Dear All,

(Posted Aug 2015)
I thought you may find the rather haunting 1945 film footage of Berlin, at the following site, of interest. Pay particular attention to the sound track.
This link has prompted a wide response from friends to whom I have sent it, including a suggestion that I watch the documentary, Night Will Fall, (apparently about the holocaust); but unfortunately, in my dotage, I no longer have the emotional resources to watch stuff like that.
Incidentally, my reaction to the hollow expressions* and the only words you hear in the clip – Hitler ranting about “totalen krieg” – was to be reminded of the view expressed by Albert Hirshman in, Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States (Harvard University Press, 1970). In that work Hirshman suggests that people in large, declining and/or decadent organisations generally respond to the degeneration in one of three ways, viz, 1) they give up the struggle and Exit, or 2) they use their Voice to speak out against what they see is wrong, or 3) they remain Loyal to the organisation by keeping quite and compromising along the way.
Freeman Dyson, in a Physics Today interview, listed three examples of physicists (and their approach to the use of physics by Nationalist and Fascist Europe in the 1930s) to illustrate this view by saying that “Bruno Pontecorvo chose to Exit, Albert Einstein chose a Voice, and Max Planck chose Loyalty”; going on to say that “each of them paid the price for his choice.”
The Hollow Men – T S Elliot

Mistah Kurtz – he dead
A penny for the Old Guy


    We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us – if at all – not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.


Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death’s dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind’s singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.

Let me be no nearer
In death’s dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat’s coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer –

Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom


This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man’s hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this
In death’s other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.


The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death’s twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.


Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o’clock in the morning.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper