Footnotes to Oblivion (Satis Shroff)
The face has become harsh,
Rugged, chiselled in granite.
Can we live without a conscience?
Why is everyone
Pickin’ on him?
Even Felix E. Müller from Helvetia’s NZZ
Demanded an apology.
Barbara Zehnpfennig of FAZ-fame,
Was disgusted he’d used her article.
Klara Obermüller’s writings too.
The University of Bayreuth had demanded
A written statement from the author,
For he’d been bestowed with:
Summa cum laude.
A hornet’s nest has been stirred.
‘My thesis has unquestionably mistakes.
I’ll relinquish my PhD title,
For the time being.
I don’t want to clutch on power.’
Noble words from a a Teutonic nobleman.
He belongs to Germany’s rich aristocracy.
His grandpa was a parliamentary secretary
In the Bundeskanzler’s office.
His memoir was published in 1971
With the title ‘Footnotes.’
Is borrowing a sin?
Bertold Brecht borrowed from French poet
Francois Villon for the ‘Three Penny Opera.’
Even the prolific literary giant Goethe
Borrowed ‘Ein Gleiches’
From his colleague Johann Daniel Falk.
Vladimir Putin lifted from a US professor in big style.
Did Helmut Kohl really read the enormous
BritLit he mentioned in his page of references?
In Merkel’s case there’s not even a shadow of doubt,
For most don’t understand the title of her thesis.
Emeritus professor Peter Häberle, the Doktorvater, retorted:
‘The accusation is absurd,
The work isn’t plagiarism.’
You can quote from the works of others,
Provided you have accurate footnotes,
Otherwise it’s a scientific cardinal sin.
But we need our Teutonic polit-star,
Despite Kunduz, Gorch-Fock,