THE GLORIOUS DAY
It was a lovely spring day. Seated in the motorcar by the side of Miss Taylor, I gazed out of the window at the new landscape: tender green grass and tender green leaves; and flowers, masses of flowers; lilacs and fruit blossoms, white, pink, yellow, red, and pale violet, in the sunshine. And, I gazed at the pure bright sky. I knew this was my last day of relative liberty. I was, now, really going to be tried — and sentenced. After that — whatever the sentence was to be — I would no longer be taken to Düsseldorf every week or fortnight; no longer be given glimpses of the outside world. And I breathed deeply, as though to take into my body all the freshness and all the vitality of the invincible living earth. Never in all my life had I found the fragrance of spring so intoxicating; never had things seemed to me so beautiful. At tunes — when the car rolled past some particularly fascinating spot — an intense emotion seized me, and tears came to my eyes. I felt as though, through the glory of her sunlit fields and of her trees covered with blossoms, Hitler’s beloved fatherland was smiling to me — greeting me on my last journey to the place where I was destined to defy her oppressors.
My luggage was travelling with me, at the back of the car. It is, it seems, the custom: there is always a hope that a prisoner on remand might get acquitted, in which case he or she is set free at once, without having the trouble to come back to prison in order to fetch the luggage left there. However, I had known nothing of
the existence of that custom until Mr. Harris, the British Chief Warder at Werl, had informed me of it on that very morning while I was waiting in his office for the car to come. When, on the night before, the matron of the prison had told me that I was to take all my things with me, I had been at a loss to understand why. And, — ill acquainted as I still was with the mysterious ways of British justice — I had feared that, perhaps, my precious manuscripts were to be used as evidence against me and then destroyed. All night I had not slept, wondering how I could possibly save them, if that were the case. And early in the morning, when my dear comrade H. E. had come, as usual, to fetch her tea, porridge and white bread — and, this time, to wish me “good luck” in my trial — I had told her: “I fear they regret having given me back my writings. It looks, now, as if they want them, for I was told to take all my things to Düsseldorf. But I shall leave my manuscripts here behind the cupboard, rolled up in my waterproof. Tell Frau So-and-so; she is on duty, I believe. And ask her to hide them for me until I come back. Or hide them yourself, somewhere in the infirmary. Nobody will look there. Save them! — not for my sake, but for the sake of the truth I have written in those pages.”
“I promise I shall do so,” had answered H. E.: “And at your trial, remember that we will all be thinking of you, and that we all love you,” she added, speaking of those of my comrades, the so-called “war criminals,” who were genuine National Socialists, and, perhaps, of all the members of the prison staff — Frau So-and-so and others — who were too.
“I hope I shall be worthy of your love,” had I replied. “This is my greatest and my happiest day. Heil Hitler!”
“Heil Hitler!” had said H. E. raising her hand in her turn.
Now, in the car, I was thinking of that last greeting, and looking at the landscape. Suddenly I realised the tragic fact that H. E. and H. B., and Frau M. and Frau S. and Frau H. and all my other true comrades, of whom I was now beginning to know the names, and thousands of others, all over Germany, had not seen the beauty of spring since 1945. I knew it before, no doubt. I had never felt it so painfully. “Poor dears!” thought I. “Until when?” And some were captive even longer still: Rudolf Hess was, for instance, since 1941. “Yes; until when?”
The vivid picture of them all, cut off from the world of action for such a long time, after the intense life they had lived during the first struggle and the glorious following years, saddened me profoundly. And I also recalled all those who had been killed off as “war criminals” by our enemies. “Oh, thought I,” if there is any such thing as consciousness after death, may they hear me today! I shall speak as though they were present.”
The car rolled on. Between expanses of lovely countryside, we crossed the ruined towns: Dortmund, Duissburg, Essen, . . . As we were passing before the skeleton of the immense Krupp factories, Miss Taylor said to the policeman seated on the other side of her: “A part of these are being repaired and will soon be working again — for us. Really, war is a stupid business! We wrecked these factories and tomorrow we will again be buying from them.”
I could not help putting in my word — although I was a prisoner, and the policewoman had not addressed me. The fact is that I had despised the representatives
of the Allied Occupation from the start, and that all their outward courtesy to me had only served to increase in me that contempt. I never cared if I did hurt any of them, individually, through the way I expressed my resentment towards them as a whole.
“And what about the hundreds of factories which you people have been and are still dismantling?” said I, bitterly.
“That was, — and is — a great mistake on our part, from the standpoint of our interest,” replied Miss Taylor. “Sooner or later, we will have to help to build then up and to equip them anew, for the sake of our own defence against Bolshevism. Ultimately, it is the British taxpayer who will suffer for the damage we are doing.” It looked exactly as though the representative of the Allied Occupation was trying her best to propitiate me — the defender of National Socialism; Germany’s friend . . . Did I also represent the future — the coming revenge of the dismembered Nation — that the policewoman felt so keenly the necessity of doing so? If that was the case, her attempt only had the contrary effect.
“It will serve you right; oh, how it will serve you right!” I burst out. “Why did you, in 1939, go and wage war upon the one Man and the one people who could have kept back Bolshevism? Why did you ally yourselves with the Russians in order to crush National Socialism? You only deserve to perish, and I heartily wish you do! I wish I have the pleasure of seeing you, one day, not all exterminated — that would be too glorious and too merciful an end — but ground down to the level of a twentieth-rate nation, mourning, for your past splendour for a generation or two and then forgetting even that; a nation having less in common with the builders of the historic British empire than the unfortunate
Greeks of today have with those of the Periclean age. I wish I could come back, from century to century, and tell you, with merciless glee, over and over again, until you sink into the unconsciousness of the dead: ‘This gnawing decay is the wage of England’s crime in 1939.’ And I wish to see the same slow paralysis, the same nightmare of dwindling life in death, torture the descendants of all those Aryans who from 1939 to 1945 — and after 1945 — sided against Hitler’s great new humanity. May it spare those alone who will recognise the treachery of their unworthy fathers and spit at their memory and boldly join the resurrected New Order.”
To my own surprise, this vitriolic tirade, apparently, prompted Miss Taylor to propitiate me all the more. She started pleading for the British people while admitting the “mistakes” of British policy. (The crime of 1939 she euphemistically called a “mistake.”) “Many of us are growing to believe that it would perhaps have been better for us to ally ourselves with Germany,” said she.
