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In Englischer Garten


Unity Mitford, November 9, 1937

174 words

“On September 3, 1939, the day of England’s declaration of war against Germany, Unity Mitford sat down upon a bench in a Munich park and put a bullet through her temple. The suicide attempt failed . . .”1

Tall willows shade the paths which wind between
The flower beds and grassy plots where you
Often walked. You spoke of what would happen
Should Germany and England decide to
Embark on war: death, death of it all, death
Of peace, of hope, of light, of sense . . . and of
You. One moment, one trigger, a hair’s breadth
Between the end of everything you loved
And not . . . and it was over. People screamed,
Birds started, and it should have been the end
Of you — a brave death, a noble death, dreamed
And acted upon. Valkyries always bend
And take the slain; they cannot take the hurt —
You were left, wounded, bleeding in the dirt.


1. Otto Dietrich, The Hitler I Knew: Memoirs of The Third Reich’s Press Chief (New York: Skyhorse, 2010), p. 157.