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Paris Brennt?

2001-06-23 - 9:55 a.m.

So I found this book, "Is Paris Burning?", by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre. It deals with Paris towards the end of the Nazi occupation, and with a man I highly admire-- major General Dietrich Von Choltitz, the nazi who did not burn Paris. Hitler ordered the city destroyed before it could be taken, in accordance with the previous 'Scorched Earth' examples, which Choltitz, a staunch, hard boiled Prussian Aristo, had been summarily involved in.

But Choltitz, for a multitude of reasons, ignored the orders and surrendered to the allies. Partially because they were ludicrous-- the orders given would have killed at least as many Germans as Americans and Frenchmen. And, partially, because he knew that there was no future in the reich. The Hitler who gave him these orders was not the same man who had kindled his faith in National Socialism initially. Ah well.

These things happen. But I'm inspired to write a scene of sorts based on one of the bits in this book. Let the Dead Nazis have their say. Which reminds me... lookie what I found!

The soldiers of the Wehrmacht was ordered to take a new oath (fahneneid) on 2 Aug 1934 (when President Paul von Hindenburg died) and it was:

"Ich schwöre bei Gott diesen heiligen Eid, daß ich dem Führer des Deutschen Reiches und Volkes Adolf Hitler, dem Oberbefehlshaber der Wehrmacht, unbedingten Gehorsam leisten und als tapferer Soldat bereit sein will, jederzeit für diesen Eid mein leben einzusetzen."

(""I swear by God this sacred oath that I shall render unconditional obedience to Adolf Hitler, the Führer of the German Reich, supreme commander of the armed forces, and that I shall at all times be prepared, as a brave soldier, to give my life for this oath.")

The soldiers of the Waffen-SS however, took a slightly different oath:

"Ich schwöre Dir, Adolf Hitler, als Führer und Kanzler des Reiches Treue und Tapferkeit. Ich gelobe Dir und den von Dir bestimmten Vorgesetzten Gehorsam bis in den Tod, so wahr mit Gott helfe."

("I swear to you, Adolf Hitler, as Führer and Chancellor of the German Nation, loyalty and bravery. I vow to you and to my superiors designated by you obedience to the death. So help me God.")

*shudders. hums 'Memory'...*

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