“Well, begin by building up the factories you spoilt and putting an end to your ‘de-Nazification’ nonsense,” said I, speaking in the name of the German National Socialists, “and then, perhaps, we shall condescend to consider what we might do. But even then,” — I added after a pause — “what about the magnificent forests, Germany’s pride, that you have massacred? I wish that, in the next war, three at least of your people are killed for every tree you have cut down, out here — apart from those who will die so that my comrades and superiors will be avenged.”
“And yet, we are not so bad as you think,” said Miss Taylor, determined to draw my mind away from bloodthirsty thoughts — if she could. “Be impartial and
look how we treat your friends, here: we are releasing the political prisoners little by little; and they don’t work in prison, like the others . . .”
My first impulse was to interrupt her and to say “What rubbish! My comrades, the so-called ‘war criminals’ in Werl, all work. More so, I know that one of them at least — H. B. one of the victims of the Belsen trial — is forced to empty the sanitary pails from the cells, along with the thieves and murderesses appointed to that work. I have seen her do it. I have seen her empty my pail. Don’t tell me tales!” But in order to say that, I would have had to admit that I was in touch with some of the so-called “war criminals.” Miss Taylor would perhaps tell Colonel Vickers . . . And then? No; it was better for me to say nothing; to continue listening to the lies of democratic propaganda . . .
“They don’t work?” said I, feigning ignorance and astonishment. “Is it so, really? What do they do, then, all day long?”
Miss Taylor seemed pleased to think that I believed her. “I don’t know,” she answered. “Those who like can write their memoirs. Some do. General Kesselring is writing his. I know. We allow him to. As for General Rundstedt, we even set him free on parole — free to travel about Germany, to go and see his family, and come back to a comfortable prison till his next leave! Indeed, I tell you, the French would never do that! Nor the Germans themselves, if ever they had us. As for the Russians . . .”
“Hum!” thought I, “I wish I could investigate into that statement of hers about Rundstedt. If it is true, there must be some fishy business behind it. These people do nothing for nothing.”
And can the political prisoners have light in their
cells after 8 p.m.? asked I, — knowing perfectly well that my friend H. E. had no light after eight o’clock any more than the others, whether “war criminals” or ordinary delinquents.
“Certainly,” said Miss Taylor.
Then she started speaking about the English men and women arrested in England, during the war, under the 18B act. “The ‘internment camps’ in which they were placed,” said she, “had nothing in common with the ‘concentration camps’ in which the enemies of the National Socialist régime suffered in Germany.”
“You’d better not expatiate on that subject,” observed I: “I know too many 18Bs.”
“I know a few too,” answered the policewoman.
“I bet you do,” said I. And to show her how impossible it was to convince even a moderately well-informed Nazi that such a thing as “humanity” exists among our opponents, I added, with an ironical smile “Perchance, do you know anything about the torture chamber in Ham Common?”
“I never heard of it, and I don’t believe it ever existed,” exclaimed Miss Taylor. “You, of course, will believe anything provided one of your own lot says it!”
“And even if I did, that would not make me more gullible than the most ‘enlightened’ Democrats,” retorted I. “But I happen to know a man — and an Englishman, too — who was tortured, during the war, precisely in the place I just mentioned, for no other reason except that he was one of us and that he knew, or was supposed to know, too much. And you had other such places, although you pretended — and still pretend — to be horrified at our ‘barbarity’. Now, don’t tell me the contrary, for you will be wasting your breath.”
Miss Taylor deemed it useless to continue her plea. However, she made an ultimate attempt to placate me, — and at last, she spoke of something that was true: “We have spared your writings,” she said.
She was right, — for once. They had, indeed, done so. And I wondered whether the French or the Americans — let alone the Russians — would have done it. (I would certainly not have done it, in the case of an anti-Nazi manuscript fallen into my hands, had I had power.) I was grateful to the Gods for what I considered as a miracle. But I was not in a mood to give credit to our persecutors, whatever their nationality.
“Oh,” replied I, “I suppose you only spared them because, in your eyes, they appeared written with too much fervour to be dangerous . . . for the time being . . .”
But in the bottom of my heart, I repeat, I thanked the heavenly powers for the fact that the precious pages were lying somewhere in safety, in Werl, and that I would find them again — and continue writing them — after my trial would be over, if I was allowed to live.
* * *
We reached Düsseldorf. We waited a little before entering the hall in which I was to be judged. Along with my other things, my few items of jewellery had been given back to me. I had them in the attaché case I held in my hand, as on the day of my arrest. Among them, were my Indian earrings in the shape of swastikas. “I have half a mind to wear those,” said I to Miss Taylor, “What can ‘they’ do? Give me six months extra, a year extra, for ‘contempt of Court’? Let them! The pleasure of wearing the Sign of the Sun and of National Socialism, in front of everybody, is well worth it!”
Miss Taylor gazed at me to make sure that I was speaking seriously. To her amazement, I was. “What a baby you are, for a woman forty-three!” she said at last. “I really fail to see what good this can do, not for you (I know you don’t care) but for your precious cause. The people who have come to hear you will no longer take you seriously when they see you trying to defy us by such a showy exhibition. Do as you like, of course. It’s all the same to me. But in your place . . . from your point of view . . .”
I reflected. Perhaps there was something in what she said. “After all,” thought I, “it matters little. They will see what I am, fast enough, when I open my mouth . . .”
The witnesses whom I had seen on the 14th of March were all there: Gertrud Romboy, — who pretended not to notice me — the policeman Wilhelm Kripfel, the Oberinspektor Heller, and the others. A man whom I did not know, dressed in lawyer’s robes, approached me and told me that he had been appointed to defend me, as, at the last moment, my lawyer had been prevented from coming. (It occurred to me that, in reality, he had possibly decided that it was impossible for him to defend someone so glad to suffer as I was, for her beloved cause, and that he had just shifted the task unto a colleague.) I repeated to this man what I had already told the first lawyer, namely that, under no consideration did I wish to appear less responsible than I was, or less fervently National Socialist, and that I would myself see to it that I did not.
When the lawyer had gone, a man in military uniform came up to me and put me the most unexpected question of all: “Well, Mrs. Mukherji,” said he, “how is your book getting on? You surely have finished
Chapter 4. How many new chapters have you written while on remand?”
I was taken aback. “Is this man sent to find out what I have been writing in prison, so that ‘they’ might control it and, if they like, destroy it?” thought I. “What shall I tell him? To pretend I have completely forgotten about the book will not do; it would arouse suspicion — for he would not believe it.”
