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

By Harlan R. Crippen | Go to book overview

realizing it, by German reaction. Salomon describes them as 'we, who are pursued and pursuers; who are even filled with disgust at our own deeds.' Salomon still lives in Germany, although he is not a Nazi.


HOMECOMING

from The Outlaws by ERNST VON SALOMON, translated by Ian F. D. Morrow

IN THE MIDDLE of December the troops returned from the front. Only one division, from the neighborhood of Verdun, was expected in the town.

The crowd was gathered on the footpaths. A few houses timidly displayed red, white, and black bunting. There were a great many women and girls, some of them carrying baskets of flowers or little parcels. The main streets were crowded with people who, after some pushing, consented to stay quietly on the pavements, waiting for the troops. We felt as if the depression which had hung over the town for weeks past had suddenly been lifted a little; as if the spell that had kept people apart had all at once been broken. It almost felt like the old days, when a big victory had been announced. We were ready to give rein to our enthusiasm; we were inclined to credit everybody with being moved by the same sensations as ourselves. We had all suffered; and the troops would bring the solution of our difficulties. We stood, craning our necks to see if they were not in sight yet, and all our hopes centered on this one idea: that everything would be changed. We stood and waited for the 'best of the nation.' Their sacrifice could not have been worthless. The dead had not died in vain-that could not be, that was impossible. It seemed significant to me that we were all standing and waiting, each one formulating his own wishes. How various these wishes must be! Yet they must be at one in recognizing that each wished for the best. Our troops were coming, our brave army, which had done its duty to the uttermost, which had given us glorious victories; victories that seemed almost unbearably splendid now that we had lost the war. The army had not been conquered. Our men had stood firm to the last. They, were coming home and they would knit up all the old bonds.

-104-

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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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