.
"Standing in the corridor."
"Why weren't you in your place in the compartment?"
"I wanted fresh air. And whose business is it, anyhow, whether I care to sit or stand?"
"Fresh air, my foot!" she exclaimed. "You were feeding your bloody Germans all night. Don't we know?"
"Feeding them, only," thought I. So they did not know the whole truth after all. "Can't I feed whom I please with my own money?" I replied. "Again, what business have you to pry into my affairs?"
But the stage manager stepped into the row. "The Germans!" said he. "You should go and live with them, if you find them so wonderful -- live on boiled potatoes in some cellar,, like they do, and see how you like it!"
My eyes flashed, and my heart beat in anticipation of the beautiful life that I so wanted to be mine. Without understanding what he had said, the Jew had expressed my most ardent, my dearest desire. "Gods in heaven," I thought with a longing smile, "help me to come back and live among my Leader's people." But the Jew was not shutting his mouth. My silence, and possibly the happy expression on my face, irritated him. "You should be ashamed of yourself," he continued. "You should think of the British soldiers who lost their lives in this country before you go giving butter and cigarettes to these people."
"A bloody Nazi, that's what you are!" the Jewess now shouted at me as loudly as she could, so that all the English-speaking people in the carriage could hear.
My face beamed. "The highest praise given me in public since I left
The row subsided, as rows always do. I was once more standing at the window
alone, my head against the wind. My task was done -- for the time being. I
looked back to those fifteen intense hours across
I crossed the Belgian frontier without difficulty. The train now carried
me on toward
Still standing in the corridor, I was singing an Indian hymn to Shiva,
the Creator and Destroyer -- the very hymn I had sung over a year before in
On the evening of that day,