Bertold Brecht: On the Suicide of the Refugee W.B

I’m told you raised your hand against yourself
Anticipating the butcher
After eight years in exile, observing the rise of the enemy
Then at last, brought up against an impassable barrier
You passed, they say, a passable one.

Empires collapse. Gang leaders
Are strutting about like statesmen. The People
Can no longer be seen under all these armaments

So the future lies in darkness and the forces of right
Are weak. All this was plain to you
When you destroyed a torturable body.

(Posted here on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of Walter Benjamin’s death on 26th September 1940.)

brecht-benjamin
Bertold Brecht and Walter Benjamin playing chess in Svendborg in 1934.

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