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Posts Tagged ‘auschwitz’

Satis Shroff writes this time a triology of poems about Martin Heidegger, a German philosopher from Meßkirch who became the Rector of the Freiburger University in the Third Reich. He takes you into his thoughts and the reason why he collaborated with the Nazis. He repented it a long time in the Black Forest and was rehabilitated later..


The Silence of Existence (Satis Shroff)

Plato once said:
‘Megala panta episphale,’
Questionable,
Destined to fall, Endangered.
This was Plato’s philosophic answer
To the tyrant Syracus,
Who was doomed to fail.

But why did I follow
Plato’s words,
And took them
To a heroic sturm-and-drang?

It is true,
I sympathised with the inner truth
Of the National Socialism,
For a short while.
But this short episode cost me
My very existence.
The human being has to grow big
In his own self,
In order to see big movements
And to be aware of it.

I came from a small family,
Didn’t want to be involved
In petty matters,
Donning the mantle
Of stubbornness and refusing
To accept new challenges.
I wanted to understand
The secrets of powerful men,
To ultimately be a part of them.

But in the course of time,
The powerful persons for which I yearned,
Changed their countenances.
My philosophic thoughts
Dwelled on my homeland,
God,
Existence,
Being,
Nothingness,
The German folk,
Original thought and great poetry.
Towards the end came the planetary technology,
Which grew big.

My works of philosophy
Went through the illusions and catastrophies
Of the 20th century.
All striving for greatness
Leads to downfall.

At the beginning of the war
The German nationalism was awakened.
The people were collectively enthusiastic,
Hitting us all,
Like a tidal wave.
I didn’t care much
About what was happening
Around me.

In my thoughts I was living,
Thinking about people in the Middle Ages.
I was following a metaphysical imperative.
In the battlefield of Verdun,
Half a million soldiers perished.
But I was disappointed
For I didn’t get a professorship
At the University of Freiburg.

The Führer once wanted to be an artist.
I wanted to be a priest
The Jesuits and the Catholics in Freiburg
Turned me down.

Similar to Friedrich Nietzsche’s
Forty-year old Zarathustra,
Who after ten years of solitude
In his mountain cave,
Went down to the humans,
To teach them the incredibility
Of being,
The meaning of their being,
I also wanted to reveal and teach
The essentials of human existence,
Which deals with one’s own being.
For the world of being or Sein,
Is not only the self-world,
But also the world of togetherness,
In which the being-in
Is always the being-together.
Existence is threatened by anxiety,
Behind which lies
The temporality of existence.
The aim of philosophy
Is to listen to the silence of existence.

* * *

The Führer of the Mind II (Satis Shroff)

In his ‘Seventh Letter’ Plato wrote

About his three journeys to Syrakus and Sicily

Between 389 and 361 BC.

Plato had close relations to the ruling tyrann:

At first with Dionysios I,

Later with his son Dionysios II,

Who he tried to educate and lead.

Among other philosophic questions,

Socrates had to answer this one:

In which way does a state have to use philosophy,

In order not to go under,

For all greatness is questionable.

Platon was defeated in Syrakus,

Because Dionysios II refused to overtake

His ideas about State,

Education, laws and constitution.

Plato became frustrated.

His state-philosophical plans had failed.

I hoped that history would repeat itself,

This time with a happy result.

So I chose Plato as my own hero,

For the political battle,

With Adolf Hitler in the role of Dionysios II.

On January 19,1933 after the big elections victory

In Lippe,

A great storm has come over me,

In which I’ve set out my full sail.

With this, a lot of old ties

Were torn or broken.

I can’t mend them now.

O what a storm it was,

In which you and I and all

Were swept away.

It was the greatness and exemplary Greek philosophy,

Waking up anew,

Albeit, the dark orders of a state and society,

Undergoing a massive change.

After Hitler was given the right

To govern by the old Reichspresident

Paul von Hinderburg,

My will to work for the Third Reich

Became stronger.

In order to stabilise the NS-rule,

My philosophy became a part

Of the Nazi ideology.

