Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A Mirror’s Temperature is Always Zero

One of his colleagues has described the haunting and profoundly revealing occasion when Heydrich came home at night to his brilliantly lit apartment and suddenly saw his reflection in a large wall mirror. In an attack of cold rage he 'whipped his pistol from his holster and fired two shots at this double', the ever and tormentingly present negation of himself, from which he could free himself in liquor and in the splintered glass, but not in reality. He was prisoner of this figure of negation, he lived in a world populated by the self-created chimeras of of a hostile distrust, scented behind everything treachery, intrigue or the snares of hidden emnity, and thought only in terms of dependence - the most impressive embodiment of that vulgarized Darwinist principle in whose light the world was revealed to National Socialist ideology: life seen only as struggle. Himmler said of him that he was 'the embodiment of distrust - the "hypersuspicious", as people called called him - nobody could endure it for long'.
- Joachim Fest, The Face of the Third Reich (1963)

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