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

What is it that stirs the heart & mind,
Quietly & insidiously biting deep
Until it is a part of self
Rennie McOwan

Stately & silent mile-high Alpine peaks,
Stand oer the Obersalzburg, far below
By Berchtesgaden’s fairytale antiques,
Goes Doctor Schuschnigg’s car, snicking thro’ snow ;
Now Berghof looms,
How the Doctor trembles,
When moody light illumes Hitler & his gen’rals.

As tyrants try their tyranny
& fly thro’ the 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 a holy mission… guard the Reich from Eastern foes.

Ostmark
March
1938


The Question of Versaille

Alone with God, where no wind blows,
And Death, his shadow – doom’d, he goes :
That God is there the shadows shows
Ebenezer Elliott

Churchill lurch’d from his back-bench wilderness,
Round thickset neck dangl’d the Dardanelles,
Projecting deep resonance to impress
On Parliament of the Fascist perils;
“I prophesise
This Berlin maniac
Has fool’d us to the wise, that 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 old country,
Raise historic vigour,
Germany is re-arming at a pace,
We must build air fleets to stay in the race!”

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

London
March
1938


Hitler’s Will

He regards even his tantrums as a sign of strength
He would prefer us to be as water,
To see us stagnating as the bottom of the cup
Mourid Barghouti

Fresh from Rome, with Mussolini’s consent
To begin, ‘gainst Czechoslovakia
His tacit conquest of the continent,
Removing that thorn, that threat to the rear;
He’ll need reasons
To show aggressive hand…
“Blood of the Aryans 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
Musing on Maginot –
Amidst sycophants one 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 German people slumber on
In dull, stupid sleep & encourage
The Fascist criminals.
The White Rose

The second Max Stemmler stept from the train
Saw him thrust into echoistic sea,
Religious fervour proscribing his brain,
His heart leapt up to greet the pageantry;
Great church bells cheer,
“O Lord, ’tis glorious!
Der Fuhrer, he it 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 by Kongressbau: pulsing; hypnotic;
Enter 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, a heart’s reflex.

Nuremburg
June
1938


Hitler Moves

If few their wants, their pleasures are but few :
For every want that stimulates the breast
Becomes a source of pleasure when redress’d
Oliver Goldsmith

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

His villa was the field agreed,
By the piny, mountain wood,
“Sudetenland must be full 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

I think upon that happy time,
That time so fondly loved,
When last we heard the sweet bells chime
George Linley

Chamberlain Munich leaves with happy mind
“Peace in our time!” proposes off the flight,
Waving a piece of paper Hitler sign’d
Their 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!”

The men who ‘conquer’d’ Austria
Enter the Sudetenland
Thro’ its wiry, mine-strewn border
Now Der Fuhrer’s to command,
Draughts of heady euphoria
Throughout Sudetan fann’d,
Showering flowers on the infantry
As they march by, & cry for Germany.

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

Prague
October 1st
1939


A Game of Chess

In the most decent sometimes sun
there is the softsmoke feeling from urns
and the canned sound of old battleplanes
Charles Bukowski

At the heart of Red 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,  pleas’d with appeasing purge.

Molotov puzzl’d oer the board,
Puffing on a 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.

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

Moscow
January
1939


Conquest of Czechoslovakia

No more, O my spirit,
are we flawless,
we have seen evil undreamt
Hippolytus

The famous Ides of March, der Fuhrer acts,
Imperial intentioning 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, bluff for the pot,
Hound Hascha, puffing, round the den,
His temp’rament tired & hot,
Who figgles, faints, revives again
By Morrel’s morphine shot…
Thus half adream in the first flush of day
Soulcrushman signs his poor contree away.

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

Prague
March
1939


War’s Reality

At times, God, for his own good will,
Gives hell, o’er men and nations, rule;
But Right, though crushed, I hold Right still
PJ Bailey

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, “The Poles shall fall
Beneath our battering!”
“You crave Danzig?” “No, we crave war!”… Ciano’s awakening.

Berlin
May
1939

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