Von Trotha’s Monologue

by richardhutton

An extract from Strange Free World.

(Von Trotha) What is life as lived by men?
It is the nation lives on; the nation alone is eternal.
There is little to gain from peace.
A willing sacrifice of many lives upon the altar of civilisation – that has meaning.
It is death which is glorious, not life.
It is the dead whose life is everlasting – the life evermore.
They are nothing; their nation is everything.
Gentlemen, the law of nature is the law of reason.

[The other participants murmur their assent]

(Von Trotha) The tribes will come to know this.
The desert fox, the spider, even the asp
Will find succour in the cold and the damp;
But not them.
A storm will sweep the world,
Without pity or sorrow. 
There will be no more yesterdays;
There shall be no tomorrow.
Not for them –
Never will the revolting tribe prevail;
They shall beget sons and daughters, but shall not enjoy them.
The trees and fruit of their land shall the locust consume[1].
The day cometh that shall burn them up;
They shall be dust under the soles.
Neither their silver nor their gold shall save them.
Great shall be the day when driven cattle
Are slain by the words of a mouth.
They shall walk quietly, everyone his path; breathing gently.
The earth shall not quake, nor the heavens tremble.
The calf which totters shall suckle and skip to the last;
Flowers will bloom, and blooms flower.
And it shall come to pass:
Men slow to anger, and of great heart,
Yet shall make the morning darkness.
The man who sacrifices shall kiss the calf[2];
The days shall come when the reaper overtakes the ploughman;
And the least grain shall not stir the earth.
Men without fear, without anguish, with nerves to endure,
Will stand on the burnt plain, will look out over the ruins,
And their eye will not spare.
The day shall cast shadow;
The flesh shall fill the valleys,
Shall water the earth with blood.
The mountain will burn with fire, and become darkness.
And it shall come to pass;
Women will be made childless –
Not by the sword, but by the gentle hand.
The womb shall smoulder, and the breast run dry.
Mothers will rend the caul.
Fathers shall seek death, and find it not;
Shall desire to cease, but decease shall remain elusive[3].
Moments of joy will be their eternal sorrow;
Life shall be death unto them.
The stones will weep from the wall;
The limbs of the trees will testify[4].
They will cry to God, but find the sky empty;
They will run, all together –
Small and great, young and old –
The gate shall be opened, and they shall be brought to nothing.
The light in there is darkness everlasting –
It draws in and never gives out.
No more than the bones of locusts and the husks of wheat –
Swept along by the gentlest wind.
Of remains shall be no trace.
Memory will gutter; will extinguish.
Men’s frames shall burn as incense;
But the earth will keep her quietness.
They will not rise from the flames;
They will not return from the ashes.
The only sound shall be silence;
The only sight – naught, and evermore.
Still flows the river, and shall forever flow.
And it shall come to pass,
That everything that liveth, which moveth,
Whithersoever the rivers shall course, shall cease[5].
They are nothing; they will be nothing
But the shadow of the wind and the cry of the sun;
And this for all time.
But shall the sword devour forever?[6]
Shall its strokes never cease?
The fires will wane;
They will come to an end.
The burning will at last to embers come;
Yet shall scorch the earth once more.
A new birth will see the dawn –
There will be no horizon;
The river will course with a halo of ashes.
As the sun rises and gleams on the waves’ froth;
As each breaks and retreats once more,
Time and again, again and in time,
The waters will wash clean, run clear and run cold:
Rivers of blood, rivers of gold.


[1] See Deuteronomy 28. 41-2.

[2] See Hosea 13.3-6.

[3] See Revelations 9.6

[4] See Talmud – p. 272.

[5] See Ezekiel 47.4.

[6] See 2 Samuel 2.26.

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