The professor crosses the spartan courtyard and stops. He slowly adjusts his shirt sleeve. He looks around. Students, teachers, brown-clothed officers stare at him. All eyes are on him.
The professor feels like a strongman. He feels like the hour has come. He slowly climbs the platform’s steps. He takes out some white sheets of paper and places them on the podium. He puts his glasses on.
Outside, a hoard of the regime’s policemen are freely attacking Jewish students. That blind hoard has no idea that the professor is standing on the platform. But it doesn’t matter. The sense of the blind hoard is to freely attack the students.
Professor Heidegger, sensing the wary eyes, takes note of the silence in the auditorium. At the conclusion of his speech, he will ask the assembled audience to raise its right hand. The hands will go up in salute of the revolution. For now, the professor can hear the silence of their eyes. He adjusts his glasses again and scratches his short mustache.
With unusual haste, the professor utters the first words. On the sunny morning of April 27, 1933, Professor Martin Heidegger utters the first words of his speech. The great moment of history as arrived. The revolution will bring the people’s victory and the professor senses himself the philosopher of the revolution.
Outside, the blind hoard of policemen continues to pummel the students.
Heidegger completes his speech. The crowd applauds. The professor looks proudly on those present. He feels like he has fulfilled the demands of the hour and receives the applause with dignity.
The professor enjoins everyone to raise his right hand. Students, professors, brown-shirted officers salute the revolution. The applause is interrupted for a moment. Those present lower their arms and again applaud.
Prior to the event, the professor had praised the beauty of the Führer’s hands and that image returns to his thoughts. He has the beauty of the Führer’s hands on his mind.
He descends the stairs with the beauty of the hands and sees the officers’ eyes.
The German nation receives, on the sunny morning of April 27, 1933, the new university rector.
Excerpt from «El instante”, translated by David William Foster
Photo Credits: Recuerdos de Pandora
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