It will be different in the next, the ultimate, war, but in the last war, battlefields were guarded by the police. We tend to forget that. It was like this:
In front of me lies a pile of sheets of paper between two pieces of cardboard, tied up in a strange way, by the kind of thick iron wire on soldiers’ mess kit, instead of normal book-binding thread.
You are putting me off my work on my novel again. Stop it!
Today, the world is ‚celebrating’ a unique anniversary: ten years of the rule of systematic murder.
I was arrested the morning after the evening of the Reichstag fire
„Two hundred and fifty participants in the 16th German Student Conference took part in an excursion to Flanders. They were addressed by their leader, G.Krüger in the cemetery of Langemark[P1] . He ended with the words, ‘Where we are standing today is a piece of Germany. Germany is wherever Germans gave their life and blood for their Volk.’ The Belgian officials were very cooperative. There were no incidents to report during the excursion“
The prisoner, who had had no news from home for a long time, was tortured by fear and his imagination of how things would be at home. The guards tormented him, “Its complete chaos back at your place”. And what would be surprising if it were so, said the prisoner to himself? The men were all away, at the front, in captivity, six feet under,…
As Herr Fischer, the director of the Vienna Intimate Theatre, suggested to me, for a modest, but uncertain, remuneration, to assist in the direction of his repertoire, he said roughly the following, »You would be just the right person to fill a big gap. We have really good actors and actresses, a mighty director, and an exceedingly forbearing scenery designer. We are only missing one ingredient: a man of letters. Every modern theatre has at least one of them. It is no longer possible to present a programme of acting alone. The actors only master their own roles, they don’t have an overview of the entire work. They don’t know when it was written, what influenced the playwright, or the aesthetic principles which he followed. And anyway, they are so superficial, so gimmicky. And now, dear Doctor, please devise your programme.«
In the last few days, a new image has been added to the multitude of street scenes of Viennese war suffering: a man who has been bent into a right-angle by the war, an invalid with a broken spine, moves almost inexplicably along the Kärntnerstraße, selling newspapers.
Posterity weaves even less wreaths for journalists than for actors, of whom at least the role models mean something to citizens of later centuries. He has to let himself be carried by the day, be in harmony with its rhythm, and strangle his mount, like Freiligrath’s desert king, when the new day dawns in the East. Woe betide him if he falls in love with one day, he would quickly find himself behind a thousand others. The journalist, as a critic of his times, does not write himself into the book of history, he writes himself under his opponents’ skin. Their scars are his fame. His personal records are scratched in their skin; you can read the man and his works there, as if from paper. The day passes, with its mixture of excitement and routine. Daggers and scars remain. If you are talking about journalists, the question is soon not, „What does he stand for?“, but rather, “What has he dished out, how does he stand up for himself?”