«First the alien, then the Jew… I did no more than you let me do.»
«The Hangman» by Maurice Ogden
Ah, Twitter. I stopped posting, but the serendipitous findings, I wouldn’t want to miss them. For there are pearls in the mud, even the pearl itself is pretty scary. Recently I stumbled upon an except of «The Hangman» by Maurice Ogden. The full text was even better, see, e.g., here at edhelper.com.
Further search led me to this video:
And yeah, strikingly well-written and the video is well done (if not my style).
I really like the imagery, from it’s tiny beginnings:
The scaffold stood by the courthouse side, only as wide as the door was wide; a frame as tall, or little more, than the capping sill of the courthouse door.
to its power increasing in size:
Now as wide, or a little more, than the steps that led to the courthouse door, as tall as the writing, or nearly as tall, halfway up on the courthouse wall.
to it encompassing everything:
And so we ceased, and asked no more, as the Hangman tallied his bloody score; and sun by sun, and night by night, the gallows grew to monstrous height.
Or the behavior of the people, asking instead of stopping:
The fifth.The sixth. And we cried again: «Hangman, Hangman, is this the man?»
Or the ending with it third and second to last paragraphs:
“Lied to you? Tricked you?” he said, “Not I. For I answered straight and I told you true: The scaffold was raised for none but you.
“For who has served me more faithfully than you with your coward’s hope?” said he, “And where are the others that might have stood side by your side in the common good?”
“Dead,” I whispered; and amiably “Murdered,” the Hangman corrected me; “First the alien, then the Jew… I did no more than you let me do.”