sexta-feira, novembro 24, 2006

Sonhando na Alemanha Nazi

People 'didn't talk about' these things. But they dreamed about them at night. Their dreams betrayed the oppressive presence of anxieties which were all too willingly denied in the light of day.
An employer, a committed Social Democrat who ran his firm on highly patriarchal lines, dreamed only three days after Hitler's seizure of power about his own future powerlessness, the compulsion to conform and the destruction of personal relationships:
Goebbels comes into my factory. He has the staff line up in two rows, on the left and the right. I have to stand between them and raise my arm in the Hitler salute. It takes me half an hour to bring my arm up, a milimetre at a time. Goebbels watchs my exertions like a spectator at a play, without signalling either applause or displeasure. But when I have eventually got my arm up, he says five words: 'I don't want your salute.' He turns and goes to the door. So I am left standing in my own factory, between my own people, in the pillory, my arm raised. The only way I am physically able to do it is by keeping my eyes riveted on his club-foot as he limps out. I keep standing like this until I wake up.

A 45-year-old doctor dreamed in 1934 about the bureaucratised abolition of private life:
After my surgery, getting on for nine in the evening, I want to stretch out peacefully on the sofa with a book about Matthias Grünwald. But the walls of my room, of my whole flat, suddenly vanish. I look around in horror: all the flats, as far as the eye can see, have lost their walls. I hear the roar of a loudspeaker: 'As per decree abolishing all walls, 17th instant.'

There was not only the sense of the private sphere being exposed to Nazi penetration; the individual's own psychological make-up and personal identity were affected. People who did not wish to be 'co-ordinated' and who wanted at least to continue to think and feel, if not to act, against the current, could sense how they had to harden their inner selves: almost to hide from themselves. This too was articulated in dreams:
I'm going to turn into lead. Tongue already leaden, sealed with lead. Fear will go away if I'm solid lead. Lie motionless, shot into lead. If they come, I'll say, 'Lead people can't stand up.' Oh, no: they want to throw me into the water because I've turned to lead. [...]


I am dreaming that all I am dreaming about is rectangules, triangles and octagons, which somehow all look like Christmas biscuits, because dreaming is of course forbidden.

Excertos retirados do livro Inside Nazi Germany. Conformity, oppo-sition and racism in everyday life de Detlev Peukert.

Sem comentários: