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Horst Wessel Chapter 2

 

Horst Wessel sits at home in a parish house; he thinks back over his young life. Thinks on his father, dreams of him, of what was and what will be. – the S. A. Travels to Pasewalk in Pomerania – and how storm leader Sprengel received the name Barrikaden Albert. – Horst is in custody at the police station, he has plenty of time to think in his cell.

“Pass surgery? Good luck! – Fourth station? Well really, it will all come together – in a couple of months you will be finished with your exams! – How? – That’s Self evident! Everyone will be happy to see you, mother, sister, brother! – Even me – I would very much like to speak with you, about all kinds of things! – Just come right now!”

 

Horst hung up the receiver.

 

“Helmut is coming here,” he said.

 

His mother nodded. “Good, good! You should meet with him more often my boy.”

 

He looked up. “And much less with the others – is that what you mean, mother? I tell you: so what if my comrades from the S. A. are not students, but just metalworkers, clerks, chauffeurs, common workers, then –”

 

She interrupted him, and gently pushed the hair away from his forehead.

“I know everything that happens to you, know very well, that they are honest fellows. But you should really also think a little about your studies, you are in your sixth semester now, and not permitted to take too much time left”

 

“It will happen, mother”, he cried, “it will happen. Just let me alone – everything will all work out.”

 

He nodded to her, then walked across to his room. It was very important to him, that Mingard was coming. He had the urge to share what was in his heart with someone else. He had no secrets from his mother, and neither from Ingeborg, his sister, nor from his brother Werner – and really none from his comrades either. He spoke with them about everything, that the day brought – but there was so much happening, was always something new and different. What was the reason for it all, what was it really, that was behind all these things? He felt deeply: that things must be the way they were, must be that way and no other. He stood there right where the fates had placed him, or perhaps it was God – who could say? But why was everything the way it was?

 

His fraternity brother Hellmut Mingard – he stood outside of all this hatred, perhaps even on the other side of it, and scarcely knew anything about what was happening here, every day, almost every hour. Hellmut was calm, citizen clear, and even-tempered. He would be able to talk with him –

 

Well, and if he couldn’t talk to Mingard either, couldn’t clarify things for himself, if he couldn’t get to the core of all these things, it would still be nice to talk with him –

 

He glanced out the window into the autumn garden. Here was his childhood; this was where he had played as a boy, had grown up to be a youth, right here in the middle of old Berlin. A half century ago Juden Strasse had once been a Jewish ghetto. And a few steps further lay Juden Court, just off a bit  from the street, a deathly quiet place with old Acacia trees in front of the little hunting lodge of the great electors. There were no Jews here anymore, they were long gone, and lived all over Berlin, and had still, of their own free will, built a new ghetto: Down on Münz Strasse, Grenadier Strasse, and Dragoner Strasse, right next to Alexander place. But now, all around his parents house, among the other citizens, lived many communist families; who looked very suspiciously at him, cursing and complaining, when he was out with the S. A. men and encountered them – even right in the middle of Juden Court, he, the son of the old preacher that lived in the parish house on Juden Strasse, which had even oncee been a Jewish patrician’s house.

 

No, he had not been born here, was no child of Berlin – was that what it was, that kept him a little distant from his comrades, a differentspeech and dialect that he still spoke? It was water from the river that had baptized him, not from the fountain; water from the Rhine that he had drank in his childhood, just like the man with the glowing, burning eyes and balled fists; the leader of Berlin, whom he loved, just like Joseph Goebbels did. Didn’t all the walls in the houses today still speak of the Rhine? His own home had paintings, a dozen and more, from the hand of Edward von Gebharts, who had painted the cloister of Loccum, Church of Tranquillity in Düsseldorf and so many others. His father loved the Lutheran art of the old master, and had decorated his Mülheimer church with his paintings as well.

 

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The next evening  the news came, that Albert Sprengel and a couple of comrades had been arrested – because of the shootout at Island Bridge and the bank. There was nothing special about that. There weren’t any of them that hadn’t spent some nights down at the police station. They even had their own connections there. Through a friendly guard Horst Wessel learned, that the hearing was to take place the next morning. He hurried to Alexander place, and climbed up the stairs – oh yes, he knew the police station quite well, knew his way around and didn’t need to ask directions. He paced up and down the dark floor, waiting to go upstairs. He carried a large sack in his hands filled with slices of bread-and-butter: prisoners were always hungry, their eyes always begged the guards for something to eat.