“My book?” said I, turning to the man, and speaking with as much naturalness as I possibly could, “I have not touched it. I had many letters to write, and wanted to finish them before doing anything else. And also, I was not in a mood. I shall continue writing later on — if it is allowed. Otherwise I shall wait till I am free. It is no use getting into trouble with the prison authorities.”
I hoped the man believed me. But I was not at all sure he did. He opened a cardboard cover he carried in his hand and showed me a typed copy of the first pages of my book up to the beginning of Chapter 3. I had completely forgotten about that copy — one of the three I had typed in London, on my last journey, precisely to save as much as I could of the book in case it ever fell into the hands of the police, on my return to Germany. (I had left one in England, at a friend’s, and had sent the other to India.) But whatever I had written since my return was, of course, not in those copies. To this one I had barely had the time to add, in my own handwriting, just before my arrest, a page or two of my Chapter 3. I read once more the last words I had copied — my personal comment upon a true episode illustrating Germany’s spirit in the midst of atrocious conditions, in May, 1945: “Hail, invincible Germany! Hail, undying Aryan youth, élite of the world, whom the
agents of the dark forces can starve and torture, but can never subdue! That unobtrusive profession of faith of two unknown but real Nazis, in 1945, is, itself, a victory. And it is not the only one.”
“You wrote that, is it not so?” the man asked me.
“Yes, I did,” replied I. And I could not conceal a certain pride in the tone of my voice. For I was aware that my ardent tribute of admiration to Germany, now that, materially, she lay in the dust, was also, — and all the more, precisely because I am not a German — a victory of the Nazi spirit over force of money, over force of lies, and even over force of arms. But I said nothing more.
The man walked away after wishing me “good luck” in my trial.
* * *
At last, the time came for me to appear in Court.
“Your comrade has got six months,” Miss Taylor told me — she had just heard from someone what sentence had been pronounced against Herr W. —“I suppose you will get a year or so.”
“You forget that I am not going to lie, and say I did it in the hope of money,” replied I. “I am far more interested in what the Party will think of me in 1955 than in what ‘these’ people might do with me now. I also bear in mind what fact I am about to leave behind me, forever, in the irrevocable past.”
For a second or two, I held in my hand, with love, the little portrait of Adolf Hitler that hung around my neck. “May I speak as though thou wert here present, listening to me, my Führer!” thought I, as I crossed the threshold of the hall and walked slowly to my place in the dock, my head erect, my eyes bright with joy.
The hall was packed with people — representatives of the press, and members of the German public. “There has never been such a crowd of onlookers in a trial like this since 1945,” said Miss Taylor.
Under the enthusiasm that possessed me, I felt supremely calm — blissful; the word is not too strong a one. I felt invincible. I knew I was invincible. I embodied the Nazi spirit — the everlasting soul of Aryan Heathendom, in its primaeval strength, pride and beauty. My face must have beamed, and I must have looked beautiful — as one always does when one is raised above one’s self. I felt as though, from all the prisons and concentration camps in which our enemies still retain them, from their destitute homes, from their beds of suffering — and from beyond the limits of the visible world — my martyred comrades and superiors had fixed their eyes upon me and were crying out to me: “Speak for us, who cannot speak! Defy in our name the forces that have broken our bodies and silenced our voices, Savitri, daughter of the Sun,1 Aryan woman of all times!”
On the left, against the wall, behind the judge’s seat, was spread out the Union jack — in the place where the Swastika banner would have been seen, in former days, above a portrait of the Führer. But the sight of it, — reminder of the fact that Germany was occupied — did not disturb me (any more than that of the two Jews whom I noticed, seated right in front, on the first bench, among the public). Nothing counted, nothing existed for me, but the living spirit that I represented, and the living Nation — the Nation Hitler so loved — that I felt looking
1 My Indian name, Savitri, means in Sanskrit “Solar Energy.”
to me from beyond the narrow limits of that hall, waiting for the few words that she would never forget.
An overwhelming consciousness of solemnity — a sort of religious awe — took hold of me as, exactly two years before, on the slopes of the divine Volcano. A cold, delightful thrill ran along my spine and throughout my body. In a flash of hallucinating memory, I recalled the roar of the burning Mountain, and the tremor of the earth — like a throb of subterranean drums accompanying the Dance of Destruction. I could not sing, as when I had walked up to the stream of lava. But somehow, within my mind, I identified the ever-vivid remembrance of the eruption with an anticipated inner vision of the coming collapse of the Western world, in the thunder and flames of the next war. And, along with that deafening, crushing, all-pervading noise, — answering it, covering it, dominating it — I heard within my heart the music of the victorious Song, of the Song of Resurrection — the Song of my undaunted comrades, alone alive among the dead; alone standing, and marching, in the midst of the general crash; alone worthy to thrive and to rule, upon the ashes of those who chose the way of disintegration and death — our Song, in the struggle, in victory, in the dark years of persecution, in the unconditional mastery of the future forever and ever: “Die Fahne hoch! . . .”
Never had I felt its conquering tune so powerfully within my nerves, within my blood, as though it were the mystic rhythm of my very life. Tears filled my eyes. I remembered the hundreds of miles of ruins that stretched in all directions, beyond the spot where I stood, — the torn and prostrate body of holy Germany. All that would be avenged, one day, in a volcanic upheaval. And above the noise of crumbling Christian civilisation, the
Song of the young hero Horst Wessel would resound heralding the final New Age. And above the flames and smoke, the triumphant Swastika Flag would flutter in the storm, against the glaring background of explosions unheard of . . . “. . . Bald flattern Hitlerfahnen über allen Strassen . . .”
Oh, how happy, how invincibly happy I was!
I looked at the judge, at the public Prosecutor, at the lawyer, at the other representatives of the long-drawn Occupation, in military uniforms, and at the two ‘Yids’ grinning on the front bench — delighted at the idea of watching a Nazi’s trial. And I thought: “Where will these all be, in ten years’ time? While we . . . we shall survive because we deserve to; because the Gods have decreed that we shall. May my attitude show today how indeed we deserve to rule, we, the sincere, we the fearless, we the pure, the proud, the strong, the free, the detached — the beautiful; we National Socialists! For if I, the least among us, am worthy, then how much more so the others!”
The judge made a sign, and everybody sat down.
