Later, in Dresden, where the acting Partei Secretary and chiefs of the Sicherheitsdienst, the national
security police which replaced the Gestapo following . . .'
Joe turned the volume up.
' . . . reorganization of the government at the instigation of the late Reichsfuhrer Himmler, Albert
Speer and others, two weeks of official mourning were declared, and already many shops and
businesses have closed, it was reported. As yet no word has come as to the expected convening of
the Reichstag, the formal parliament of the Third Reich, whose approval is required. . . '
'It'll be Heydrich,' Joe said.
'I wish it would be that big blond fellow, that Schirach,' she said. 'Christ, so he finally died. Do
you think Schirach has a chance?'
'No,' Joe said shortly.
'Maybe there'll be a civil war now,' she said. 'But those guys are so old now. Göring and
Goebbels — all those old Party boys.'
The radio was saying, '. . . reached at his retreat in the Alps near Brenner
Joe said, 'This'll be Fat Hermann.'
'. . . said merely that he was grief-stricken by the loss not only of a soldier and patriot and faithful
Partei Leader, but also, as he has said many times over, of a personal friend, whom, one will recall,
he backed in the interregnum dispute shortly after the war when it appeared for a time that elements
hostile to Herr Bormann's ascension to supreme authority — '
Juliana shut the radio off.
'They're just babbling,' she said. 'Why do they use words like that? Those terrible murderers are
talked about as if they were like the rest of us.'
'They are like us,' Joe said. He reseated himself and once more ate, 'There isn't anything they've
done we wouldn't have done if we'd been in their places. They saved the world from Communism.
We'd be living under Red rule now, if it wasn't for Germany. We'd be worse off.'
'You're just talking,' Juliana said. 'Like the radio. Babbling.'
'I been living under the Nazis,' Joe said. 'I know what it's like. Is that just talk, to live twelve,
thirteen years — longer than that — almost fifteen years? I got a work card from OT; I worked for
Organization Todt since 1947, in North Africa and the U.S.A. Listen-' He jabbed his finger at her. 'I
got the Italian genius for earthworks; OT gave me a high rating. I wasn't shoveling asphalt and
mixing concrete for the autobahns. I was helping design. Engineer. One day Doctor Todt came by
and inspected what our work crew did. He sai4 to me, 'You got good hands.' That's a big moment,
Juliana. Dignity of labor; they're not talking only words. Before them, the Nazis, everyone looked
down on manual jobs; myself, too. Aristocratic. The Labor Front put an end to that. I seen my own
hands for the first time.' He spoke so swiftly that his accent began to take over; she had trouble
understanding him. 'We all lived out there in the woods, in Upper State New York, like brothers.
Sang songs. Marched to work. Spirit of the war, only rebuilding, not breaking down. Those were
the best days of all, rebuilding after the war — fine, clean, long-lasting rows of public buildings
block by block, whole new downtown, New York and Baltimore. Now of course that work's past.
Big cartels like New Jersey Krupp and Sohnen running the show. But that's not Nazi; that's just old
European powerful. Worse, you hear? Nazis like Rommel and Todt a million times better men than
industrialists like Krupp and bankers, all those Prussians; ought to have been gassed. All those
gentlemen in vests.'
But, Juliana thought, those gentlemen in vests are in forever. And your idols, Rommel and
Doctor Todt; they just came in after hostilities, to clear the rubble, build the autobahns, start
industry humming. They even let the Jews live, lucky surprise — amnesty so the Jews could pitch
in. Until '49, anyhow. . . and then good-bye Todt and Rommel, retired to graze.
Don't I know? Juliana thought. Didn't I hear all about it from Frank? You can't tell me anything
about lifeunder the Nazis; my husband was — is — a Jew. I know that Doctor Todt was the most
modest, gentle man that ever lived; I know all he wanted to do was provide work — honest,
reputable work — for the millions of bleak-eyed, despairing American men and women picking
through the ruins after the war. I know he wanted to see medical plans and vacation resorts and
adequate housing for everyone, regardless of race; he was a builder, not a thinker. . . and in most
cases he managed to create what he had wanted — he actually got it. But .
A preoccupation, in the back of her mind, now rose decidedly. 'Joe. This Grasshopper book; isn't
it banned in the East Coast?'
