The Rope

The only good Nazi is one kicking in a death throe.

He treads the distance in his ill-fitting
prison uniform, step by heavy step.
It was not always thus. For a few years,
a few glorious years, his life was one
of ease and power. His pen killed as
easily as any Mauser; his pen
could eradicate a village as well
as a Panzer. What happened? Where did the
thousand years go? Where was the New Europe?
Cleansed of decadence, rejuvenated?
A fit home for a new people? Never,
never, never.
		But he knew nothing; he
told them nothing. What was there to tell? He
knew what fate befell him: the same he had
exacted so many thousands of times.
As he trod down the passage he only
thought of what words he would say: defiance
thrown back in the faces of these mongrels.
Oh, yes. They would know what he was made of.
He would ring out with a loud, clear voice,
he would spit the truth down their throats, he would
show he was not a small man, shackled though
he was.
	  And then there it was: the platform. 
The beam. The rope.
			  How many times had he
seen the rope placed around a neck, body
hoisted, kicking in death, life pouring out
painfully, and either sat unmoved, or,
sometimes, grinned grimacing? Dozens? Hundreds?
One death as countless as the sand? The rope
as much a part of his tools as Stukas. 

But now there was nothing for it. He was
done, and the dream he had of a villa
on the Baltic coast after his service
was done was done, here, in this airless room.
The guard nudged him, and he ascended the
stairs, step by step, positioned, finally,
over the trap door. Last words? He paused. Thought.
“Ich glaube in Deutschland!” Did he? Did the
words die in his throat? Then the sack over
his head, then the noose around his neck, then
the drop, that drop, which ended a thousand
years, fantasies like a Grimm’s fairytale.

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