20 April 1949
From Defiance, chapter 7
Ed. R. G. Fowler
Soon, it was the 20th of April—the greatest day in Western history; the greatest known day in world history. I had asked Frau Oberin whether, only for that once, I could spend my “free hour” with my comrades of the D wing. But she had replied that she could not allow me to, although she wished she could.
I woke up early in the morning, and saw the Führer’s portrait which I had put, the evening before, on the stool by my bed, against the wall. “Today he is exactly sixty,” thought I; “young, compared with those who led the world against him. Oh, may I soon see him in power again! I don’t mind if I die after that.”
I took the likeness and kissed it—as all devotees have kissed the images of their gods, from the dawn of time. And I held it a while against my breast. “Mein Führer!” murmured I, in a whisper, spontaneously closing my eyes so as to shut myself off from everything, but my inner world of reverence and love. Those two words expressed the life-long yearning of my whole being. And recalling the solemnity of the day, I imagined a newborn baby who, to all those who saw him, was just another child, but whom the all-knowing Gods, who had sent him into the world, had consecrated as Germany’s future Leader and the Saviour of the Aryan race; the promised divine Man Who comes age after age, “whenever justice is crushed, whenever evil rules supreme,” and Who saves the world over and over again. It was not the first time I thus pictured to myself the predestined One: at every successive birthday of his, for goodness knows how many years, I had done so. But now, somehow, I was more intimately aware than ever of the mystical link that bound me to him for eternity. I had sought communion with him in one way and obtained it in quite another. Destiny, that had not allowed me to come and greet him at the height of his glory, had sent me to stand by his people in disaster. And again now, while I had planned to make use of my military permit for Austria, and actually to spend his sixtieth birthday in Braunau am Inn, I was spending it here in Werl, imprisoned for the love of him. In all this I saw a heavenly sign. Not only was I sure that we would rise again and one day acclaim his return, but I felt that I—the daughter of the outer Aryan world—would contribute in my humble way (though I did not know how) to that great resurrection. And a strange exaltation possessed me.
I washed and dressed. And then, my right arm outstretched in the direction of the rising Sun that I could not see, I sang the Horst Wessel Song, and also the song of the S.S. men:
If all become unfaithful,
We indeed faithful remain . . .
(Wenn alle untreu werden,
so bleiben wir doch treu . . .)
I knew that it was against the rules to sing in one’s cell. But I knew also that nobody would say a word to me, especially on a day like this.
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