Germany: a Self-Portrait: A Collection of German Writings from 1914 to 1943

By Harlan R. Crippen | Go to book overview

pleted two novels on the life of Henry IV, King of France, which won world-wide acclaim. He lived in Nice until the outbreak of World War II, when he came to the United States and took up residence in California. At the age of 71 he continues to write with no apparent lessening of his creative power, and maintains his position as a leader in the struggle against German reaction and for human liberty.


ORDER OF THE CROWN, FOURTH CLASS

from The Patrioteer by HEINRICH MANN, translated by Ernest A. Boyd

EMMA AND MAGDA were invited to tea at Frau von Wülckow's, and Diederich accompanied them. With their chins in the air the three of them marched along Kaiser Wilhelmstrasse, and Diederich raised his hat very calmly to the gentlemen on the steps of the Freemason's Lodge, who stared in amazement as he entered the government building. He greeted the sentry with a genial wave of his hand. In the dressing room they met several officers and their wives, to whom the Fräulein Hesslings were already well known. Clicking his spurs, Lieutenant von Brietzen helped Emma off with her coat, and she thanked him over her shoulder like a countess. She nudged Diederich with her foot to draw his attention to the sacred ground on which they were treading. After they had given precedence to Herr von Brietzen on entering the drawing room, had bowed and scraped ecstatically to the Governor's wife, and had been introduced to everybody--what a task it was, as dangerous as it was honorable, to sit on a little chair, squeezed in amongst the ladies, to balance one's teacup while passing round plates, and to offer the cakes with a respectful smile! And while eating it was necessary to say something touching about the successful performance of the Secret Countess, and a word of appropriate recognition for the far-seeing administrative ability of the Governor, and something impressive about revolution and patriotism, and into the bargain, to feed the Wülckow's dog which was begging! Here there could be no question of the unpretentious gatherings in the Ratskeller and of the Veterans' Association. One had to gaze with a simulated smile into the pale blue eyes of Captain von Kiickevitz, whose bald head was white, but whose face from the middle of his

-26-

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