Back in his office at the ministry, Speer tried to write down what he wanted to tell Hitler. He thought about all the things he’s seen in the Ruhr that he wanted to describe to him. If he could have seen the elderly volkssturmers or the disorganized fragmentary divisions, if he could have seen people like the farmer Jacob who still had faith in him, who still believed in victory, maybe then Hitler would be able to see the utter travesty in what he was asking. But the words wouldn’t come and he knew Hitler wouldn’t listen anyway. It was impossible to write it down, just as it was impossible to tell him to his face. What was he going to do? Speer didn’t know. All he know was that he was dead tired. He went back to his quarters and went to bed.
He woke up a few hours later with a dry mouth and a cold sweat and rather than try to go back to sleep, he put on his robe and went back to his office to work on his response. Faith? Hope? Do I say yes or no? If I say no, I’ll at least get to maintain my integrity. Of course, at this point his integrity had to be about the most useless thing there was. But on the other hand, his reward for discarding it was hardly worth having.
Speer wrote a few sentences, then crumpled the paper and stared out into the darkness. The electricity was out again. The empty window frames either hadn’t been repapers or what they’d put in had already been blown out. Perhaps the papering crews had all been mobilized and were sent off to the front. Faith, Hope? Come on! There was nothing left.
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