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THE NUREMBERG EXECUTIONS / Nicholas Samaras Scraps of phrases, scraping of boots, reverberating footsteps slowly fading away . . . —Albert Speer, Spandau Diary You can imagine the resonance of the mute. You can imagine a gold razor of last Ught pressed under a metal door, a door so absolute that it must always be closed for the tight sUver of Ught to exist. You can imagine each man at the end a dark Ught lastly defined by what pressed around him. What interests me is the cell of the Uving: Speer, newly aUve, flushed in darkness, lying dressed on the bunk's coarse blanket, hearing his own heart's gavel, the sweat dropping on the irony of their Reich's egress. Weighted arms at his side, he Ues beUeving that, in one thousand years, only the redress of historians wiU know they aU should have Uved. Every night in his cell, Speer has heard history trampling. He hears what he is saved from. Scapegoats for War Atrocities, the absurd redundancy of it. All day there had been distant hammering. As orderly as their crimes, he lies still now and hears a name being caUed, the grate of a ceU door opening, throats clearing of sleep. It is mannered. Names summoned for the paced march through a courtyard walk to a rope with thirteen coUs twisted. Now, scraps of phrases, the language uncertain. Now, cleated heels on cement, the evening's 128 · The Missouri Review echoing away. Speer lay awake, not moving, and heard the sound of each man leaving. The sound of each man leaving. Nichols Samaras The Missouri Review · 129 ...


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