His comrades were finally brought in; and they took the Storm leader in first. The student went up to the others, and offered them food from out if his bag of plenty. In between he exchanged a couple of quickly whispered words. He soon learned that they had once more been falsely arrested. All of the S. A. men had gone home immediately after the meeting, and none of them possessed any weapons.

Then Sprengel came out of the room and a guard immediately placed himself at his side. At the same time three others were led in. Horst saw that they must be communists. He went up to the Storm leader, held the bag out to him, and offered some to the guard – who thanked him, then half turned around, and let Sprengel eat quietly, as if he didn’t notice.

 

The student bowed his head down, and asked softly: “Do you know them?”

 

Albert looked up, chewed, and whispered in between: “Them? Those are boys; they were certainly not there the other day! It was some other group!”

 

“Who are they then?” asked Horst Wessel Wessel.

 

The guard made a half motion, and the student immediately moved on to the communists, and held out the bag of bread to them. They looked at him, knew what was going on. One leaned away, but the other helped himself: bread was bread; you might exchange bullets in the streets, but you could still share bread in the jailhouse. It was much easier.

 

“You are the Wessel from Jew’s street?” asked one.

 

The student nodded, and then went back to Sprengel.

“Well?”

 

“One is named Scherlinski,” the storm leader whispered; “the one you spoke with is Camillo Ross. I don’t know who the third one is – that one, the one that took the bread. – I don’t know, they call him Bruiser!”

 

“Bruiser?” Cried the student. Why do they call him that?”

 

“You are not permitted to speak with the prisoners,” warned the guard.

Horst moved on to the others and was back again in a few minutes. The Storm leader took a new slice of bread, and chewed to his heart’s content, murmuring: “Don’t know. Perhaps they know very well that we would go to the authorities if we knew his real name! – They are strapping fellows, all three of them – unfortunate, that they are with the red fronts! We need them on our side!”

The guard stepped over to the window, pulled out a knife, and cleaned his fingernails. Sprengel saw the opportunity, whispered: “Come closer, listen!”

Both stuck their heads together, looking down into the open bag, as if a golden treasure lay in its depths. The words of the Storm leader came quickly, forcefully. The other nodded hastily.

“Do you understand?” hissed Sprengel.

The student pushed the bag into his hands, ran out into the hallway and leaped down the stairs.

 

The communists were interrogated, then the S. A. people. As every single one of them came out you could see that the police had nothing on them. They had been lucky and were in good spirits – in an hour they would all be outside. Finally Albert was brought in again.

 

The Commissioner addressed him: “Now Sprengel, you understand that it is pointless to lie. It is unquestionably certain that you were there.”

The Storm leader laughed: “That is certainly news to me, Herr Commissioner. I was never anywhere near, and you know that as well!”

The authority lit a cigarette, and laid the pack of cigarettes conspicuously right on the table.

“Now listen Sprengel, we are both old acquaintances, and we can’t fool each other. There is no escape for you this time – we have the proof. Please, sit down – would you like a smoke?”

He held the pack of cigarettes out to him, and lit one with a match.

Albert sat down on the chair, and puffed a cloud into the air.

“Then, Herr Mühlfriedel – because  you are so especially good natured, I will do you a favor. I really was there!”

“you see,” nodded the authority, like an understanding uncle. “if things had not become so dangerous – the court has always shown leniency for an honest confession. So, you were there – during the shootout at Island Bridge as well as later at the mill dam sluice. Who was with you?”

 

The Storm leader thought deeply.

“At the subway – yes, there were a couple dozen there as well; they all ran through the gate. But who was who, I can’t really say – the shooting from all sides – it had me so excited –“

 

Herr Mühlfriedel attempted a smile.

“You – excited, at a little shooting! But later, at the bank – there was another man there with you: who was that?”

 

The Storm leader laughed. “I have completely forgotten, Herr Commissioner – I have such a bad memory. By the way, if I’m to be completely honest – you should know, that I’m not a squealer.”

 

“And this man”, cried the Commissioner, “whose name you have forgotten, was naturally the one who did the shooting, right? The same as at Island Bridge where all the others were shooting – but not you! Don’t make excuses Sprengel – where is the weapon?”

 

Albert looked at him with large eyes.

“Weapon? I have never had such a thing – I don’t even know what one looks like! Your people have already turned my entire house upside down, when you nabbed me – they would have certainly found something, if – ”

 

The Commissioner interrupted him.