Then, he asked me, for the sake of formality, my name, my age, etc. . . . and the procedure began. After the hearing of several witnesses, I was acquitted of the minor charge of having been found in possession of a Bank of England five pound note. I think I can say that the answer of one of the witnesses, named Mr. Severs, finally decided my acquittal. Shown a five pound banknote, he stated that he could not recognise, in it, the one found in my handbag on the day of my arrest. And the next charge was brought forth, namely that, while not being a German, I had entered the British Zone of control without the required military permit — for, as I
have already said, my permit was good for the French Zone only.
Again, witnesses were heard, as in connection with my first charge. I was beginning to feel a little bored — for my main charge was the only one that really interested me — when to my surprise, I noticed in the hands of the lawyer, who was seated in front of me, a letter written in my husband’s bold and elegant handwriting, so well-known to me. Or was I mistaken? I peeped over the man’s shoulder and, at the bottom of the last page, I read the signature: Asit Krishna Mukherji. It was indeed a letter from my husband. Curiosity — mingled with a certain feeling of apprehension — stirred me. And when, at last, the hearing of my case was put off till the afternoon, I asked the lawyer to let me have the message. He willingly agreed. I read it in waiting for my midday meal.
It bore in large letters, at the left top corner of the first page, the word “confidential,” and was addressed “to the Chairman of the Military Tribunal, Düsseldorf.” It was an extremely clever and shameless plea for clemency in my favour. In four pages of obsequious prose, it contained, along with some accurate statements, — such as a passage about my lifelong yearning after the old Norse Gods no less than those of ancient Greece — some half-truths, artfully dished up, and a sprinkling of blatant lies. The accurate statements were casually made, in such a manner, that it became very difficult if not impossible to draw from them the logical conclusions, i.e., the seriousness, the solidity — the orthodoxy — of my National Socialist faith. The half-truths were twisted, with experienced ease, into downright lies. The fact, for instance, that, after three atrocious years of despair, I had regained confidence in the future of my race in
Sweden, mainly through a conversation with a world-famous National Socialist of that country, the explorer Sven Hedin, in 1948. was presented as though I had, myself, become a National Socialist in 1948! And even so, according to this letter, my socio-political convictions boiled down to just a “personal admiration for Adolf Hitler”! The spirit that had animated my whole activity in India — the spirit, nay, that had prompted me to go to India — the land that had never denied its Aryan Gods — was most carefully concealed. And, worse than all, I was presented not merely as an “intensely emotional” and gullible woman, who had “certainly been exploited by interested people,” but as “an out and out individualist” (sic) who “could not but be emphatically opposed to any régime of absolute authority” (sic).
In spite of my growing indignation, I could not help admiring the serpentine persuasiveness that my husband displayed in dealing with our enemies. This was indeed a letter of my subtle, practical, passionless, and yet unfailingly loyal — and useful — old ally; of the man I had seen at work, day after day, during and already before the war, for years; of the man who had, to some extent, prepared and made history, without anyone knowing it — save I; who, had only Germany and Japan won this war, would have been, today, the real master of India. But that accusation of “individualism,” written against me in black and white, (never mind with what laudable intention) was more than I could stand. Turning to Miss Taylor after I had finished reading the letter I burst out: “Have a look at this masterpiece of slimy diplomacy, for it is well worth it!”
The policewoman read the document. “It is most cleverly laid out,” concluded she, handing it back to me. “Naturally, I — who am beginning to know you, by now
— can see through it. But the judge does not know you. I tell you: your lawyer could take a splendid advantage of this and . . .”
“And obtain an incredibly light sentence for me — lighter even than Herr W.’s,” said I, with contempt. “An incredibly light sentence, at the cost of honour! And you think I am going to stand for that?”
“Stand for what?” replied Miss Taylor, genuinely astonished. “There is no question of honour. Your husband has not insulted you. He has only, with amazing mastery, exploited the very truth for your defence. He says a few true things — among others — doesn’t he?”
“True things! My foot! I’d very much like to know which,” I burst out. “He admits that my whole philosophy has its roots in my preeminently Pagan consciousness, which is, of course, true enough. But that is about the only accurate statement he has made in this disgraceful letter. He mentions my love of animals, too, and my strong objection to any infliction of suffering upon them, for whatever purpose it be; but he does so only in order to imply that a fortiori I surely object to our ruthless treatment of dangerous or potentially dangerous human beings, which I do not, as I told you a hundred thousand times. And he knows, better than anyone, that I do not — any more than he does himself. And he should know that I don’t want to pass for a silly humanitarian in front of everybody, even if that could set me free. I have not come here to be set free, or to get a light sentence. I have come to bear witness to the greatness of my Führer, whatever might happen; to proclaim the universal and eternal appeal of the ideals for which we fought, and to defy the forces of a whole world bent upon killing our faith. It is the only thing I can do, now. And nobody shall keep me from
doing it. I don’t want to be excused, defended, whitewashed, as though I had done something wrong. And especially not, with such damaging hints as those. Have you noticed that passage at the bottom of the second page, in which I am presented as though I were one of those sentimental non-German females whose main, if not sole, contribution to the war effort of the Third Reich consisted of dreaming about the Führer as often as they could? Such a soppy lot! I don’t want to be lumped with them; they are not my type. And what would my comrades think of me?”
“Now, don’t get excited,” said Miss Taylor, “and let your imagination run away with you. Who tells you that your husband tried to ‘lump you’ with such women? He has just used the words ‘personal admiration’ to characterise your feelings towards your Leader. What is the harm in it? You do admire him, I suppose.”
“I worship him. But that is not the point. I tell you my husband has written those words purposely, so that our persecutors might not take me seriously. The proof of it you call see a few lines below, where I am described as ‘never having been interested in the political side of National Socialism’ — as though it were possible to separate the ‘political side’ from the philosophical, in an organic doctrine as logically conceived as ours! You can see it in that mendacious statement where I am called ‘an individualist’ naturally opposed to ‘any régime of absolute authority’. I, of all people, an ‘individualist’! I, opposed to authority! What a joke! Doubtless, I value my individual freedom — the freedom to salute my friends in the street, anywhere in Europe, anywhere in the world, saying: ‘Heil Hitler!’; the freedom to publish my writings with every facility. Doubtless I hate the authority now imposed upon me —
and upon all those who share my faith — in the name of a philosophy different from ours. But which National Socialist does not? And I surely would like nothing better than to see an iron authority impose our principles — my own principles — upon the whole world, breaking all opposition more ruthlessly than ever. Which National Socialist would not? I am in no way different from the others. But my husband has been trying all the time to persuade our enemies that I am. There lies his whole trick: he has tried to persuade them that I admire our Führer without being, myself, a full-fledged National Socialist, aware of all the implications of his teaching; in other words, that I am an over-emotional, irresponsible fool. And that is precisely what makes me wild.”