'How could you be reading it, then?' Something about it worried her. 'Don't they still shoot
people for reading — '
'It depends on your racial group. On the good old armband.'
That was so. Slays, Poles, Puerto Ricans, were the most limited as to what they could read, do,
listen to. The AngloSaxons had it much better; there was public education for their children, and
they could go to libraries and museums and concerts. But even so. . . The Grasshopper was not
merely classified; it was forbidden, and to everyone.
Joe said, 'I read it in the toilet. I hid it in a pillow. In fact, I read it because it was banned.'
'You're very brave,' she said.
Doubtfully he said, 'You mean that sarcastically?'
He relaxed a little. 'It's easy for you people here; you live a safe, purposeless life, nothing to do,
nothing to worry about. Out of the stream of events, left over from the past; right?' His eyes
'You're killing yourself,' she said, 'with cynicism. Your idols got taken away from you one by
one and now you have nothing to give your love to.,, She held his fork toward him; he accepted it.
Eat, she thought. Or give up even the biological processes.
As he ate, Joe nodded at the book and said, 'That Abendsen lives around here, according to the
cover. In Cheyenne. Gets perspective on the world from such a safe spot, wouldn't you guess? Read
what it ways; read it aloud.'
Taking the book, she read the back part of the jacket. 'He's an ex-service man. He was in the U.
S. Marine Corps in World War Two, wounded in England by a Nazi Tiger tank. A sergeant. It says
he's got practically a fortress that he writes in, guns all over the place.' Setting the book down, she
said, 'And it doesn't say so here, but I heard someone say that he's almost a sort of paranoid;
charged barbed wire around the place, and it's set in the mountains. Hard to get to.'
'Maybe he's right,' Joe said, 'to live like that, after writing that book. The German bigwigs hit the
roof when they read it.'
'He was living that way before; he wrote the book there. His place is called — ' She glanced at
the book jacket. 'The High Castle. That's his pet name for it.'
'They won't get him,' Joe said, chewing rapidly. 'He's on the lookout. Smart.'
She said, 'I believe he's got a lot of courage to write that book. If the Axis had lost the war, we'd
be able to say and write anything we wanted, like we used to; we'd be one country and we'd have a
fair legal system, the same one for all of us.'
To her surprise, he nodded reasonably to that.
'I don't understand you,' she said. 'What do you believe? What is it you want? You defend those
monsters, those freaks who slaughtered the Jews, and then you — ' Despairing, she caught hold of
him by the ears; he blinked in surprise and pain as she rose to her feet, tugging him up with her.
They faced each other, wheezing, neither able to speak.
'Let me finish this meal you fixed for me,' Joe said at last.
'Won't you say? You won't tell me? You do know what it is, yourself; you understand and you
just go on eating, pretending you don't have any idea what I mean.' She let go of his ears; they had
been twisted until they were now bright red.
'Empty talk,' Joe said. 'It doesn't matter. Like the radio, what you said of it. You know the old
brownshirt term for people who spin philosophy? Eierkopf. Egghead. Because the big double-
domed empty heads break so easily . . . in the street brawls.'
'If you feel like that about me,' Juliana said, 'why don't you go on? What are you staying here
His enigmatic grimace chilled her.
I wish I had never let him come with me, she thought. And now it's too late; I know I can't get rid
of him — he's too strong.
Something terrible is happening, she thought. Coming out of him. And I seem to be helping it.
'What's the matter?' He reached out, chucked her beneath the chin, stroked her neck, put his
fingers under her shirt and pressed her shoulders affectionately. 'A mood. Your problem — I'll
analyze you free.'
'They'll call you a Jew analyst.' She smiled feebly. 'Do you want to wind up in an oven?'
'You're scared of men. Right?'
'I don't know.'
'It was possible to tell last night. Only because I — ' He cut his sentence off. 'Because I took
special care to notice your wants.'
'Because you've gone to bed with so many girls,' Juliana said, 'that's what you started to say.'
'But I know I'm right. Listen; I'll never hurt you, Juliana. On my mother's body — I give you my
word. I'll be specially considerate, and if you want to make an issue out of my experience — I'll
give you the advantage of that. You'll lose your jitters; I can relax you and improve you, in not very
much time, either. You've just had bad luck.'
She nodded, cheered a bit. But she still felt cold and sad, and she still did not know quite why.