I had my doubts when deeds were done,

To lift the needs

Of the folk and the Reich,

But I believed that the political changes

Were a challenge to me,

My country needed me.

Between the Greek philosophy

And the NS movement,

I wanted to fight

Against the dying spirit of Christendom,

And the spectre of the communist world.

The Greeks and the German folk,

A politic of Being and Führer-state,

Platon and I myself.

I was a convinced National Socialist,

At the beginning of the Third Reich.

It was in the solitude

Of the autumnal and wintry Black Forest,

That I decided to be involved

In building a world,

Created by a folk.

That was the new reality.

The ‘Being’ I’d learned from Parmenides,

Platon and Aristoteles,

Should be used to make the NS-spirit,

A part and parcel of German history.

The NSDAP became my political home.

The Rectorat gave me the institutional confirmation.

I became a member of the NSDAP

On May 1, 1933

With the No. 3125894,

Gau Baden.

* * *

 

BACK FROM SYRAKUS III (Satis Shroff

My first act as the Rector

Of the Freiburger University,

Was to send a circular letter

To all lecturers.

The construction of a new mental world,

For the German folk is the essential duty

Of the German university.

This is national work

Of the highest meaning and priority.

In 1933 I craved for power,

In the field of Political Science.

I wanted to be a Führer of the Mind,

To create a real geistige world

For the German folk.

I found a suitable forum

In the NS-Führer-State.

I greeted the Freiburger students

With the authoritative imperative words:

‘Not teachings and ideas

Are the rules of your being.

The Führer himself alone

Is the German reality

And your law today

Till hereafter.’

The teachers had to be taught again,

So I transformed my philosophical thoughts,

To political activities.

Again and again,

The being, the Germanvolk,

And the Führer were connected

In all my speeches.

At the beginning of 1934 ,

It became clear to me,

That the greatness (Hitler) which I desired,

Was destined to fall.

I noticed that the liberals and conservatives

Were disgusted with Hitler’s propaganda.

Erich Jaensch characterised my philosophical thoughts

As ‘tamundic-rabulistic,’

Which would have a magnetic attraction

For Jews and people of Jewish descent.

To Erich Jaensch,

I was a dangerous schizophrenic

And my pathologic writings

Would only be admired by weird people.

Ernst Krieck saw in my philosophy

A ferment of decay and decomposition

For the German folk.

I saw in the Führer not the egocentric powerful man,

But an instance of political knowledge,

With a concentration

Of the new spirit of state-and-folk community.

There is only one will for the state to exist.

The Führer has awakened this desire

In the entire folk and made it

To a common goal.

In lieu of the objective he-she-it,

I preferred the meaning of being ‘I am.’

I became a follower of the NSDAP,

The propagandist of national socialism.

I wanted to see people who had the will,

The inner power to make greatness even bigger.

Most people made the usual snarls

Of ordinary citizens,

Who cling to small and half-things;

They don’t want to see,

Never can see the big and farthest,

The unique and all-powerful.

My friends wrote to me on my 80th birthday:

‘Mr. H.,

Are you back from Syrakus?

Back from my escapade.

I felt like Plato,

Who was disappointed by Dionysios II.

My disappointment was much bigger

Than that of Plato,

Because the tyrant and his victim,

Were not beyond the seas,

But in my own country.

My thoughts moved to Being,

Das Sein.

In my search for heroes I came across:

Parmenides, Heraklit, Holderlin and Nietsche.

I abandoned political thought,

Embraced the thoughts of the poet,

Poetic thoughts,

For in the language of poetry,

You find the purest essence of language,

Which can begin and develop.

I wanted to show that language

Is not an expression of biological-racist humans.

The essence of humans through language,

Is the basic reality of the mind.

To the Nazis I became suddenly

A suspected person,

Who needed to be shadowed.

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Creative Writing Critique (Satis Shroff): FIRE IN THE BLOOD

Review: Irene Nemirovsky Fire in the Blood, Vintage Books, London 2008,

153 pages, 7,99 Sterling Pounds (ISBN: 978-0-099-51609-5)

 

Denise Epstein was 13 when her mother Irene Nemirovsky was deported to Auschwitz, where she eventually died in 1942. The daughter is now an octogenarian and was instrumental in helping her mother attain her place in the world literature. Irene Nemirovsky was a writer who could look into the souls of humans and make music with words. Her masterpiece Suite francaise was published in France in 2004 and was immediately awarded the Prix Renaudot.

