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cover / introduction table of contents

Tempora Mutantur

NRC, July 30, 1942
“We extend a warm welcome to the English”.
The German troops in the West are perfectly adequate to receive the English when they come with dignity. We are prepared, writes Göbbels, that when they come they will not exactly come with bad formations. For some time the world will be filled with the noise of weapons and lies of agitation.
But then, slowly but surely, our war machine will get moving and on a good day we will see the English gentlemen advancing towards Berlin, admittedly not as conquerors but as prisoners, and the rest striving defeatedly for a new Dunkirk to take the long way across the Channel to . That the enemy might try to form a second front we have never doubted. We only dispute, with good reason, that this attempt has any chance of success. What Anglo-American warfare will finally decide in this matter, Göbbels continues, we do not know. Perhaps they themselves do not yet know exactly. In such cases, one does well to anticipate all possibilities, even the unlikeliest. That is what happened. We are only moderately interested in whether Britain will launch an invasion campaign in earnest, or merely attempt one. Even the attempt is punitive. It will be answered by means, which will rob the English people themselves of their last illusions in this respect. Clarity will then reign even in this only remaining open critical issue of the war. That could only be pleasing for us. We therefore extend a warm welcome to the British. It is to be hoped that they will also bring some Americans along. The MacArthurs would then be introduced to German soldiers for the first time, who do not bring tennis rackets and golf balls but first-class weapons and a wealth of war experience accumulated in all the war zones of Europe. They would be happy to use the opportunity to make it clear to the Yankees that for them, too,  access to Europe is forbidden. (A.N.P.)

These are fast-moving times,
Short-lived are the lies.
It is growing difficult
To deceive the people

And what Göbbels brings today,
Can no longer charm me,
The level of lies is dropping and dropping,
Apparently, under the pressure of time.

As Russian dehumanization
Destroys this world,
The German people acquire glory
Everlasting in history,

Since with dignity and courage
They endure the air war resignedly,
Revenge will definitely strike
The British scum one of these days.

The war is likely to go on for a long time,
Possibly for years to come,
But he is not worried about victory,
If only one maintains courage.

And you are presented with that daily
In few variations,
A web of lies, old, worn to a thread
Which we knew all along.

This is how I praise the earlier times
Of Goebbels‘ glory days,
Not so long ago and yet so far away,
What did he say then?

By chance, an old newspaper
Fell into my hands today
What I found written in it,
Seemed to me to be of importance.

It shows Mr. Goebbels in great shape
A cheerful activist,
Yes, back then he was very much
In high spirits and optimistic

Back then, there was still some cause
For this optimism,
In the Caucasus, the war mechanism
progressed very well.

And Rommel at El Alamein
Threatens Alexandria,
Göbbels could be happy then
And lash out.

He did so profusely
And what the Hottentots
Cheered on with their war cry,
He achieved with mockery

And by taunting and mocking
The evil, evil enemy,
He appears to be laughably weak
For the noble sons of Wodan!!

The invasion was very welcome to us,
We will show them a thing or two
For the Brits things went terribly wrong
And they went down horribly

They would come to Berlin for sure
But as disgraced prisoners,
To Tipperary they would go
The rest, who escaped.

Let defeat be their curse,
Their endeavour disgraced,
For even their attempt
To land at the Channel is punishable.

We watch the English appear
with calmness and with patience
We shout ‘Welcome!!’,
But please don’t cry,

When our battle-hardened army
Deals with you relentlessly,
For our army is hard
After all these years of victories.

We therefore kindly request you
Bring Yankees along as well
We will also force them
Into a pitiful retreat.

The game of golf will get you nowhere,
One will rap you on the knuckles
Europe is under German protection,
No entry for you! –

I have what Dr. Göbbels sang
Dug up for you today
You see times have long since
Thoroughly changed.

Although it’s true, the Tommy
To date, hasn’t come swimming in
And yet he comes to visit you, how outrageous
One no longer shouts ‘Welcome’

Meanwhile, you took quite a beating
On many a front,
So that little by little
You lost the desire to mock

Though it is a national duty
To still behave strongly
And yet, it won’t last long
It will soon be different.

Post-Editing: Marion Frankenhuis, Tom Rieke