“He only did it to save you,” said Miss Taylor. “And I am sure there is not one of your German friends who would not understand that.”
“They might. But he should have known, after eleven years of collaboration with me, that I never wanted to be saved,” replied I; “and if anyone dares to read that letter in Court, I shall say a few things that will make its author regret ever having written it. I shall prove that I was what I am — and he too — years before 1948. I don’t care what might happen to both of us as a consequence!” I was out of my mind.
“Now, don’t be silly; don’t be a child,” said Miss Taylor, softly: “and especially, don’t speak so loudly: it is not necessary for everyone to hear you. Nobody forces you to make use of this letter. Tell the lawyer not to produce it, and he will not. But it was written with the best of intentions, I am sure. And that you should appreciate.”
“I probably would,” said I, after a moment’s reflection, “if only I could be sure that he wished to
save me, not in order to spare me hardships for my own sake, but solely because he judges me more useful to our cause — or at least less useless — free than behind bars. If that were the case, I would forgive him.”
“Quite possibly that is the case,” replied Miss Taylor.
We had finished our meal, which had been served to us at the “Stahlhaus” — now the British Police Headquarters. We returned to the building in Mühlenstrasse where my trial was taking place. I handed back my husband’s letter to the lawyer, telling him most emphatically not to mention it under any consideration.
“But you don’t seem to realise to what an extent I could exploit that letter in your favour,” said he.
“I know you could, but I forbid you to do so,” replied I. “My honour as a National Socialist comes before my safety, before my life, before everything — save, of course, the higher interests of the cause.”
“All right, then. It is as you like.”
No sooner had I thus made sure that my responsibility would be fully acknowledged, I regained my calm — and joy.
The procedure concerning my second minor charge continued. The judge now wished to put me a few questions, “But first, are you a Christian?” he asked me — for I was to swear to tell the truth.
“I am not,” replied I.
“In that case, it would be no use you swearing upon the Bible,” said he. “Upon what will you swear?”
I reflected for a second or two. No, I would not name any book, however exalted, however inspired. I would name, in a paraphrase, the cosmic Symbol of all power and wisdom, which is also the symbol of the resurrection of Aryandom: the holy Swastika.
“I can swear upon the sacred Wheel of the Sun,” said I, firmly, hoping that, if the judge and the other Britishers present did not understand what that meant, most of the Germans would. I spoke thus, for I did not intend to tell any lies. If a question were put to me about things I wished to keep secret, I would simply refuse to answer it. One can always do that.
But the judge did not accept my suggestion. Perhaps he knew, after all, what the Wheel of the Sun is. He asked me not to swear at all but to “declare emphatically” — in some non-confessional formula so devoid of poetic appeal that I have completely forgotten it — that I would tell “the truth, all the truth and nothing but the truth.” I did so; and then explained why I had not bothered to obtain a military permit for entering the British Zone: an official of the French Security Service in Baden Baden (92 Litschenstrasse) had positively told me, that “nowadays” one could travel wherever one liked in western Germany provided one had an entrance permit into one Zone. This was a fact.
The judge, however, this time, did not acquit me. “This is, of course, a purely technical offence,” said he. “Yet, it has been committed.” And he proceeded to the examination of the witnesses in connection with the main charge against me — namely that of having indulged in Nazi propaganda. Once more I became thoroughly interested in what was going on in my immediate surroundings.
All the witnesses were witnesses on behalf of the Prosecution — witnesses who were called in to prove that I had indeed done that with which I was charged, and that I had done it intentionally, fully aware of what I was doing. Every word they uttered “against” me, filled me with satisfaction. At last, — after how many years of concealment
for the sake of expediency, — I was appearing public in my true glaring colours. Had it been possible for me to continue to be useful in the dark, naturally, it would have been better. But it was no longer possible. So I was glad to see the picture of my real self emerge little by little, from accumulated evidence, before a few representatives of my Führer’s people. “Let them know,” thought I, not without a certain pride, “that in this wide, venal world that accuses them and condemns them, and reviles them, because — for the time being — they failed to conquer, they still have at least one faithful friend!”
Finally, the police official before whom I had made a voluntary statement on the 21st of February, came forth and read that statement: “It is not only the military spirit, but National Socialist consciousness in its entirety that I have struggled to strengthen, for, in my eyes, National Socialism exceeds Germany and exceeds our times.” I smiled. “Nothing could be more true,” thought I. The newspaper reporters took down the words. “They will not dare to publish them, lest their licences be cancelled,” thought I again — “for that would be pouring oil upon the fire.”
It was the Public Prosecutor’s turn to speak. He summed up the evidence that the witnesses had brought, putting special stress upon my own statement which the last witness had quoted. He then proceeded to give a brief account of my academic qualifications and of my career. “Here is a woman who is obviously intelligent,” said he; “who has obtained the highest degrees a University can confer upon a scholar — she is a master of sciences; a doctor of literature; — who has travelled over half the surface of the globe; who has taught history and philosophy to students, and held public meetings; who can
speak and write eight languages and who has published a few books lacking neither in original thought nor in erudition; and yet, . . . in spite of all that (sic) we are compelled to acknowledge that she is a fervent National Socialist . . .”
From the corner where I was seated, just opposite him, I lifted up my head with pride as though to say: “Surely I am! It is my greatest glory.” But I could not help being amused — at the same time as a little indignant — as I heard the words “in spite of all that.” “The damned cheek of this man!” exclaimed I, in a whisper, to Miss Taylor — for she was the only person I could possibly speak to — “‘in spite of all that’ he says, as though a higher education, experience of foreign lands, thought, erudition and what not, were incompatible with a sincere Nazi faith! I wish I could tell him that my little knowledge of history and my prolonged contact with people of all races have made me more Nazi than ever — if that were possible!”
“Shhh! Don’t talk,” said the policewoman.
But the Public Prosecutor had caught from his place the movement of my head and the happy smile that had accompanied it.
“See,” pursued he, “she gladly admits it. She is smiling. She is proud of it!”
“I am!” exclaimed I.
