Monday, August 09, 2004

The Interview (poem)

This poem is very loosely based on the career of Traudl Junge, a 22-year old who became one of Hitler's private secretaries from 1942-45. She loved her Boss and didn't understand what was going on. She represents all young people who get caught up in the patriotism of the times (be careful, America!).

The Interview

I was in awe of him, of course, having
Seen him as a child in the newsreels,
So I couldn't believe it, pinch me,
I was going to work for him.

They told me to come in on Friday
I chose my best blue dress, my sister
Gave me her last pair of silk stockings,
My mother fussing about (as usual)

Wanted me to wear Daddy's
Party badge, I said
"Hau ab, bin doch Berlinerin"*
And she sighed, exasperated.

I went in on the tram, slowly,
So many bombs, stepped over
The rubble, re-arranged my hat
In the Pariserplatz

A touch of eau de cologne
Behind each ear, not much,
Smoothed my dress,
Walked to the Reichskanzlei.

Young SS guards at the entrance
Grinned, I smiled back, these
Stupid country boys: all men
Just don't make sense.

I had to wait inside, several people,
Sitting in a large dark room
With the sound of boots on marble floors,
Officers marching about with files.

"Nancy boys, no guts, no medals" some old
fellow said, burnt face, Knight's Cross,
I don't understand the ranks: I gave him
My Garbo face, he flushed, looked away.

Even the old grandads try it on,
Makes you sick. I pressed my knees
Together; straightened my back
And thought of Germany.

* Get lost, I'm a city girl