“Those were beat cops – as you well know! I have sent a couple of detectives, soon you will experience what a real house search is.”

 

The Storm leader shrank together, laid his cigarette down – you could see that he looked as if he was frightened. “Detectives – detectives” he stuttered, “They won’t find anything either.”

 

Herr Mühlfriedel watched him sharply, and laughed in satisfaction, then rang the buzzer.

“Well – that we will soon see.”

 

Sprengel was taken away; but just as he was at the door, a quick playful smile flitted across his face. He had succeeded: he had the Commissioner exactly where he wanted him. Now if only his friend Wessel –

 

The detectives came; they took him in the middle, one was short, slender and the other a heavy, overweight man. He went out of the Alexander building, well guarded, and across the street –

 

The climb up Fischer’s hill was steep and not very easy. The Storm leader was very used to it and sprang up the stairs like a young goat. The detectives knew their duty, and could not  permit him to outrun them – coughing and wheezing they climbed after him. The heavy set one was completely out of breath by the time they got to the top of the stairs. Albert tore the door open; thank God, the old woman was sitting over her sewing machine.

 

“Visitors, mother!” He cried. “The detectives seem to think, that I have a pistol!”

 

“A pistol – you?” Said his mother. “Oh yes that would be nice!” She closed one eye, and looked at him with the other: then let out a large laugh and a smirk. Her son knew the look, knew immediately, that Horst Wessel had been there, and had prepared everything – the weapon was gone: the detectives would not find any more than the beat cops had found before! He set himself comfortably in a chair, and good-naturedly demanded: “All right, gentlemen, search the house!”

 

The detectives were silent – if there was a weapon here, they would certainly find it. The short one went into the kitchen, the large one remained, and first turned to examine the sewing machine. He worked slowly and very methodically, the foot pedal, the walls, every piece of furniture was searched –

 

The other came back.

“There is nothing!” He said. “Are you done in here?”

 

The big one nodded. “Apparently so. Except for the bed and the old woman.”

 

Frau Sprengel hissed. “Should I perhaps get undressed?”

 

The detective shook his head. “Not necessary – you only need to stand up.”

 

The two padded her down, made it very professional and respectful, and were finished, before she really knew it.

 

“Now the bed”, cried the Storm leader. “That’s where you will find an entire arsenal!”

It tickled him, to see the place where his pistol had laid scarcely an hour before – on top of the mattress; it was a miracle, that the beat cops had overlooked it.

 

The detectives took the pillowcases off, pulled the covers away – there at the foot of the bed, completely in the open, was a pistol!

 

Albert jumped up; the short detective immediately had him by the arm. The large one grabbed the weapon, lifted it up, looked at it – and then threw it down on the table in disgust. A starting pistol! He shouted in anger.

 

The Storm leader bent forward – then he met his mother’s gaze, again he saw her smiling smirk. He understood in an instant: Horst had laid it there, exchanged it with the other. They looked similar; that student!

 

The detective demanded: “Why didn’t you tell us about this immediately?”

 

Albert laughed: “Well, you certainly need to work for your money – why should you get paid with our taxes to do nothing? I told you that the arsenal was in the bed – you could have taken it immediately!”

 

The short one took up the pistol, and examined it.

“Three blank cartridges have been fired,” he stated.

Sprengel looked down – Right, Horst had even thought of that! He nodded eagerly.

“Naturally! I shot twice at Island Bridge, and once at the bank. I was trying to use this old toy to frighten them and chase them away, because they were already shooting!”

They got ready to leave; the Storm leader kissed his mother.

“I will be back in an hour – don’t worry about me!”

 

He knew how things worked at the police station. New very well that they would not keep him, now that every bit of evidence was destroyed. Herr Mühlfreidel would not believe a single word and would still need to let him go, innocent or guilty. Then he would console himself: perhaps next time!

 

*****

Albert Sprengel sat on the city train, traveling back from Charlottenburg. He was disappointed, because he had not been able to hear his friend speak at the communist gathering. They had raised a rumpus as usual, and kept asking to be heard. Finally they were acknowledged, and told that Horst Wessel could give his talk later on – but Albert couldn’t wait any longer, he had to be back to his Storm.