 

The characters of Fire in Blood are  drawn from a rural French town in Burgundy, a wine-growing area where people are simple and stick together, want to retain their ‘peace’ and don’t like the police and the authorities. A place where all people show conformity and keep their mouths shut. Peace is a synonym for not wanting to be involved in the affairs of other people. The author’s attitude towards the characters has a universal appeal, for it could happen anywhere in the world in a closed-circuit society where outsiders are shunned and not generally accepted. Nemirovsky shows not only what people do to others but also what the passage of time does to us all. The characters aren’t flat and every character bounds into life and you an imagine the world that she creates in her 153 page novel still goes on with its own pace without much changes. The community itself shows a predatory behaviour of extreme cunning.

 

The major theme of Fire in Blood is love, poverty, arranged marriages and extra-marital affairs that lead to complications and new story developments. The protagonist Sylvestre also called Silvio tells the story in the first person singular and recalls stories in front of the fireplace about his beautiful, graceful cousin Helene and her daughter Colette, Brigitte Delos and Francoise, their marriages, happiness and boredom and the seasonal changes of the Burgundy countryside. Silvio speaks about impatient young people and the perfectly balanced older people at peace with themselves and the world, despite the creeping fear of death. The book is replete with the truths, deaths, marriages, children, houses, mills, dowry, haves and have-nots, stinginess, love-affairs, hatred, deception and betrayal.  Nemirovsky is an excellent story-teller and reveals her tale of flaws and cruelties of the human heart in an intricately woven story. She builds up suspense and you feel the catharsis when an innocent-looking protagonist tells her version of how a man was murdered.

 

The theme is traditional and familiar and is psychologically and socially interesting in intent.

 

Silvio tells about his childhood and about children asking their parents how they met, fell in love and married. He also mentions past loves, former grudges, inheritances, law suits and who-married-whom and why in the French provincial setting. The story plot is slow at the beginning but gathers momentum, and the climax is not the murder but how the author unfurls the story of the confession. In the end Silvio confides to the reader how much he still loves his dear cousin Helene, who’s married to Francoise.

 

The intellectual qualities of writing of Nemirovsky are her cheerfulness, sudden twists and power of observation which flow into the story making it a delightful read. She gives you the impression that her tale is linear, only to show you that there’s a twist that takes narration in another direction. Silvio, the Ich-Erzähler, says to Colette, who wants to involve him in her family drama: ‘Tell them you have a lover and that he killed your husband.. What exactly did happen?’

 

wit and humour and there’s rhythm in the tale.

 

Nemirovsky employs the stylistic device of symbolism to characterise the farmers and their hypocritical nature, how they mob people they don’t prefer to have around them and how they indulge in backbiting. A stingy 60 year old farmer marries  a lovely 20 year old woman and the gossips begin. Silvio remembers how Colette had once told him he resembled a faun: ‘an old faun, now, who has stopped chasing nymphs and who huddles near the fireplace.’

 

This is the confession of a man who had once fire in blood, and a meditation on the various stages of life, the passing of time, in which youth and age are at odds. A recurring theme is the seed from which problems grow: ‘Imagine a field being saved and all the promise that’s contained in a grain of wheat, all the future harvests…well, it’s exactly the same in life.’

 

Nemirovsky’s use of dialogue is very effective and takes the story forward.

 

Her literary oeuvre ranges from an extraordinary collection of papers,  Fire in the Blood, Suite francaise, David Golder, Le Bal, the Courilof Affair, All Our Worldly Goods.

 

The Germany titles are: Die Hunde und die Wölfe, Feuer im Herbst, Herbstfliege, Leidenschaft, Die Familie Hardelot, Der Fall Kurilow and Irene Nemirovsky: Die Biographie.

