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

By Harlan R. Crippen | Go to book overview

the first glimpse of another renaissance still beyond the horizon.' Most recently Becher has written leaflet poems to be dropped behind the German lines by Russian planes.


THE BLOSSOMING TO COME

by JOHANNES R. BECHER


I

HIM NO CHOIRS chant, nor chimes do publicly regret.
No honoring salvos ritually stamp above his grave.
Down sinks the coffin and but the digger's eyes are wet;
His memory no sibilant mourners come to save.

A gnarled tree stands beside, dry branched and weather torn.
No bud has ever promised, no bloom e'er given delight.
Yet one strange day as if for festival adorned
The tree burst into blossom; its leaves grew bright.

And birds perched there and brought a further bloom of song.
Above it the attentive sky shone blue and long;
And, like ointment, glistening sunlight laved the tree.

'Who knows? In this poor grave a fallen hero lies?'
The whisper streams abroad and shines in knowing eyes.
'Perhaps one "shot, attempting flight"--and us to free!'


II

What brought this blossoming? This bloom, is it a sign?
The dead beneath, perhaps, has sent these messages.
The once bare lime tree flowers, the oak, the chestnut shine;
All Germany is radiant with these presages.

It was as if new bloom burst from the sere and dry.
In Naumburg flowers grew from stones and crowned the steeple;
And seeing how the land renewed itself and by
This blossoming restored, how sang and laughed the people!

-457-

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

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction xiii
  • Book One - Iron Cross 1
  • Order of the Crown, Fourth Class 26
  • Into the Abyss 43
  • Verdun 57
  • The Judgment 73
  • On Leave 79
  • Letters from Prison 83
  • Homecoming 104
  • Book Two - Reluctant Republic 111
  • The Ninth of November 115
  • 'Groener Speaking . . .' 121
  • The Spartacus Manifesto 126
  • Our New Masters 133
  • The Constitution of the German Reich Of 11 August 1919 142
  • Look Through the Bars 157
  • Black Armies 169
  • Fever Dance 185
  • Adventure in a Beer Hall 201
  • The Way of the New Germany 217
  • A Laborer in Leuna 229
  • Lampion's Reply 237
  • A Fairy Tale for Christmas 244
  • The Program of the National Socialist German Workers' Party 257
  • My Personal and Financial Relations With the Nazi Party 261
  • The Landslide 270
  • These Literary Anti-Semites 289
  • Invaders and Exiles 302
  • Book Three - Crooked Cross 311
  • Fire in Leipzig 315
  • 'Peaceful Night, Holy Night . . .' 331
  • Family Portrait 342
  • The Age of the Fish 352
  • An Exchange of Letters 370
  • Who Shall Tell Us Today 377
  • Hans Zauner Becomes a Soldier 382
  • Fritz Giga 406
  • Shelter 423
  • The Ballad of the German Soldier's Bride 432
  • Letter from Moscow 433
  • Self-Bondage 452
  • The Blossoming to Come 457
  • Acknowledgments 459
  • Bibliography 465
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