There were responsive smiles of pride and sympathy among the German public. But the judge asked me “not to interrupt.” And the Public Prosecutor Continued. “A fervent National Socialist,” said he, “and an active one, to the extent of her opportunities. She has come all the way from India in order to do what she could to help the dangerous minority with which she has identified herself completely — the minority that has never acknowledged
defeat. She has printed at her own cost, brought over to Germany at her own risk, and distributed a considerable number of those papers which constitute the ground of the present charge. Her case is particularly serious, for she illustrates how strong a hold National Socialism still retains today upon certain people — unfortunately more numerous than we are generally inclined to believe — who are, precisely, anything but irresponsible agents or men and women swayed by the lust of material gain. She represents the most dangerous type of idealist in the service of the system that has brought nothing but destruction upon this country and upon the world at large. We only have to look out of the windows of this hall to see what National Socialism means: ruins. We only have to remember this war in order to understand where that system has led the people whom it had succeeded in deceiving. And if we remain here today, it is to avoid further war, further suffering, further ruins, by keeping the pernicious Ideology from regaining appeal, and power. The accused, Mrs. Mukherji, has, I repeat, come to Germany on purpose to strengthen it: on purpose to undermine the work we have set ourselves to do. And during the few months of her stay she has already, through her leaflets and posters but, doubtless also through undetectable private propaganda, — through her conversations, through her whole attitude — done more irreparable harm than can accurately be estimated. I therefore demand that an exemplary sentence should be pronounced against her by this Court.”
I could not say that these were textually the words used by the Public Prosecutor. I have not stenographed his speech. But this was the general trend of it. And some of the sentences I remember word by word, and have reported here as they were uttered.
I boiled with indignation, as could be expected, when I heard the man slander our faith and declare — his arm stretched backwards, towards the window behind him — that the ruins of Düsseldorf and of all Germany were the result of National Socialism. Surely, I would answer that accusation, at least reject it in a biting sentence, when my turn came to speak. Yet, the best answer to it would be, no doubt . . . the next war — direct consequence of the defeat of Germany in this one; and divine punishment for England’s refusal to conclude with the Third Reich an honourable and lasting peace. Oh, then! Then, I would gloat to my heart’s content over new and even more appalling ruins — not in Germany, this time. And if I met such people as that Public Prosecutor, I would laugh in their faces and tell them: “Remember how you used to say that the ruins of Germany were the work of National Socialism? Well, whose work are your ruins, now? No doubt, that of your confounded Democracy — of that Democracy you once had the impudence to try to make us welcome. Eh, look now and see where it has brought you! Ah, ah, ah! How it serves you right! Ah ah ah!” Oh to speak thus, one day, with impunity, to our enemies half-dead in the dust!
Yet, I could not help admiring the way the man had, from the democratic standpoint, characterised me. After one’s own people’s love, nothing is more refreshing than the acknowledgement of one’s harmfulness by an enemy. For years, I had positively suffered from the fact that our opponents did not seem to believe me when I expressed my radical views and uncompromising feelings. God alone knows what forceful language I had always employed! But half the time the nonentities — the “moderate” people, the “decent” people, usual supporters of all we hate the most — would tell me, in the patronizing
tone which grownups sometimes use when speaking to adolescents: “You say that, but you don’t really mean it; surely you would not do it!” Had I been in a position to do so, I would have gladly sent them all to their doom, — even without them being dangerous to us — for the sheer pleasure of showing them that I did mean it, and was in no mood to be taken for an irresponsible chatterbox. Now, here was, at last, a man from the “other side” who knew that I “meant it” and “would do it” all right, if only given half a chance; a Democrat in whose eyes I was “the most dangerous type of idealist.” I thanked him, in my heart, for recognising my calculated purposefulness no less than my love and hate, and for not treating me as an emotional child. I thanked him for demanding “an exemplary punishment” for me. Had he demanded a death sentence, I would have been fully satisfied.
The judge told the lawyer that he now could speak. The latter declared he had nothing to say. It was the Public Prosecutor himself who reminded the Court of the existence of my husband’s letter.
“The accused does not wish that letter to be produced,” said the lawyer.
“Certainly not!” shouted I, from my corner. “I don’t want the whitewash. It is nothing but a concoction of half-truths and downright lies, anyhow.”
This public declaration was enough to deprive the document of whatever practical value it might have had. The judge did not insist. He turned to me; “Do you wish to speak?” he asked me.
“I do,” replied I; “although I have nothing to say for my defence, I would like to state the reasons that have prompted me to act as I did — if those reasons interest the Court.”
“They certainly do,” said the judge, giving me, at last, the opportunity that I had been so eagerly awaiting.
I had prepared a short but precise, and — as far as I could — well-composed speech, containing more or less whatever I wished to say. I forgot all about it. I forgot the presence of the judge, as well as of the other representatives of British power in conquered land. I felt again raised to the state of inspiration which I had experienced on entering the hall, on the morning of that unforgettable day. I found myself speaking, not merely before the British Military Tribunal of Düsseldorf, but before all Germany, all Aryandom; before my comrades, living and dead; before our Führer, living forever. My words were mine, and more than mine. They were the public oath of allegiance of my everlasting self to my undying race and its everlasting Saviour and Leader.
“I have never had the conceit to believe that by distributing a few leaflets and sticking up half a dozen posters, I would, alone, provoke the resurrection of National Socialism, out of the ruins and desolation in the midst of which we stand,” said I, in a clear voice that was, also, mine and more than mine. “Those ruins are not, as the Public Prosecutor has, just now, tendentiously asserted, the consequence of our Führer’s policy. They are, on the contrary, the marks of the savage war waged upon National Socialist Germany by the coalesced forces of disintegration from East and West, lavishly supported by Jewish finance, to crush in this country the kernel, the stronghold of regenerate Aryandom. The heavenly Powers, Whose ways are mysterious, have permitted the disaster of 1945. It is their business — and not mine — to raise National Socialism once more, in the future, to such prominence that its right to remain the one inspiring force of higher mankind shall never again be questioned.
I, the powerless individual, can only, as I wrote in my posters, ‘hope and wait’.
“Whatever I have done, I did, therefore, not in order to win immediate success for the cause I love, but in order to obey the inner law of my nature, which is to fight for that which I firmly believe to be true. The most sacred Book, revered throughout India, — the Bhagavad-Gita, written hundreds of years ago, — tells all those who, like myself, are militant by heredity, warriors by birthright, to fight steadfastly, regardless of gain or loss, victory or defeat, pleasure or discomfort. And our Führer has written, in the self-same spirit, in Chapter 2 of the second Part of Mein Kampf: ‘Whatever we think and do should be in no way determined by the applause or disapproval of our contemporaries, but solely by the obligation that binds us to the truth which we acknowledge’, or, to quote the actual text itself: ‘Allein unser Denken und Handeln soll keineswegs . . .’.”
