The A1 Verse: Conspiracies, coups, and other grim tales

By Thomas Gaulkin | December 12, 2022

Illustration of "Cruel Frederick" from Der Struwwelpeter (Free Library of Philadelphia)

Every so often, a story published on the front page of the New York Times is so well written, meaningful, and appropriate to the Bulletin’s concerns that small snippets of it, properly chosen and arranged, produce something more than journalism, something that approaches … poetry. That blessed coincidence occurred December 12, 2022.

We suspect it’ll occur again.

A Coup Plot, a Prince and the Far Right in a German Spa Town

(from the original by Erika Solomon and Katrin Bennhold)

The crenelated hunting lodge
of Prince Heinrich XIII of Reuss
sits atop a steep hill,
looking out over homes laced
with snow and Christmas lights
in Bad Lobenstein.

There was a darker side
to his plot,
in the basement,
in the forest,
in security
in the troves of arms.

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