 

He climbed out, ran through the streets, and found  New Grün Strasse black with people who were surrounding  the redshirts who in turn had the location of the meeting surrounded; with a few peacekeepers in between. He slipped through, went into the community center, and let people know what was going on outside. There were many communists inside as well – that was nothing to fear, as long as Storm one was there to keep the order.

Fiedler reported to him: Lots of noise and shouts naturally, and Dr. Goebbels was continually interrupted. That was just as common here as it was anywhere else. As they left they kept the speaker in the middle, and marched out in a closed procession, troop leader Fiedler at the point, Albert behind as the last man – he took the most dangerous post.

There were lots of Catcalls:: “Red front!”, “Heil Moscow!” – And in return: “Heil Hitler!” and “Germany awakes!” But the people let them through, unwillingly making room for them, sometimes there was pushing and shoving. The few peacekeepers were very happy that everything was developing so peacefully.

They made it to the subway station: safety was only certain when they were all happily through the gate. At every stopping place the Storm leader let some of his people climb out, warning each person to be careful: My God, that was the greatest difficulty, to get home safely, when they had to walk alone in the night through streets filled with reds, and murderers lurked on every corner!

 

On the trip back there was suddenly the rumor that- heaven knows how: but  Werner Wessel was missing as well as four other people. No one had seen them leaving the community center, or in the procession through the streets. No one had seen them at the train station. Perhaps they had remained behind at the community center. The Storm leader decided  to immediately go back and search for them there-

So they left the subway and headed back to New Grün Strasse. They got to the location, split up and searched, one place after the other – no, no one was there. Then they headed back, alone, like they came; meeting up again on the corner where they first met up. Sprengel counted his people: he still had nine men.

But the crowd of Reds was greatly swollen, there were at least four hundred or  more. They turned down Mall Strasse; that was when they were first recognized and followed – the Storm leader did not allow the Reds to come close. None of his fellows had shooting irons, so he alone let loose at the half dozen that were shooting at them. He returned 10, 12 shots. They made use of the interruption,  ran further, until they came happily to the train station island bridge. That’s where there was another shootout. Albert covered his comrades, until they were all through the gate. He was lucky, they had just caught the last night train at the station.

 

The Storm leader inspected his lambs: none had been touched , not even a hair; they were all healthy, the entire troop. He brought the last two home himself, then marched alone through the night. He walked along the houses; as if he was going to the folk’s market, then pushed up hard against a suspicious fellow. He recoiled back, grabbed  into his pocket with his hand – then laughed.

“You, Horst? Man, how did you get here?”

 

The student explained. It had taken an eternity in Charlottenburg. At the end they still hadn’t allowed him to speak. He had to remind them that at everyone of their gatherings each communist was allowed to talk as long as they had the wind to talk. So they finally let him speak. He gave his little counter argument – with the success, that afterword three young men had met up with him, and then left with him. He was certain of one thing: they were magnificent fellows, ones  that they could use in the SA!

 

Then he had hurried back home – his brother’s bed had been untouched. So he went back out into the streets –

 

They ran through the streets. Everything was empty around this time, the bars were closed. Then there, at the mill dam sluice gate, right by the savings bank, a troop came up to them; and everyone had their hands in their right jacket pocket – each of them with fingers on the triggers, just  like they did.

 

“Thieves!” Whispered the student.

 

The storm leader answered: “No, man, those are not thieves! It’s a Red patrol – look out!”

 

They went straight up to the leader – who hesitated a moment; they saw, how his white hands were slowly lifting out of his pocket.

 

“Look out, Horst,” cried Sprengel, “they’re pulling their guns! – Shoot!”

They both shot – through their jacket pockets. One of the others screamed out –

 

“This is it!” Thought the storm leader.

 

The communists fled, taking their wounded with them.

 

Albert brought his friend back home; and then waited out on the street. Soon a window up above opened.

“Well, is Werner there?”

 

“He’s lying in his bed, sleeping like a rat”, said the student.

 

The Storm leader nodded in satisfaction.

“Well, then I can go back home to mother.”

 

*****

 

Fischer Strasse, house number 30 – three young fellows sat on the bed in a small room. In front of them an old Frau was bent over a sewing machine. The door opened once more and a fourth person entered..

 

“Albert isn’t here?” He asked.

 

The Frau turned around.

“Richard Fiedler? – No, Albert needed to get something, and will be right back.”

She stood up.

“Well, then I will no longer disturb you. I will go over into the kitchen with all the clumsy boxes.”