 

* * *

Irene Nemirovsky: COLD BLOOD (Satis Shroff)

Subtitle: Moaning in All Eternity

 

Six decades ago,

My life came to an end,

In Auschwitz.

I, Irene Nemirovsky, a writer

Of Jewish-Russian descent,

Died in Auschwitz.

I live now in my books,

In my daughter’s memories,

Who’s already an octogenarian,

Still full of love and fighting spirit:

For she fights against

The injustice of those gruesome days.

 

I was thirty-nine,

Had asthma,

Died shortly after I landed in Auschwitz.

I died of inflammation of my lungs,

In the month of October.

That very year the Nazis deported

Michael Epstein, dear my husband,

Who’d pleaded to have me,

His wife, freed from the clutches

Of the Gestapo.

They also killed him.

 

My daughters Denise 13,

And Elizabeth 5,

Were saved by friends

Of the French Resistance,

Tucked away in a cloister for nuns,

Hidden in damp cellars.

They had  my suitcase with them,

Where ever they hid,

Guarding it like the Crown Jewels.

To them it was not only a book,

But my last words,

That I’d penned in Issy-l’Eveque.

 

I wanted to put together five manuscripts

In one: Suite Francaise,

That was my writer’s dream.

I could put only

‘Storm in July’ and ‚Dolche’

Together.

I passed away early in August 1942.

Too early.

In my two books I’ve written

About the flight of the Parisians

From the victorious Germans,

The awful situation in an occupied hamlet.

Small people and collaborators,

Who’d go to extremes

To save their skins,

Like ants in a destroyed ant-hill.

 

It’s sixty years hence,

But my work hasn’t lost its glow,

Like the lava from an erupting volcano.

You can feel its intensity,

When an entire nation

Was humiliated and had to capitulate,

Losing its grace, dignity and life.

 

I was born in Kiew,

Fled to Paris via Finnland and Sweden,

After the Russian Revolution.

I was a maniac,

When it came to reading,

Had a French governess,

Went often to the Cote d’ Azure and Biarritz.

I studied literature in Sorbonne in 1919.

Shortly thereafter,

I began to write:

About my Russian past,

My wandering years.

The colour of the literature I wrote

Is blood from an old wound.

From this wound I’ve drawn

The maladies of the society,

Human folley.

 

I was influenced by writers,

From Leo Tolstoi to Henrik Ibsen.

An unhappy childhood,

Is like when your soul has died,

Without a funeral:

Moaning in all eternity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This time Satis Shroff’s Zeitgeistlyrik deals with a female writer who was deported to Auschwitz where she died:Nemirovsky who has written Suite Francaise, David Golder, Le Bal (including Snow in Autumn),The Courilof Affair, All Our Worldly Goods is a brilliant story teller with an in-depth understanding of the hidden flaws and cruelties of the human heart. She writes about what people do to us and what time does to people..

* * *


(Germany youth today: chic, well-travelled, multilingual,well educated,tolerant,peaceloving,europe-and world oriented).

Irene Nemirovsky: COLD BLOOD (Satis Shroff)

Subtitle: Moaning in All Eternity

 

Six decades ago,

My life came to an end,

In Auschwitz.

I, Irene Nemirovsky, a writer

Of Jewish-Russian descent,

Died in Auschwitz.

I live now in my books,

In my daughter’s memories,

Who’s already an octogenarian,

Still full of love and fighting spirit:

For she fights against

The injustice of those gruesome days.

 

I was thirty-nine,

Had asthma,

Died shortly after I landed in Auschwitz.

I died of inflammation of my lungs,

In the month of October.

That very year the Nazis deported

Michael Epstein, dear my husband,

Who’d pleaded to have me,

His wife, freed from the clutches

Of the Gestapo.

They also killed him.

 

My daughters Denise 13,

And Elizabeth 5,

Were saved by friends

Of the French Resistance,

Tucked away in a cloister for nuns,

Hidden in damp cellars.

They had  my suitcase with them,

Whereever they hid,

Guarding it like the Crown Jewels.

To them it was not only a book,

But my last words,

That I’d penned in Issy-l’Eveque.

