I Felt a Shudder

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I Felt a Shudder
The scene is a village pub. Dr. Stuart, an expert Historian from Oxford University, is sitting by himself in the corner. Joe, an ex-student of his, approaches him.
  • Joe: Hi, long time since…remember me?
  • Stuart: I’m not quite myself at the moment –
  • Joe: You used to teach me – at university –
  • Stuart: Oh Joe: You seem a little pale…
  • Stuart: I feel a little pale…I feel cold…
  • Joe: Why? What’s the problem?
  • Stuart: I’ve just been holding a postcard…reading it…
  • Joe: A postcard – from someone you know…
  • Stuart: …no
  • Joe: An old postcard – about what?
  • Stuart: About reporting voluntarily for the field immediately…
  • Joe: Full of misspellings perhaps?
  • Stuart: Well one, yes, the German word for immediately is ‘soffort’ not s-o-f-o-r-t, but that’s not the point
  • Joe: Typical lecturer – always spotting the spellings!
  • Stuart: It was to Karl Lanzhammer – Dear Lanzhammer, I am now in Munich at the Ersatz Battalion. Currently I am under dental treatment. By the way I will report voluntarily for the field immediately…
  • Joe: Who is he?
  • Stuart: Lanzhammer?
  • Joe: Yes
  • Stuart: A despatch rider – the writer had just come back from the dentist
  • Joe: Ah yes, I feel a bit weak when I am at the dentist too. I remember when I used to play rugby for Oxford there were many occasions when after a scrum collapse – or even a small fight in the bars that I would have to go to the dentist. Some of them –
  • Stuart: – it’s not about the dentist!
  • Joe: So what was it – poor handwriting?
  • Stuart: It was poor, yes
  • Joe: Was it, well…just mundane?
  • Stuart: Yes that too – but more than that…
  • Joe: It all sounds pretty ordinary to me – a dentist, someone going into the field on a voluntary basis, writing to someone called Karl
  • Stuart: Yes I suppose it was the signature that sent the shudder through me
  • Joe: How so?
  • Stuart: ‘Adolf’, ‘Adolf Hitler

Further reading: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturenews/9239076/Badly-spelt-postcard-from-Hitler-discovered-in-new-archive-trawl.html