Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Last Letters From Stalingrad: #4

Peter Yorck von Wartenburg vor dem Gesetz
...Just don't bother me with your well meant advice. Don't you know what kind of a situation you'll get me into? The way you go on! You wouldn't have done it; you would have known how to do it! Things should have been done in such and such a way, etc., etc.! What is all that supposed to mean? You know that I am of your opinion and that we talked more about it than was safe. But you don't put that sort of thing in writing! Do you think the others are idiots?
If I write now, it is because I know that nothing can happen to me, and I took the precaution to leave off my name and address; moreover, you will receive this letter in the agreed upon way. Even if anybody knew who wrote this letter, I couldn't be safer any place than in Stalingrad. It is so easy to say: Put down your weapons. Do you think the Russians will spare us? You are an intelligent man, so why don't you also demand that your friends refuse to produce ammunition and war materiel?
It is easy to give good advice; but it just won't work the way you think it will. Liberation of nations, nonsense. Nations remain the same. Their rulers change, and bystanders will keep arguing for liberating the people from their respective rulers. The time to act was in 1932; you know that very well. Also, that we let the moment go by. Ten years ago the ballot would still have done the trick. Today, all it will cost you is your life.

1 comment:

  1. A quote from von Wartenburg:

    Dearly beloved child of my heart, we are probably standing at the end of our beautiful and rich life together. Because tomorrow the People's Court intends to stand in judgment on me and others. I hear that we have been expelled from the army. They can take the uniform from us, but not the spirit in which we acted. And in that I feel united our fathers and brothers and comrades. The fact that God ordained what has happened is part of his fathomless decrees, which I humbly accept. I believe myself to be pure in heart, yet driven by the feeling of guilt that weighs on all of us. I therefore confidently hope that I find a merciful judge in God.