Encounter at Berchtesgarten (1938)

He will go for a walk on his
own today,just the dog for company;
the turned up collar leather overcoat
a barrier against the early morning
mountain drizzle common to these parts;
the battered felt hat completing the
proper garb for such a walk;
the dog’s features eager now to go,
it is time,early enough in the day
to avoid attention from his own staff,
he shan’t inform them about his adventure;

Walking down cobbled narrow streets
toward a Gasthof stirring with activity,
a Frauelein arranging patio furniture
looks up but without interest;
he walks past exchanging perfunctory
greetings as is the custom;
he passes close by with turned up
collar and felt hat obscuring his profile,
the Gastwirt’s wife admonishes the busy
Frauelein,”don’t you know who that was?”
as those words echo faintly behind him,
he allows himself a self-deprecating smile,
the Schaefferhund looks up at him smartly;
how was the Frauelein to know?
how was anyone to know?
after all,
the world had yet to hear
of the litany
of obscure little towns
such as,
Auschwitz..Dachau..Theresienstadt.

Glossary of terms:-

*My Mother is the “fraulein” referred to the
establishment’s general dogsbody- waitressing staff et al)
*Gasthof – guest house/restaurant/
*Gastwirt – Landlady,wife of the proprietor
*Schafferhund – Shepherd Dog
* Berchtesgarten was an unassuming Bavarian village (across
the border from my Mother’s native Salzburg;) and location of
The Eagle’s Eyrie fortress retreat of one AH.

4 thoughts on “Encounter at Berchtesgarten (1938)

  1. Louis Kasatkin Post author

    Comment added to “Encounter at Berchtesgarten (1938)” on The Writers’ Circle

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    Message flagged Saturday, 15 September 2012, 3:23

    A new comment has been added to your article or an article you are subscribed to on The Writers’ Circle website.

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    Encounter at Berchtesgarten (1938) by louis kasatkin
    The comment (by kelly bella):

    I haven’t read you for a while~~I save you like a treat. Today I felt like feasting on good literature so I chose this and, of course, I am not disappointed. Your interests range over many fields, history is one of my favorites. To say well done sounds like saying well done to Stephen King. It is well done, of course.

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  2. Louis Kasatkin Post author

    Comment added to “Encounter at Berchtesgarten (1938)” on The Writers’ Circle
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    Hide Details FROM:The Writers’ Circle TO:louis kasatkin Message flagged Monday, 17 September 2012, 14:11 A new comment has been added to your article or an article you are subscribed to on The Writers’ Circle website.

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    Encounter at Berchtesgarten (1938) by louis kasatkin
    The comment (by Bogman):
    I have only just read this and really like a lot of it. It is also strange that I wrote a nursery rhyme titled Summer Camp which also includes Auschwitz. I am not trying to claim “great minds etc” just high lighting the coincidence

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