Compelled as I was, by order of the Court, to speak in English, I was at least going to quote those words of Adolf Hitler also in their original German (which I happened to know), for the edification of the public, when the judge interrupted me:
“I am not concerned with what your Führer wrote or said,” he burst out, irritated. “And please remember that you are not here addressing a political meeting, and turn to the Court, i.e., to me, and not to the public, when you speak.”
“All right! But don’t believe I really mind in what direction I speak,” thought I; “In all directions, there is Germany!” And, turning to the judge, I said: “I am sorry if the Court is not interested in what my revered Führer has written. But, in a speech intended to explain what motives have prompted me to act as I did, I could
not help quoting those words of his, for their spirit has ruled my life, even before I knew of them; and it rules it today, as before; and it shall always rule it, inspiring every thought, every sentence, every action of mine.”
“Well, continue,” said the judge impatiently.
“I have just stated,” pursued I, “that I have acted, first, to express myself, to fulfil my own nature, which is to live according to my dearest convictions. But that is not the only reason. I have come, and I have acted as I did, also, in order to give the German people, now, in the dark hour of disaster, in the hour of martyrdom; now, in the midst of the ruins heaped all round them by their enemies, — who are, at the same tune, the enemies of the whole Aryan race — a tangible sign of admiration and love from an Aryan of a far-away land. One day, — I know not when, but certainly some day — the whole Aryan race, including England, including the nobler elements of the U.S.A. and of Russia, will look upon our Führer as its Saviour and upon the German people, — the first Aryan nation wide-awake — as the vanguard of higher humanity. I have done this in the gloomy years 1948 and 1949, so that it might remain true forever that, foreshadowing that great day to come, one non-German daughter of the Race, at least, has remained faithful to the inspired Nation, — grateful to her for sacrificing her all, in the struggle for the supremacy of true Aryandom — while so many, even among her so-called friends, have proved unfaithful and ungrateful. I have done it because, notwithstanding my powerlessness and personal insignificance, I know I am a symbol — the living symbol of the allegiance of Aryan mankind to the Führer’s people, tomorrow, in years to come, forever, in spite of temporary defeat, humiliation, occupation; in spite of the efforts of the agents of the dark forces to keep Germany
down; nay, because of the superhuman beauty of National Socialist Germany’s stand in the depth of defeat, humiliation, and persecution.
“And there is a third reason why I acted as I did. I did so to defy the victorious Democracies, thus heralding the final victory of the Nazi spirit over the power of money. Yes, I did it to defy you, the enemies of our eternal faith, hypocritical ‘champions of the rights of man’, ‘crusaders to Europe’ and what not; powers who have allied yourselves to the Communist forces to crush National Socialist Germany and — if possible — the National Socialist Idea, on behalf of the Jews. The easy task, you have done, and done thoroughly: night after night, for months, for years on end, you have poured streams of phosphorus and fire over this unfortunate country until nothing was left of it but smouldering ruins. With up-to-date bombers, — with Jewish money — how easy that was! And now, you have set yourselves to a more difficult task: the ‘conversion’ of Germany to your democratic and humanitarian principles; the ‘de-Nazification’ of all those who once shared the same faith as I. The future will tell, I hope, how futile that grand-scale task was, nay, how it carried within it the seeds of the reaction that will, one day, crush the powers in the name of which it was undertaken. In the meantime, already as early as yesterday, I distributed those papers, written by me alone, and under my sole initiative and my sole responsibility, in order to defy your ‘de-Nazification’ campaign; in the meantime, as early as today, I stand here and defy it and defy you, once more, in the name of all those, Germans or foreigners, who ever adhered to our National Socialist faith, sincerely and in full awareness of its implications.
“I stand here and proclaim, with joy, that neither
threats nor promises, neither cruelty nor courtesy, nor kindness can ‘de-Nazify’ me — a woman, not a man, and not a German woman at that; me, a nobody, who has never enjoyed any manner of power or privileges, or personal advantages, under the Nazi régime, but who, admires it without reservations, for the sheer sake of the beauty of the new generations of supermen that it was creating, under our eyes. I repeat: how easy it was to smash the material power of the Third Reich! But to alter the faith even of the most insignificant foreign admirer of Hitler’s New Order, is not so easy. It is impossible. All your soldiers, all your battleships, all your tanks, all your super-bombers and all your propaganda — all your power and all your money — cannot do it. Nothing can do it. I have acted as I did, in order to stress that fact. And now, powerless and penniless as I am, and a prisoner, now more than ever, all your ‘de-Nazification’ schemes fall to pieces at my feet. Whatever you do with me, today, I am the winner, not you. And along with me, in me, through me, the everlasting Nazi spirit asserts its invincibility.
“I have nothing more to say. I thank my stars, once more, for the opportunity afforded me to express in public, before this tribunal, my unflinching loyalty to my Führer, my loving admiration for his martyred people. And . . .”
I was going to add that my only regret was that, on account of the censorship, my words would surely not be reported in extenso in the papers of the following day; and I would have ended my speech with: “Heil Hitler!” But the judge, once more, interrupted me:
“We have heard enough, more than enough,” said he. “You might have your convictions — with which I am not concerned — but I am here to apply the law.
Certain Powers have fought six years to put down that régime which you so admire. And the law, today, expresses the will of those Powers, who have won the war at the cost of great sacrifices. As for you, not only are you not sorry for what you have done, but you take pride in it . . . You use the most provoking language . . .”
I did not hear the rest of what he said; for in my heart, I was ardently praying to the invisible Forces: “May this man condemn me to death, unless you have set me aside to play a useful part in our second rising!”
At last the judge concluded: “. . . As a consequence, the Court sentences you to three years’ imprisonment, with the possibility of being deported back to India within that time.”
