Foreign radio stations talk about the upcoming occupation of Slovakia by German troops, about the new German police and administrative organization of Bohemia and Moravia. They speak of the movements of the German army and a possible surprise in the near future. The Czech newspapers continue, business as usual, with sentimental clichés, interspersed with outrageousdrivel in poorly translated Czech; only here and there a fragment of news flashes up about the storm that is sweeping Europe. We will only see it when the ship we are trapped in cracks.
Saturday, June 17, 1939
Today it is – I will not remember; I will not recall personal events. I can only remember that warm sunny day as a day I remember clearly.
I think of the shops on the Rue de Seine, I see a painting: a still life with vegetables, and next to the painting stands the man who painted it, Vlaminck. I remember the island shores, the morning at dawn, breakfast in a café with overturned chairs – that world has disappeared, although Vlaminck is alive; and in the bay I remember the sea as being just as transparent and the myrtles blooming on its shore.
It's the end! One hears the drums and whistles, and the foreign military music! Everything has changed so much I don't even recognize my hometown! A black and white line,
Yes, there is a German gala performance at the Estates Theatre. A German Cultural Week performance. A performance of the culture of a nation whose highest state virtue Goebbels deems the ability to believe and obey even where one's own reason might point the other way.
Perhaps we are so confused that we are dreaming it all. Perhaps we're seeing ghosts in those parts of the Old City. A drop has fallen from above and we think we've been spat on.
No, this is not a dream, the faces in the scenery could be the faces of monsters and apparitions, but the CD cars coming down to the theatre are not ghosts! But yes, perhaps they are, for above those tailcoats are not real faces, but little yellow faces with slanting eyes, and beside them dolls dressed in evening dresses smile stiffly, with porcelain teeth and black wigs. It can't be true!
|Subject:||A Woman in the Pantheon|
|Title:||Typescript of the book "Testimony. Diary from 1939" – p. 136, 137|