To begin his day, Mr. Nobusuke Tagomi took a moment to be alone. He sat in his office in the
Nippon Times Building and contemplated.
Already, before he had left his house to come to his office, he had received Ito's report on Mr.
Baynes. There was no doubt in the young student's mind; Mr. Baynes was not a Swede. Mr. Baynes
was most certainly a German national.
But Ito's ability to handle Germanic languages had never impressed either the Trade Missions or
the Tokkoka, the Japanese secret police. The fool possibly has sniffed out nothing to speak of, Mr.
Tagomi thought to himself. Maladroit enthusiasm, combined with romantic doctrines. Detect,
always with suspicion.
Anyhow, the conference with Mr. Baynes and the elderly individual from the Home Islands
would begin soon, in due course, whatever national Mr. Baynes was. And Mr. Tagomi liked the
man. That was, he decided, conceivably the basic talent of the man highly placed — such as
himself. To know a good man when he met him. Intuition about people. Cut through all ceremony
and outward form. Penetrate to the heart. -
The heart, locked within two yin lines of black passion. Strangled, sometimes, and yet, even
then, the light of yang, the flicker at the center. I like him, Mr. Tagomi said to himself. German or
Swede. I hope the zaracaine helped his headache. Must recall to inquire, first off the bat.
His desk intercom buzzed.
'No,' he said brusquely into it. 'No discussion. This is moment for Inner Truth. Introversion.'
From the tiny speaker Mr. Ramsey's voice: 'Sir, news has just come from the press service
below. The Reichs Chancellor is dead. Martin Bormann.' Ramsey's voice popped off. Silence.
Mr. Tagomi thought, Cancel all business for today. He rose from his desk and paced rapidly back
and forth, pressing his hands together. Let me see. Dispatch at once formal note to Reichs Consul.
Minor item; subordinate can accomplish. Deep sorrow, etc. All Japan joins with German people in
this sad hour. Then? Become vitally receptive. Must be in position to receive information from
Pressing the intercom button he said, 'Mr. Ramsey, be sure we are through to Tokyo. Tell the
switchboard girls, be alert. Must not miss communication.'
'Yes, sir,' Mr. Ramsey said.
'I will be in my office from now on. Thwart all routine matters. Turn back any and all callers
whose business is customary.'
'My hands must be free in case sudden activity is needed.'
Half an hour later, at nine, a message arrived from the highest-ranking Imperial Government
official on the West Coast, the Japanese Ambassador to the Pacific States of America, the
Honorable Baron L. B. Kaelemakule. The Foreign Office had called an extraordinary session at the
embassy building on Sutter Street, and each Trade Mission was to send a highly placed personage
to attend. In this case, it meant Mr. Tagomi himself.
There was no time to change clothes. Mr. Tagomi hurried to the express elevator, descended to
the ground floor, and a moment later was on his way by Mission limousine, a black 1940 Cadillac
driven by an experienced uniformed Chinese chauffeur.
At the embassy building he found other dignitaries' cars parked roundabout, a dozen in all.
Highly placed worthies, some of whom he knew, some of whom were strangers to him, could be
seen ascending the wide steps of the embassy building, filing on inside. Mr. Tagomi's chauffeur
held the door open, and he stepped out quickly, gripping his briefcase, it was empty, because he
had no papers to bring — but it was essential to avoid appearance of being mere spectator. He
strode up the steps in a manner suggesting a vital role in the happenings, although actually he had
not even been told what this meeting would cover.
Small knots of personages had gathered; murmured discussions in the lobby. Mr. Tagomi joined
several individuals whom he knew, nodding his head and looking — with them — solemn.
An embassy employee appeared presently and directed them into a large hall. Chairs setup,
folding type. All persons filed in, seated themselves silently except for coughing and shuffling.
Talk had ceased.
Toward the front a gentleman with handful of papers, making way up to slightly raised table.
Striped pants: representative from Foreign Office.
Bit of confusion. Other personages, discussing in low tones; heads bowed together.
'Sirs,' the Foreign Office person said in loud, commanding voice. All eyes fixed then on him. 'As
you know, the Reichskanzler is now confirmed as dead. Official statement from Berlin. This
meeting, which will not last long — you will soon be able to go back to your offices — is for
Documents you may be interested
Documents you may be interested