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!).
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