Sunday, July 15, 2012
[Start][Previously on]

The Shadow of Heidegger

No, no and no!, exclaimed Werner Rolfe. Professor Müller must see our films; our countless photographs. Listen, Müller, I was on the Treblinka front and later six months in Auschwitz. That is my glory, not my dishonor. For that, especially for that, Germany will remember me. For having carried out the most important, the most difficult of our Führer’s orders. What you will see is not the evidence of my moral ignominy. They are the evidence of my effectiveness and my dignity as a soldier, of my love for the Führer, and of my giving without limits to the cause of Germany and the West.
Colonel Rolfe, I insisted, I would like to see those films.

It was dawn, Martin, when I arrived at our home. The Mercedes Benz moved off and I was left alone on the sidewalk. I found my keys and went in. You, son, slept. Before leaving, Werner Rolfe, grabbing me by the arm, asked: “Can we count on you?” “Give me some days. I want to think it over.” “There is no time”, Rolfe said. “Our struggle is launched. Our Führer will be Adolf Eichmann.” He smiles as if greatly amused. “No one knows where the hell he is. We do, and we await him. When he returns, when he is once again together and ready for combat, we’ll give him control. He was the leader of the final solution. He must be, now, the leader of the new beginning.” I tried to free my arm. He prevented it. He asked again: “Can we count on you? You were my teacher, Professor Müller, and the teacher of many of us. We need you. We need you to go on being what you were: our spiritual, philosophical guide.” Nearly fainting I managed to look him in the eye: “Was I? Was I that to you?” “To me and many others like me”, he said. “That’s why we sought you out. That’s why we want you again in our ranks. Go and think, Müller. You, philosophers, I know, always need to think about things; too much at times. I give you two days.” He looked at me, an icy look that frightened me. “You have a week, only that.”

I had on my work desk many photographs. Both Werner and Hans Rolfe gave me them. I’ve only kept one. Now it is before me, before my gaze and before my critical conscience.


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