For the dead Oh my human brothers, let me tell you how it happened.
I am not your brother, you’ll retort, and I don’t want to know.
Not that I have all that much spare time; I am a busy man, I have what is called a family, a job, hence responsibilities; all that takes time, and it doesn’t leave much to recount one’s memories. After the war I remained a discreet man; thank God I have never been driven, unlike some of my former colleagues, to write my memoirs for the purpose of self-justification, since I have nothing to justify, or to earn a living, since I have a decent enough income as it is.
A little round grenade whose pin I’d delicately pluck out before I released the catch, smiling at the little metallic noise of the spring, the last sound I’d hear, aside from the heartbeat in my ears.And then at last, happiness, or in any case peace, as the shreds of my flesh slowly dripped off the walls.I’ve been reduced to taking enemas, a repulsive procedure, albeit effective.Forgive me for wearying you with such sordid details: but I do have a right to complain a little.And if you can’t bear this you’d better stop right here. She probably thought it would make me happy; of course she never asked my opinion.
I’m no Hans Frank, and I can’t stand mincing words. In spite of my shortcomings, and they have been many, I have remained someone who believes that the only things indispensable to human life are air, food, drink, and excretion, and the search for truth. She must have suspected I would have flatly refused, so presenting me with the fait accompli was safer.I’m not the sort of man who loses his nerve at the drop of a hat, I know how to behave. The worst thing is not necessarily those images I’ve just described; fantasies like these have lived in me for a long time, ever since my childhood probably, or in any case long before I actually ended up in the heart of the slaughterhouse.The war, in that sense, was only a confirmation, and I have gotten used to these little scenarios, I take them as a pertinent commentary on the vanity of things.I realized that thinking is not always a good idea. My colleagues consider me a calm, collected, thoughtful man.Calm, certainly; but often during the day my head begins to rage, with the dull roar of a crematorium.And also, this concerns you: you’ll see that this concerns you.