Canto 44: Appeasement

The new German university has only one law… to serve the intentions & objectives of the Fuhrer & the German people

Hans Heyse


 

Anschluss

Stately & silent mile-high Alpine peaks
Watch Doctor Schuschnigg’s car snick thro’ the snow
By Berchtesgaden’s fairytale antiques,
Climbing the Obersalzburg far below;
The Berghof looms,
& the Doctor trembles,
Soon moody light illumes Hitler & his gen’rals.

As tyrants try their tyranny
& fly thro’ a high-stakes game;
Alone in Der Fuhrer’s study,
His land in the window frame,
“Austria must join Germany,
The same in all but name,
My destiny forg’d to reunite us,
Oppose us & spill the blood of brothers.”

The Heldenplatz sang joyously
Their conquerer arose
In victory, “Thro’ you & me
The German Nation grows,
Thou hast new name & mission… gaurd the Reich from Eastern foes.”

Ostmark
March
1938


 

The Question of Versaille

Churchill lurch’d from his back-bench wilderness,
Round his thick neck dangl’d the Dardanelles,
Projecting deep resonance to impress
Upon Parliament of Fascist perils;
“I prophesise
That Berlin maniac
Has fool’d us to the wise, this man must soon attack!

Let us urge the world to rally
Against this cruel dictator,
How potent the deterency
If we should pool with Russia,
So let us rouse our own country,
Raising aulden vigour,
Germany is re-arming at a pace,
We must build air fleets to stay in the race!”

The House laugh their indignant laugh,
Chamberlain sat him down,
A telegraph from the Berghof
Plucks from his stately gown,
“Mister Hitler is all for peace!” cheers drown the single frown.

London
March
1938


 

Hitler’s Will

Fresh from Rome, with Mussolini’s consent
To begin, ‘gainst Czechoslovakia
His tacit conquest of the continent,
& remove that thorny threat to his rear;
He’ll need reason
To show aggressive hand…
“Blood of the Aryan floods the Sudetenland!”

Touring the regions of the Rhine,
Fawning entourage in tow,
In every heart his star did shine,
To Hades they would follow,
Strolling along the Seigfried line
Mus’d on the Maginot –
Amidst the sycophants precocious youth,
Dares challenge his captain with starkling truth;

“We lack the men to firmly man
The whole of this West Wall!”
“Schiesser, we can, we’re stronger than
Both Albion & Gaul,
Their treaty is a sham they have no spine to fight at all.”

The Saar
August
1938


 

Nazi Party Rally

The moment Max Stemmler stept from the train
Him thrust into an echoistic sea,
Religious fervour proscribing his brain,
Heart leaping up to all the pageantry;
Bold church bells cheer,
“O lord, tis glorious!
Der Fuhrer, he ist here! He has come among us!”

Neath nympholepsic fawn fanfare
& eagle-mantl’d banner,
This dreamy, acolytic stare
Of uniform’d stormtrooper,
Paces fulgurant, flament, flair,
Figure-heads together;
Pass’d the Kongressbau: pulsing; hypnotic;
For the Zepp’linfeld: writhing; erotic…

…Where oratory masterful
Draws the crowd to climax,
His beautiful, triumphant will
Spits venom at the Czechs,
“Justice for the Sudetenland!” Max faints, his heart’s reflex.

Nuremburg
June
1938


 

Hitler Moves!

As distant peals of thunder draw closer,
About the Kehlsteinhaus tough Zephyrs swirl’d,
No wonder, here, delusions of grandeur,
An eagle’s nest perch’d high atop the world;
Hitler commands
They drive below the snow,
Wringing his clammy hands, singing, ‘Bring on the foe!’

His villa was the field agreed,
By the piny, mountain wood,
“The Sudetenland must be freed
From spillage of German blood,
It must be now if I must lead
In full stride of manhood,
For never! never! never! shall I yield
Even if Earth becometh battlefield!”

“If you want war why let us come,
Our time wasted I see!”
Adolf struck dumb, a softer drum,
“Will the Allies agree
To the seccession?” “Si!” such was that easy victory.

Berghof
September 15th
1938


 

Paper Promises

Chamberlain leaves Munich with happy mind
“Peace in our time!” proposes off the flight,
Waving a piece of paper Hitler sign’d
A promis’d understanding not to fight;
Far from his Putsch,
Der Fuhrer snorts a laugh,
“I liked that man so much he got my autograph!”

Those men who ‘conquer’d’ Austria
Enter the Sudetenland
Thro’ the mined & wire-strewn border
Now Der Fuhrer’s to command,
Draughts of heady euphoria
Thro the Sudetan fann’d;
Who shower’d flowers on the infantry
As they march’d by, crying for Germany.

Abandon’d by their ‘friends’ abroad,
Betray’d & left naked
Before the sword of Hitler’s horde,
A simple sentence said,
“Today twas us, tomorrow you, we live to count the dead!”

Prague
October 1st
1939


 

A Game of Chess

At the heart of that empire in the east,
Two pals play the ancyent game of statesmen,
Molotov persists with the Spanish priest,
Stalin moves his knight back to Queen’s Knight One;
Satiated
Of that Ivanic urge,
Content to shuffle wood, contented with the purge.

Molotov puzzl’d oer the board
& puff’d on his fat cigar
As Stalin’s icy silence thaw’d;
“If tomorrow brings a war,
Tho’ we prefer sickle to sword,
We must prepare to spar :
Tis not long now until Berlin’s advance –
I mistrust Britain but we must court France.

Therefore Russia should be ready,
Re-arm our brave young sons,
Transfom the key tractor fact’ry,
Build airplanes, tanks & guns…”
Moves Molotov, “Aye, if they march we’ll slay a million huns.”

Moscow
January
1939


 

Conquest of Czechoslovakia

The famous Ides of March, der Fuhrer acts,
Imperial intentions here reveal’d,
Tastebuds whetted for better Tscheschienne trachts
He summons Hascha to the battlefield;
“Your poor country
Stands friendless & alone,
You MUST sign this decree lest we attack at dawn!”

Von Ribbentrop shaking his pen,
Goering bluffing for the pot,
They hounded Hascha round the den,
His temp’rament tired & hot,
He faints! but is reviv’d again
By Morrel’s morphine shot…
Thus half adream in the first flush of day
This crush’d man signs his poor contree away.

Hitler climbs the Mala Strana,
A sea of swastikas,
Bohemia, Moravia,
His newest provinces,
Gladly kingleading Germany’s rejuvenescenses.

Prague
March
1939


 

War’s Reality

The scales are falling from Chamberlain’s eyes,
Deceitfulness & ridicule runs clear,
Childish to swallow Hitler’s streams of lies
His regime’s misbeseeming dreams deem near;
“Bright shines hindsight,
Tis inevitable,
That man was born to fight, that man yearns for battle.”

As he rose before the members
Certain sections boo’d & hiss’d,
“The world is turning serious,
For the German jingoist
Had thought he could deceive us!
But now we must resist,
For only a fool would think, come the hour,
Rise up, would we not, with all our power!”

Von Ribbentrop & Ciano stroll
Thro’ gardens blushing Spring,
Teutonic drawl, “Those Poles shall fall
Beneath our battering!”
“You crave Danzig?” “No, we crave war!”… Ciano’s awakening.

Berlin
May
1939

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