 

I wanted to put together five manuscripts

In one: Suite Francaise,

That was my writer’s dream.

I could put only

‘Storm in July’ and ‚Dolche’

Together.

I passed away early in August 1942.

Too early.

In my two books I’ve written

About the flight of the Parisians

From the victorious Germans,

The awful situation in an occupied hamlet.

Small people and collaborators,

Who’d go to extremes

To save their skins,

Like ants in a destroyed ant-hill.

 

It’s sixty years hence,

But my work hasn’t lost ist glow,

Like the lava from an erupting volcano.

You can feel its intensity,

When an entire nation

Was humiliated and had to capitulate,

Losing its grace, dignity and life.

 

I was born in Kiew,

Fled to Paris via Finnland and Sweden,

After the Russian Revolution.

I was a maniac,

When it came to reading,

Had a French governess,

Went often to the Cote d’ Azure and Biarritz.

I studied literature in Sorbonne in 1919.

Shortly thereafter,

I began to write:

About my Russian past,

My wandering years.

The colour of the literature I wrote

Is blood from an old wound.

From this wound I’ve drawn

The maladies of the society,

Human folley.

 

I was influenced by writers,

From Leo Tolstoi to Henrik Ibsen.

An unhappy childhood,

Is like when your soul has died,

Without a funeral:

Moaning in all eternity.

 

Read Full Post »

Creative Writing Critique (Satis Shroff): Fire in the Blood

Creative Writing Critique (Satis Shroff): FIRE IN THE BLOOD

Review: Irene Nemirovsky Fire in the Blood, Vintage Books, London 2008,

153 pages, 7,99 Sterling Pounds (ISBN: 978-0-099-51609-5)

Denise Epstein was 13 when her mother Irene Nemirovsky was deported to Auschwitz, where she eventually died in 1942. The daughter is now an octogenarian and was instrumental in helping her mother attain her place in the world literature. Irene Nemirovsky was a writer who could look into the souls of humans and make music with words. Her masterpiece Suite francaise was published in France in 2004 and was immediately awarded the Prix Renaudot.

The characters of Fire in Blood are  drawn from a rural French town in Burgundy, a wine-growing area where people are simple and stick together, want to retain their ‘peace’ and don’t like the police and the authorities. A place where all people show conformity and keep their mouths shut. Peace is a synonym for not wanting to be involved in the affairs of other people. The author’s attitude towards the characters has a universal appeal, for it could happen anywhere in the world in a closed-circuit society where outsiders are shunned and not generally accepted. Nemirovsky shows not only what people do to others but also what the passage of time does to us all. The characters aren’t flat and every character bounds into life and you an imagine the world that she creates in her 153 page novel still goes on with its own pace without much changes. The community itself shows a predatory behaviour of extreme cunning.

The major theme of Fire in Blood is love, poverty, arranged marriages and extra-marital affairs that lead to complications and new story developments. The protagonist Sylvestre also called Silvio tells the story in the first person singular and recalls stories in front of the fireplace about his beautiful, graceful cousin Helene and her daughter Colette, Brigitte Delos and Francoise, their marriages, happiness and boredom and the seasonal changes of the Burgundy countryside. Silvio speaks about impatient young people and the perfectly balanced older people at peace with themselves and the world, despite the creeping fear of death. The book is replete with the truths, deaths, marriages, children, houses, mills, dowry, haves and have-nots, stinginess, love-affairs, hatred, deception and betrayal.  Nemirovsky is an excellent story-teller and reveals her tale of flaws and cruelties of the human heart in an intricately woven story. She builds up suspense and you feel the catharsis when an innocent-looking protagonist tells her version of how a man was murdered.

The theme is traditional and familiar and is psychologically and socially interesting in intent.

Silvio tells about his childhood and about children asking their parents how they met, fell in love and married. He also mentions past loves, former grudges, inheritances, law suits and who-married-whom and why in the French provincial setting. The story plot is slow at the beginning but gathers momentum, and the climax is not the murder but how the author unfurls the story of the confession. In the end Silvio confides to the reader how much he still loves his dear cousin Helene, who’s married to Francoise.