I was dumbfounded — and a little disappointed. My first impulse was to exclaim: “Only that! I presume you people are not really serious about ‘de-Nazification’ and the like.” But I said nothing, remembering my prayer. “It must be that we shall indeed rise again, and that I will then have something to do,” I thought. And once more, I felt quite pleased. The idea of going back to India — now that I would not he allowed to remain in Germany, anyhow — delighted me. I would have my book printed there, quietly, after finishing it in jail. That would be fine! And I would come back, — and bring it with me — as soon as things changed. In a flash, I recalled my home, my cats. And I was moved. But I repressed all expression of emotion. Many people among the public, newspaper reporters and others, seemed willing to speak to me. I would have been only too glad to speak to them. But Miss Taylor would not let me, unless I first asked the judge’s permission. So, turning to him I said: “Could I not have a talk with the representatives
of the press at least, if not with other people also?”
“No,” replied he stiffly, “you cannot have any press interviews, if you please.”
“All right,” said I. I waited till he and the Public Prosecutor and the other Britishers had left the hall. Already, quite a number of onlooking Germans had left also. But that, I could not help. Turning to the few that were still there, before Miss Taylor (who had walked ahead of me) had the time to look around, I lifted my arm and said: “Heil Hitter!” Several would have answered my salute, had they dared to.
A young press reporter, a woman, followed me down the staircase. “I so much would like to interview you,” she told me.
“We are not allowed to talk,” replied I, “that is democratic ‘liberty’. But you have heard me speak, haven’t you? Could you not follow all I said?”
“That is just it,” said she; “I followed most of it, but there is one passage I did not quite understand. And I also wanted to ask you . . .”
Miss Taylor intervened. “The judge told you that you can’t have press interviews,” she put in.
“Well,” exclaimed I, “I have an hour or two more of relative freedom to enjoy before going back to prison for three years, and, damn it, I intend to take the fullest advantage of it if I can!”
But the press reporter had already vanished.
* * *
Miss Taylor took me to another building and there, kindly offered me a cup of tea and — which I appreciated infinitely more — presented me with a bottle of ink and a thick copybook, priceless gifts, now that I was going to
jail for good. It appeared to me that she was inclined to be much more considerate, — nay, that she could even be friendly towards me — when there were no other members of the police about the place. “The book you are writing, you will finish in prison,” said she. And she added, to my amazement: “You will finish it with this ink, and on this copybook. Thus you will have a lasting remembrance of me.”
“If you really intend to help me, knowing who I am and what I am writing I cannot but thank you,” replied I suddenly moved. “But do you? And would you still, if you knew all I have written already, and all I hope to write?”
“Why not?” said Miss Taylor. “You are not writing against England,”
“I am not; that is true. I am writing against those who, in my eyes, have betrayed the real interests of England no less than of all Aryan nations. And those are, I repeat, all those who fought to destroy National Socialism, through criminal hatred or through ignorance.”
“I am too much of an individualist to be able to say that I like your régime,” said Miss Taylor, “but I can understand all that it means to you, and I like you. I like the attitude you kept throughout your trial. I appreciate people who stick to their convictions, and who fear nothing.”
I wanted to say: “Then, why do you accept to serve under the Occupation authorities, who are here to do all they can to ‘de-Nazify’ Germany? The virtues you say you love in me are just the rank and file virtues you would find in any one of us National Socialists. How can you wear the uniform of our persecutors, if you mean what you say?” But I did not speak. I knew Miss Taylor would not follow me so far. She was not one of
us, after all. “It is very kind of you to help me,” said I, only. “Few gifts have I received, which have pleased me as much as yours.”
Then, I went and took out of my brown attaché case my Indian earrings in the shape of swastikas, and I put them on “Now that I am sentenced,” said I, “I am wearing these. With them on, — like in the great days — I shall, from the windows of the car, for the fast time, admire the beauty of the German spring (for the last time for three years, at least). And with them on, I shall walk into prison. Can anyone prevent me?”
“No one will try to,” said Miss Taylor. “We are not in the Russian Zone.”
These last words stirred my resentment. “Damned hypocrites,” thought I, “you perhaps imagine I am going to like you any better than I do ‘them’, for allowing me that tiny satisfaction for two hours. If so, you make a mistake. I detest all anti-Nazis alike.” But I said nothing.
Another English woman in police uniform, whom I had seen at my trial, had tea with us. Men in uniform passed by us, occasionally. Some stopped a minute. They saw my earrings, but made no remarks. I looked straight into their faces with something of the aggressive expression with which I used to look at the Englishmen, Frenchmen, — and specially Jews — whom I crossed in the streets of Calcutta in glorious ’40, ’41, ’42. In my mind, I recalled those years. And I recalled my trial, and the prayer I had addressed the Gods, and I thought: “More glorious times are to come, since these people have not decided to kill me. This is the sign I had asked for. I must accept it and not doubt.” I was happy.
“I think your case will come out on the B.B.C.,” Miss Taylor told me, among other things.
“I hope it does,” replied I, not out of vanity, but from a practical standpoint of propaganda. “I know it will never suit ‘them’ to broadcast the whole of it; still, better a little encouragement to our friends all over the world than none at all.”
Yet, I did not think only of our friends. I also had our enemies in mind. “It will do them good to see that they cannot even ‘de-Nazify’ a non-German,” thought I. “I wish it would induce them to stop that large-scale farce!”
Then, suddenly, I remembered a few of the ‘Yanks’ who used to come to our house in Calcutta, during the war — useful ‘Yanks’ (from our point of view); a little childish, loving food and drink, gullible, more loquacious than soldiers should be, and — a great point — not a bit suspicious of us; ‘Yanks’ who took my husband for an interesting Indian Democrat, and me for . . . a half-pathological case (for what else could be a woman who spends her time writing hooks about Antiquity and feeding stray cats?).
Now, those ex-crusaders to Asia, ex-fighters for humanity and Democracy on the Burmese front, if they happened to switch their wireless to the B.B.C. London, would hear of “Savitri Devi Mukherji, sentenced to three years’ imprisonment by the Military Tribunal of Düsseldorf, for Nazi propaganda in occupied Germany.” They would remember the name, the house, — and, perhaps, some of the things they had casually said, in that house, and forgotten: things that were, naturally, “not to go any further”; and, perhaps, also . . . some occurrences, . . . that had remained unaccountable.
And they would say to themselves: “Gee! If we had known that!” . . .
I could not help laughing, as I imagined their reactions —
and their retrospective rectifications of opinion concerning that woman who lived “outside this ideological war and outside our times” — as some said — and who had a house full of cats. Appearances are deceptive, especially in wartime.
But Miss Taylor got up. “I must now take you to Werl,” she said, “or it will be eleven o’clock before I can come back.”
I followed her to the car that was waiting for us downstairs.