Extract from Michael Mitchell's translation

Lepold Schwarzschild's Chronicle of a Downfall: Germany 1929–1939

The Ides of March

25th March 1939

We've finally got there. After six years we've finally got there. It's come from the film of rape and pillage that was these Ides of March. It needed a state that was a shining light and therefore had to be beaten and crippled to breathe its last. It needed a decent, hard-working, unsuspecting nation to pay for it by being thrown into a dark dungeon. It needed hundreds of thousands of people just like other people, no less valuable and with no more faults, to be plunged into despair. But we've finally got there. Now they understand what they're up against. Now they realise who they're dealing with. Now they know what awaits them. Now it is clearly seen, recognised, made plain. There will be no more attempts to quibble, to explain away, to equivocate, to indulge in fantasies. Finally it is obvious to everyone, everyone is now aware that these people want to subjugate everyone and everything. To subjugate everything, to have power over everything — that is their sole, their simple, undivided goal, like a beast on heat they will be satisfied with nothing less.

For six long years we tried to make people comprehend. For six long years most did not understand, or they resisted the realisation that was gradually dawning on them. We told them when the Moloch was still weak or when it was just gathering its strength. ‘Watch out before it's too late!’ we said. ‘Night and day it's scheming and plotting how to crush you, all of you without exception, and enslave you.’ ‘Huh!’ they said. ‘What's that to do with us? What's its scheming and plotting to do with us? If it touches us, we'll send it home with a bloody nose. We're man enough for that, it doesn't frighten us. We're not going to let it stop us enjoying ourselves.’