They all grabbed her machine and carried it into the other room. It was always the same picture: always Frau Sprengel at her sewing machine. She always stood up and went into the kitchen when her son’s comrades gathered together. She never asked, never said a word, just let things happen – but she knew very well, what was going on.

 

Albert Sprengel, the Storm leader came in, and brought the student with him. Horst Wessel had served in his Storm, number 1, since he had come back from Vienna – so did his younger brother Werner, who studied law like he did. The fellows jumped up, and greeted the two of them.

 

The Storm leader gave his command: “We will be gathering in the Council office at new Grün Strasse at 8 o’clock. Dr. Goebbels is speaking; Storm one will be protecting the hall. I will travel first with Horst to Charlottenburg, he still has something  to say to the communists there. Our people will be waiting at the Jew’s courtyard. You, Richard, pick them up, and bring them to the Council office, take over the lighting in the hall, until I enter. I know that I can count on you.”

The two fellows stood eye to eye; the straw blonde, blue-eyed  Storm leader Sprengel, and his dark haired troop leader Fiedler with the flaming glance. Fiedler raised his arm, clapped his heels together,made a tight circle, and went with the other three to the door.

 

Horst Wessel called after him: “You! Richard! My brother will be coming with you tonight – look out for the boy for me!”

 

Troop leader Fiedler looked at him and laughed. “Werner? Have no fear, he is loved by everyone in the entire Storm – the fellows would all die for him.”

 

Mother Sprengel came from out of the kitchen, brought butter bread, two loaves for each, beautifully wrapped in paper.

 

“For evening bread”, she said, “stick it in your pockets.”

 

Fiedler and his people sprang down the rickety stairs; the other two followed the old Frau into the kitchen. She didn’t lose any time, and in a moment was once more bent over her sewing machine. Can’t you rest a little more, mother?” Asked the storm leader. “I have a position now, in the service.”

 

The Frau didn’t look up.

 

“Who knows, how long that will last. And then – you know as well, boy, that there is nothing else. I have to clatter away, that scares away the thoughts. If that’s not good enough I can easily go out to church!”

 

Her son laughed. “It’s not that important.”

He kissed her quickly on the forehead. “I must go now, mother.”

She lifted her glance. “Are You going too, Horst? – That’s good, then I won’t worry.”

*****

 

 

 

Horst Wessel

by Hanns Heinz Ewers

translated by Joe Bandel

Copyright 2018

For purposes of historical research

 

Chapter 1  (pages 1-5)

 

Berlin by day: two students meet at the University. – One evening: the storm leader and his mother. – In the night: a gathering and misfortune travelling; Redshirts and  S. A. shoot it out on the streets. – How Horst Wessel got his friend out of jail.

 

Helmut Mingard, medical student, came slowly down the broad steps of the university administration building. He could just barely hear – the medical professor lecturing in the next building; but today he was only here to pick up his exam papers. That meant he needed to wait; the registrar was completely overwhelmed with the flood of students. He cursed. He was in the middle of preparing for an exam, and he needed every hour for homework. But it couldn’t be helped – His papers would not be ready for one or two more hours. So he wandered down the long hallway, and then entered into a lecture hall with a latecomer.

 

What was the professor talking about? Oh yes, history – the history of the newly awakened freedom movement after the Prussian defeat at Jena. What did he care about that – he was a medical student. The speech of the old Herr was dry and boring; Mingard only half listened. Yet still, out of habit, he took a pencil and paper out of his pocket, and wrote down a couple of names. Steffens, Dörnberg, Schleiermacher, Arndt, Fichte – and naturally Körner. Yes, and the Friesen – the professor’s voice became passionate, as he spoke of them. The Friesen, those athletic irregulars, whom Jahn founded, as Lüßow’s adjutant – the young, handsome, radiant Friesen.  [Friesen-a political party]

 

Their name has been completely forgotten, said the professor. Yet the name had a good ring to it:Schill, Lüßow – all the poets sang of them. But what did people today know about the Friesen? They had fallen in Ardenne’s forest, hypocritically killed by farmers: not one defenseless soldiers had  lifted a hand against them. Their gaze had been so noble. They were secretly buried there, and the place was discovered after long years – the Freiherr of Viettinghoff took one of the skulls, traveled around with it for 30 years,and would not part with it. That’s how beautiful the young Friesen were.

 

The medical student smiled. How romantic, he thought, sky-blue romantic! A skull? The fashion had changed since then. Once crude German princes cut off the heads of their enemies, and made beer mugs out of the skulls, guzzling red wine from them – ha, the blood of the enemy! Brave citizens of the Baroque painted still lifes of them, and there always had to be a skull in the paintings. It was called vanity – a reminder of the past and of everything earthly and mortal. But today a skull was only good for the study of anatomy, for students in the first semester.

 

The clock rang; the lecture hall emptied itself – Mingard went down the steps. He remained standing in the hallway, threw a glance at the colored shields of all the fraternities and student unions – my God, who wasn’t represented at the Berlin University! Nationalist students, Social Democrats, Populists, Communists – Catholics, Jews, Protestants – gymnasts, fellow countrymen, singers, athletes, all members of fraternities. Look over there, there hung the shield of his fraternity: the student union in Kösener,  S.C. Normania, blue – silver – black.

 

Bread-and-butter eating students, boys and girls, books in their hands, glasses on their noses. Most were pale, overtired, and undernourished. He turned around, went through the crowd and out into the back garden, stepping between benches and trees in the bright October sun. In the back, near Dorotheen Strasse, was the memorial for all the students who had fallen in the great world war. He stood there, looking at the fresh wreathes. They were not forgotten, the youth from Langemark. –

 

He went across the street, over to the quiet, spiritual place of the folk, and looked at all the things that lay spread out on a book cart. Then a voice called out, loud and clear:

“Hello, Mingard!”

 

A young  fellow sprang across the street, and stretched out his hand. “Good day, Helmut, what’s up?”

 

Mingard laid down the book that was in his hand.

“Horst Wessel – you? And here at the University – so are you finally going to begin serious studies?”

 

The student laughed. “No, not yet. It’s pure coincidence that I was passing by.”

 

A soft reproach rang out of Mingard’s voice.

“You should not allow yourself to be seen outside of Grunewald – since you’ve been back from Vienna you haven’t been seen at the fraternity. You have two ribbons now – you should really care a little more about your young fraternity brothers.”

 

A shadow flew across the face of the young student; his upper lip trembled slightly.

“How many new  foxes are there? Five, six perhaps! If only there were 600! They should learn fencing, with the saber, rapier – should learn to duel against fellow students, even those as polished as we are. Learn how to settle  their own disputes with opponents. Learn to carry steel rods in their pockets, knives, pistols, each according to his own liking –“ He hesitated suddenly, then continued slowly. “Especially these times, you see, especially these times –”

 

“Well – what?” Demanded Mingard. “Why are you always so closed mouthed? What’s bothering you anyway?”

 

Horst Wessel held his gaze.

“Visit me sometime” he said, “then I will take you along.”

 

“If I only had the time!” Answered the older boy. “You know of course, that I am in the middle of my exams.”

 

“Really, really”, the fellow nodded. “You need to study! One must fight, and the other must drink. One must sail before the winds and one must wander about and discover Berlin. And no one –“

 

“And no one – what?” Insisted the medical student. “Allow the young foxes their play. Soon enough they must be buckled into the harness and pull the bread cart. Since when are you one to preach morals?”

 

His fraternity brother stared at him.

“I? What has any of that to do with morals? Don’t you understand, there is only one thing people are singing about these days? Only one thing – Germany!”

His gaze stabbed; his hands were balled into fists. And  the words came out in a suppressed whisper, “The storm! The storm! The storm! The clocks sing it from tower to tower! The men sing about it, the old men and the youth. People sing about it in their sleep, and the girls sing about it at the fruit stands in the market place. Mothers sing about it whenever they rock their cradles! They sing about the storm, and even the earth itself rises up with the thunder of our coming vengeance and salvation. That’s what the folk are dreaming of today – Germany is beginning to wake up!”

 

Mingard thought: “This youth is on fire. He stands in flames.”

He asked: “What kind of song is that?”

 

“A poet wrote  it – no one knew it in Germany, while he was still alive, but they will learn it soon enough: his name was Dietrich Eckardt.” Horst Wessel laughed. “We sing his song among us. But it should ring out through all the streets: it should threaten and resound in the air, race with the thunder of vengeance – awaken  the dead from out of their graves – Germany awakes!”

He seized his friend’s hand, and pressed it hard. “Live well, Helmut – perhaps you will have enough time yet, despite all of your exams!”

 

He nodded to him, and then sprang down the street with a light step.

