Sunday, June 17, 2012
[Start][Previously on]

The Shadow of Heidegger

Three days later, in the middle of the night, alone, in the back seat, I travelled in a black Mercedes Benz. The chauffeur dressed with an impeccable precision. He wore a cap, jacket, gloves and boots with an unavoidable shine. The man didn’t say a word the entire journey. Only, on greeting me: “Good evening, Professor Müller’, in German.
We drove into the countryside of Buenos Aires province.

That mystical place they call pampa.

There I was: a philosopher, a disciple of Martin Heidegger, crossing, in between shadows, the infinite geography of the pampa argentina. Perhaps that wasn’t the strangest. Perhaps it was the destination of the trip, its final point. A meeting with a secret group that struggled to found a new Reich. None of this was now attributable to some mental extravagance of mine. It was happening. It was that tangible entity, harsh, difficult to refute, called, in the vulgate, reality.

We arrived.
The house, enormous, wasn’t merely European. It was completely German. A tall man walked from the door towards me. He wore black uniform, that of an SS colonel. Overtaking the chauffer – or restraining him with a barely perceptible gesture – he opened my door and helped me out of the Mercedes Benz, whose shine, now, was turned opaque, spoilt by the dust from the pampean plain, or perhaps – and why not – mystified by it.

No sooner did the SS colonel greet me than I recognized his voice: it was the one from the telephone. No sooner did I see him than I recognized him. I don’t know if I was surprised. I think not. I thought: if it is him it is because it should be him. He never predicted that we’d never see each other again. He said I would never forget him. And so it was. I had not forgotten him. He carried – like me, like all – the marks of those terrible years in his face. But he continued to impose dread with his mere presence. To see him was to fear him.

Good evening, Professor Müller.

Said Werner Rolfe.


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