Thursday, February 25, 2010

Waiting but learning

It is 18 more days.
That is 432 hours.
Or 25,920 minutes.

The time before there will be the reunification with the one that is in the heart.

What is very helpful to wait without frustration and anxiety is that these days the reading is of the book "Spandau: the secret dairies" by Albert Speer.

Albert Speer

Mr. Speer was the architect of Adolf Hitler and later became the Minister of Armament.
He was tried in Nuremberg in 1946 and got 20 years in prison.
The Spanday prison in Berlin.
In spite of his requests for amnesty, he had to serve the full 20 years.

Spandau prison, Berlin, Germany.

The book is shocking because it is a permanent demonstration of the indignation Mr. Speer was feeling for having to serve a major part of his life in prison.
He believed that was not justified because for him to be in prison was so much suffering.
All that time he never contemplated the millions of people who lost their lives because of his actions.

Mr. Speer was also counting the days and the hours and the minutes.
To be reunited with his family.
And he realized that time flies by faster when someone keeps himself busy.
That it is better to avoid lethargy and to come up with projects to perform.

One of his projects was to travel while he was in prison.
With a ruler he measured exactly the length of his shoe.
Then, with this shoe, he measured the distance he could walk in the prison garden.
Next, he decided to walk to Italy.
From maps he found in the prison library he planned the route and calculated the amount of kilometers it would take.
In this way he knew how many hours and days and months he had to walk in the prison garden to reach Rome in Italy.
While walking he would force his mind to imagine the landscape he was passing through.
Or the city he had arrived in.

Within months he had reached Rome in Italy.
And realized he still had many years to serve in prison.
After new calculations, he decided to walk to Greece, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, India, China to end in Wladiwostok on the east coast of Siberia.
If all went well, he knew that he would arrive in Wladiwostok in the last months of his prison term.

The man actually did this.
In his dairies he describes in detail how are the landscapes and the towns he is passing by on foot.
Drowning himself totally in the illusion he created in order to survive in the prison.

From Albert Speer it has therefore been learned not to wait the 18 more days in lethargy.
To think of a target to achieve in the time of waiting.

Because the Queen of Dreams is fluent in Spanish and the pioneering photographer is only on the level of a primary school student, these days there will be intense studying of the Spanish language.

No laying on the bed staring at the ceiling like Rudolf Hess was doing most of his time in the Spandau prison in Berlin.

Rudolf Hess

There will be the self imposed obligation to study Spanish with such an intensity that there won't be time enough.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm doing my doctoral dissertation on Albert Speer. I respectfully disagree with your statement that Speer's prison diary demonstrated his 'indignation' for his twenty years of imprisonment, or that he believe his sentence unjustified, or that in all that time he never contemplated the millions of people who lost their lives because of his actions. I believe all three of those statements to be exaggerated, if not false.

Yes, he was a war criminal. Yes, he more than deserved his prison sentence, and had the full extent of his involvement been known at the time of his trial, he might have rightfully deserved hanging. But while he did apply (mostly through the efforts of his daughter Hilde) for early release, as did many of the other prisoners who did in fact secure an early release, he never asserted that his sentence was unjustified - just the opposite, in fact. The remainder of his life after his release was spent in large part not only contemplating his responsiblity for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of his slave labourers, if not the millions in the camps, but writing and being interviewed about it. The majority of income from his books were donated - often anonymously - to Jewish organizations as well. That his admission of guilt was partial and unsatisfactory for most of the world does indeed diminish any possible redemption, but it does no one a service for those who would rather paint a black-and-white portrait of the man rather than examine the ambiguities of his life, and of our own reaction to them.