15 June 2007

Those Who Knew Them: Kurt Waldheim 1918-2007

The As A Dodo Team must confess that it has had more than a little difficulty in obtaining the following tribute to the controversial former Austrian President and UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim. Having had considerable trouble in tracking down Mr Waldheim's former associate, Don Diego Alfonso von Martin Bormann, in his delightful landhaus in Argentina, we felt it best to publish his responses - such as they were - to our questions, verbatim.

"von Martin Bormann ... ach ... ¿Bueno?"

"Si, senor, yes I speak English a little. Is it safe?"

"Oh I am sorry, I must have confused you with someone else. I am a simple Argentine dentist."

"Waldheim? ... Waldheim? ... no it does not ring a bell."

"Now, when you say you are not from the police ... can you prove that?"

"And the diamonds will be passed to me via New York? ... Very well, the interview may proceed."

"Oh yes, I knew Kurt very well. We were just two little Austrian kids together before the war, you know. We would play games together. Kurt always loved Pelmanism ... you know, the 'Pairs' game mitt cards? Kurt was superb ... we once went three days without matching a single pair. Such bad memories we had! I swear we would have forgotten our own names .... particularly if they appeared on any party papers."

"No, no, it was a terrible time the glorious liberation of ... I mean, the invasion of Austria ... by Hitler and his Nazis. Terrible. All those crowds of joyous people welcoming their new leader, all those bands, all those spiffy uniforms and marching. Absolutely terrible."

"Yes, it was so terrible that me and Kurt immediately joined the Nazi party and signed up for the Sturmabteilung. I always thought the brown shirt suited Kurt very well."

"The Wehrmacht? Well, we was drafted in, you know. Served on the Eastern Front. Of course, we was both given medical discharges in 41."

"Oh ... you have got the papers there have you? Well, it was a long time ago, you know ... the memory it plays tricks."

"Well, maybe we weren't disharged."

"Yes, it is possible we did serve a little time mitt General Löhr. Honestly, we thought he was called the Butcher of the Balkans because he did a great Wiener schnitzel. I tell you, he may have been a war criminal but the things that man could do with a bit of veal."

"Jews? There were Jews killed in the war?! No! I had no idea. I'm sure Kurt had no idea."

"So? ... We lived next door to a Konzentrationslager, did we? ... We thought it was just a simple holiday camp ..."

"We signed papers did we? No ... I can't remember that ... 'They ordered the deportation of Jews, execution of British commandos and bloody suppression of the partisans'. You see I'm sure I'd remember something like that ... or my name's not ... er ... whatever my name is."

"No, no ... these things are best forgotten, you see. Kurt knew that. I know that. I mean ... if we'd remembered them, he would never have become UN Secretary General and President of Austria, would he? And I wouldn't be a simple Argentine dentist with no fear of being extradited."

"Ja ... si ... I'm afraid I must end it there. I have a tooth extraction I must be doing. I must remember to forget the anaesthetic."

"Wiederhören ... ach ... Platicamos."

Kurt Waldheim will be buried at St Adolf's Church of the Blessedly Short Memory. The celebrant will be an innocent South American dentist in an SA uniform. The hymn will be number 666, The Horst-Wessel-Lied.


A Grow said...

Dear Team How can there be a list of atrocities in a war which the other side said was never fought?
Keep up the brilliant work

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Dodo. you are audacious and ever brilliant!