The murderer sits down in his chair

A job is neatly done, the splintered steel

And brains are out of sight

Signs of power round the walls

Remind him of name and cause

But he is not there

He is cast off in flow of light

Sound of a language lost and found

Touch of a cool calm lake

Scent of the forest pines, footfall

A violin, a gentle drum


He killed the drummer long ago

But the drumming sound goes on.


This was sparked by reading about the rediscovery of Hitler’s store of classical music records. It had been looted in 1945 and carefully preserved by a Russian army officer who was Jewish, and who, his son said, had been perpetually puzzled that Hitler had favoured numerous pieces of music with Jewish conductors, composers or leading musicians. The old officer felt guilty about taking the collection and kept quiet about it until his death, when his son revealed it to the world.

I had also heard that Hitler favoured the work of Bruckner, one of my favourite composers and in whose music one can find calm and depth. Like the Red Army officer, I am puzzled.

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  1. teenylove

     /  November 28, 2011

    Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s deputy in the Nazi Party, cried when his pet canary died, tenderly put the body in a small box, covered it with a rose, and buried it under a rose bush in the garden.

    We are dichotomies.

    Fine poem.

  2. Fine. Absolutely puzzling how minds work, though art makes sense of it.

  3. Thanks, both. I’ve been to Auschwitz (both sites). On the smaller original site, the camp commandant brought up a family while supervising unimagineable horror and cruelty. No doubt he was a good father.


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