A Democratic German Feminist’s Response to the Catastrophe of National Socialism
Chapter 10: Matrix of Democracy: The Diarist’s Political Vision
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Matrix of Democracy: The Diarist’s Political Vision
Spring 1945: ‘How the world is transformed!’ Anna exclaimed on 27 March. ‘The Americans have crossed the Rhine near Karlsruhe’. The changes observed nearer home were equally dramatic: ‘The end is approaching, that is proved by the quick-change artists! This is really fabulous! They claim they never approved of the persecution of the Jews. Never trusted Hitler, that house-painter from Braunau! They were consistently opposed to his despicable lust for conquest! They were always outraged by his way of provoking a war! They never celebrated his victories!’1 The panic was understandable. Hitler’s scorched earth order of 19 March had decreed the destruction of German infrastructure, including industrial and food production, to prevent it from falling into enemy hands.2 Although this order was only implemented in part, Anna was apprehensive: ‘Away with the civilian population! Destruction of everything that might have escaped damage from military operations! All food supplies, all books, all machines right down to typewriters: everything is to be destroyed!’3 ← 207 | 208 →
By the first week of April the approaching artillery fire could be heard in Sillenbuch, prompting the Haags to take refuge in the cellar. A detachment of troops from the Tyrol, stationed on the wooded hillside near their home, took to their heels, leaving behind a welcome tub of Sauerkraut. ‘Poor chaps,’ she remarked, ‘they are so fed up with everything! They have only one...
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