 

Mingard watched him go: the fellow was slender, tall grown. He was bare headed, the soft morning breeze blew through his blonde hair. He wore a leather joppe, as well as a short lederhosen; his knees were bare. He stood at the corner, then turned around one more time, and waved back with his hand. He laughed just like a young boy – his face was sunburned, his sharply arched nose was noble. He had a high forehead and his eyes glowed.

 

Mingard nodded back at him. “A Friesen”, he murmured, “He is a young, beautiful, radiant Friesen!” – He went back over to the garden – wasn’t that a brand new wreath laying on the student memorial ? His eyes fell on the dedication, he read:  “Invicti Victis Victuri –”

 

Something pulled at him, tore at him, urging him to pursue his fraternity brother .

“The youth burns,” he thought, “he’s on fire!”

But he restrained himself, speeded up his steps – and headed back into the University. God damned exams!

*****

 

It has taken forever, or at least it has seemed like forever! I’ve just made this hard cover edition of Vampire: a wild story of scraps and colors available for the first time. It is a massive book with over 500 pages. It is also my favorite book of the trilogy because I think it is the most autobiographical of them all.

 

http://www.lulu.com/shop/joe-e-bandel-and-hanns-heinz-ewers/vampire-a-wild-story-in-scraps-and-colors/hardcover/product-23163792.html

vampire

Searching for the Soul

 

Like man himself! In the beginning man was with God and part of the indivisible All, and he tore himself loose in spite of it. From this awareness of self over the course of billions of years there developed an awareness of the contradiction, “I”—and the world! And yet a part of the All clung to this “I”, was still imprisoned in this physical body, grew with it, died with it and was inseparable from its earthly remains.

And a great desire for liberation caused this soul to seek a false path and grope in the shameful darkness. It always ran back by the way which it had come to its original awareness of the “I” instead of to the “Not—I”, and did not know that the goal was at the other end.

The soul was conscious of the contradiction between the “I” and the “Not—I”, but the soul accepted the physical body as part of the “I”, even as the “I” itself did, and did not realize that the physical body was only a part of the “Not—I”. Thus man’s physical body became the unfortunate bridge that always led the soul back to the physical world of which it was a part. And all those souls driven by desire passed over it and descended deeper and deeper until they sank into God.

Yet how comical it was when the pious cried out that one must conquer the body! Their words were so wise, yet their understanding was so wrong. They did not conquer the body—but rather strengthened its power by all they did. They conquered the soul of man and became as beasts; they conquered the beasts inside and became as God.

But the time must come for the striding forth of the liberated human being. When the knowledge becomes so deep and so firmly rooted that each one knows his body is nothing other than some tree that stands in the forest, than some bird that flies in the air: than any foreign object that lies far in the distance! When each passionately feels that his body has nothing in common with his soul—and is as alien to him as a stone in the street , when the assurance reaches each consciousness that the external world may be all-embracing, yet, it fails to hold one thing, namely, the soul—then that great day will dawn—

Then the soul of man will tend the body well, like a temple, like a good house in which one dwells. Only, it will be a stranger, something external from us, and this knowledge alone will be the great conquest of the body. Then the bridge that leads downward will be broken; then the lunacy of our forefathers will perish; then the eternal desires will laugh happily as they kiss freedom and truth amidst their tears over the dark errors of the ages.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

 

The above was written by German author Hanns Heinz Ewers over a century ago! Or rather it is my translation of his words and thoughts into the English language. As I partake in more online discussion groups, in particular Mensa discussion groups I find that believing in the individual soul is not politically correct. I also find that attitude a little bit two-faced. Consider the question, “Is a loved one the same person after having a debilitating stroke? Is their awareness, their consciousness, still the same but hindered by physical damage caused by the stroke? Or have they in some way become less human? I have seen stroke victims struggle to find the words they desire to express and the frustration that they feel being physically unable to do so. To me this is direct evidence that individual awareness remains even though it might not be able to physically express itself

 

The question really becomes whether conscious awareness is purely energetic in nature or mechanical. Is individual awareness capable of being separated from the physical body or is it simply an expression of the physical body that dies when the physical body dies? While science almost unanimously denies the existence of the soul, it entertains such thoughts as the possibility of integrating human consciousness with machines or computers. Movies such as “Avatar” envision the ability of human awareness to transfer itself from one physical body to another! For some reason science admits the possibilities of these things while denying the possibility of the existence of the soul. I find that very troubling!