Ice Friday: Curzio Malaparte’s “Kaputt”

Malaparte’s memoir details Fascist life, both German and Italian, at its height:

Then, as their mysterious fear grew, as that mysterious white stain spread over their eyes, they began killing prisoners whose feet were blistered and who could no longer walk. They began setting fire to the villages that were unable to hand over the fixed number of loads of wheat and flout, a certain amount of loads of corn and barley and of heads of horses and cattle to the requisitioning platoons. When only a few Jews remained, they began hanging the peasants. They strung them by their necks or by their feet to the branches of trees in the little village squares, around the bare pedestals where the white statues of Lenin and Stalin had stood only a few days before. They hung them side by side with the rain-washed corpses of the Jews that had been dangling for days under the black sky, side by side with the dogs of the Jews that had been strung up on the same trees with their masters. “Ah, the Jewish dogs,” said the German soldiers as they passed along.

Leave a Reply