The intellectual qualities of writing of Nemirovsky are her cheerfulness, sudden twists and power of observation which flow into the story making it a delightful read. She gives you the impression that her tale is linear, only to show you that there’s a twist that takes narration in another direction. Silvio, the Ich-Erzähler, says to Colette, who wants to involve him in her family drama: ‘Tell them you have a lover and that he killed your husband.. What exactly did happen?’

wit and humour and there’s rhythm in the tale.

Nemirovsky employs the stylistic device of symbolism to characterise the farmers and their hypocritical nature, how they mob people they don’t prefer to have around them and how they indulge in backbiting. A stingy 60 year old farmer marries  a lovely 20 year old woman and the gossips begin. Silvio remembers how Colette had once told him he resembled a faun: ‘an old faun, now, who has stopped chasing nymphs and who huddles near the fireplace.’

This is the confession of a man who had once fire in blood, and a meditation on the various stages of life, the passing of time, in which youth and age are at odds. A recurring theme is the seed from which problems grow: ‘Imagine a field being saved and all the promise that’s contained in a grain of wheat, all the future harvests…well, it’s exactly the same in life.’

Nemirovsky’s use of dialogue is very effective and takes the story forward.

Her literary oeuvre ranges from an extraordinary collection of papers,  Fire in the Blood, Suite francaise, David Golder, Le Bal, the Courilof Affair, All Our Worldly Goods.

The Germany titles are: Die Hunde und die Wölfe, Feuer im Herbst, Herbstfliege, Leidenschaft, Die Familie Hardelot, Der Fall Kurilow and Irene Nemirovsky: Die Biographie.

* * *

Irene Nemirovsky: COLD BLOOD (Satis Shroff)

Subtitle: Moaning in All Eternity

Six decades ago,

My life came to an end,

In Auschwitz.

I, Irene Nemirovsky, a writer

Of Jewish-Russian descent,

Died in Auschwitz.

I live now in my books,

In my daughter’s memories,

Who’s already an octogenarian,

Still full of love and fighting spirit:

For she fights against

The injustice of those gruesome days.

I was thirty-nine,

Had asthma,

Died shortly after I landed in Auschwitz.

I died of inflammation of my lungs,

In the month of October.

That very year the Nazis deported

Michael Epstein, dear my husband,

Who’d pleaded to have me,

His wife, freed from the clutches

Of the Gestapo.

They also killed him.

My daughters Denise 13,

And Elizabeth 5,

Were saved by friends

Of the French Resistance,

Tucked away in a cloister for nuns,

Hidden in damp cellars.

They had  my suitcase with them,

Where ever they hid,

Guarding it like the Crown Jewels.

To them it was not only a book,

But my last words,

That I’d penned in Issy-l’Eveque.

I wanted to put together five manuscripts

In one: Suite Francaise,

That was my writer’s dream.

I could put only

‘Storm in July’ and ‚Dolche’

Together.

I passed away early in August 1942.

Too early.

In my two books I’ve written

About the flight of the Parisians

From the victorious Germans,

The awful situation in an occupied hamlet.

Small people and collaborators,

Who’d go to extremes

To save their skins,

Like ants in a destroyed ant-hill.

It’s sixty years hence,

But my work hasn’t lost its glow,

Like the lava from an erupting volcano.

You can feel its intensity,

When an entire nation

Was humiliated and had to capitulate,

Losing its grace, dignity and life.

I was born in Kiew,

Fled to Paris via Finnland and Sweden,

After the Russian Revolution.

I was a maniac,

When it came to reading,

Had a French governess,

Went often to the Cote d’ Azure and Biarritz.

I studied literature in Sorbonne in 1919.

Shortly thereafter,

I began to write:

About my Russian past,

My wandering years.

The colour of the literature I wrote

Is blood from an old wound.

From this wound I’ve drawn

The maladies of the society,

Human folley.

I was influenced by writers,

From Leo Tolstoi to Henrik Ibsen.

An unhappy childhood,

Is like when your soul has died,

Without a funeral:

Moaning in all eternity.

Read Full Post »