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Vhat zoo you mean by barging into ziz office like zat? Can't you see vee are busy? You may be a general but I zink you forget yourself. And vhat happened to your salute and ze vords zat go viss it? If generals don't vish to show zeir respect for zeir superiors, ve can arrange for zem all to be reduced in ze ranks to zer point ver zey have to stand to attention every time zey speak to a corporal. In fact, I sink all ze officers should be reduced in ze ranks for a vile so zey can learn to respect ze corporals.
              Zat's better. Rudolf, ziz general has been forgetting about ze important zings and has been indulging himself. He 'az grown wery, wery fat don't you zink? By God, if I'd had him in my platoon back in '17 I'd have knocked all of ze stuffing out of him and he'd be a better perzon for it. I vas known for turning boys into men. Because of me all of zem ver men and not ponces like ze officers who were always looking at zemselves in zair smart uniforms in ze mirror. I turned ze recruits into men.
              Zat book about zings being quiet on ze vestern front, who zo you zink ze corporal vas? I vas on detachment and by God, I taught zem, make no mistake about zat! Ze hero? Because of me he survived all through ze var and vas only killed at ze end because he vas veak in his soul and no corporal can change zat. Can you believe it, he actually vanted ze var to end?
              But zat bit about me showing cowardice in ze face of the enemy. Zat vas a lie. I vas never a coward. Not vunce! See zis, zis cross on my chest? You zon't get zat for veing a coward. It vas a nasty, mean and vicious lie. It vas a lie. A lie. A lie. I tell you it vas a lie!
              Vhat! Who said zat? I am not unwell and I am not foazing at ze mouse. Everyone can see zat I am not foazing at ze mouse. Except you - Herr Field Marshall. You, Field Marshall should be wery, wery careful or else I vill ask my friend Dr. Mengles to do a little operation on your villie and zen I vill make sure zat it is Herr Himler and not Herr Goring who finds out about ze new you.
              Vell, general. Vhat is it zat you vant?
              Ach, I had forgotten. Now I remember. Ze new, American style radio station in England. Is zat on now? Zen quickly, turn on ze radio. But first, vhich advertising company did ve use? I see ve have spent an awful lot of money and ziz means zat I vill once again have to tell ze many people who have paid for zeir Volksvagens zat zey are going to have to vait a little longer.
              Vee did hire ze best, did ve not?
              Ach, goot. Turn on ze radio.

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..... and that ladies and gentlemen was the latest sound sweeping the dance
halls of Britain. But first, before the news, a word from our sponsors.

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Good evening ladies and gentlemen. I hope you are enjoying this program of light music which is being brought to you by the people of the Third Reich. But, although I hope you are having a pleasant day, it is, unfortunately, my painful duty on this warm autumn evening to have to talk to you about serious matters.
              I would that relations between our two nations were not so strained but alas, there has been a serious misunderstanding which I will now try to rectify. So, even if some think that it is not a good thing for the people of the Third Reich to sponsor a program on British radio, we in the Third Reich are anxious to stress the fact that we do not want war. The people of Britain are our friends and so, before our relationship deteriorates any further, I want to give you our side of the story because we in Germany truly believe that if you know the truth you will not support your warmongering politicians and will vote for representatives who can see that Germany and Britain have a destiny of friendship.
              First, I'll be absolutely truthful. Yes, we have invaded Poland. But your politicians are refusing to tell you the truth about why we have done this. But, as there are a lot of emotions involved, this is a highly charged issue and so what I will do is lay all the facts before you and then you can decide upon the matter for yourselves.
              Yes, there was a skirmish between Polish and German border guards. Yes, this did unexpectedly flare up into a series of small battles. It was, I agree, wrong of us to have failed to keep a proper control on our forces but unfortunately, hotheaded commanders on both sides got carried away and then a very localized fight between Germany and Poland began.
              But when Herr Hitler, the Fuhrer, heard of what had happened he immediately sent orders to stop the fight, pull all German forces back to the frontier and have all the German commanders involved court martialled. He said that even if the Poles had started the fight, Germany wanted peace in Europe. We could prove that the Poles had started the fight because we had the bodies of the Polish soldiers who had been killed. We also had their identity tags so we knew exactly who they were. But Herr Hitler is a magnanimous, warm hearted person and he said that even though Polish soldiers had started the fight, once our troops had been withdrawn, nothing more would be said about the incident. He also said that he would not allow diplomatic relations with Warsaw to be soured by the rash acts of a few Polish border battalions. Believe me, Herr Hitler has said, time and again, he only wants what your Prime Minister wants, peace in our time.
              Unfortunately, just as our soldiers were about to disengage and withdraw, Stalin took advantage of the confusion and invaded eastern Poland. This was a very difficult situation for us because, although we tried to talk to Warsaw about it, they refused to listen. We offered to help them repel the Russian advance, but they turned their back on us. Now, I think you'll agree that the greatest threat to Europe is Russia and we, the people of Germany, could not stand idly by and allow Stalin to take control of Poland. We had to stop him, not only to protect Europe from the Stalin's territorial ambitions, but also to make sure that the people of Poland lived in a country they could call their own. Consequently, the order to disengage was countermanded and the German army moved into Poland, in force, so as to halt the Russian advance at the earliest possible moment. It really was a case of the more territory under temporary German control, the less there was for Stalin to steal.
              Now you must believe me when I tell you that many of the reports coming out of Poland have been grossly exaggerated. Yes, we have dropped a few bombs on Warsaw and some other Polish towns. But the difficulty is that, to protect Poland from the Russians, we, the Germans, had to move as quickly as possible so as to form a line which would prevent further Russian advances. But, unfortunately, everything was happening very quickly and in the hurried diplomatic exchanges between Berlin and Warsaw, there were many misunderstandings and so some foolhardy Polish generals insisted on ordering their soldiers to attack the advancing German army. What could we do? Polish forces were simply not up to stemming the Russian tide and preventing Stalin from taking all of Poland, so we had to take the initiative. But although we did our very best, at all times, to prevent bloodshed by avoiding Polish troops whenever we could, Polish troops frequently insisted on attacking us, their protectors.
              Believe me, to save both Europe and Poland, we had to act. But to give an example of how unable the Polish army would have been to stop the Russian advance, I will tell you that many of the tanks which we sent into Poland to protect the Polish people from the Russians were attacked by Polish soldiers riding on horseback and brandishing sabers. A few were killed, I can't deny it. It couldn't be helped. But of the ones who were taken prisoner, I can assure you, they are all being well treated and they have also all been offered the opportunity to join us in the fight against Russia. Many have accepted but, understandably, many are waiting until the diplomatic situation is clarified and their own leaders tell them to join with us, and all of Europe in the fight against the world's greatest evil, Communism.
              The situation, as you can tell from your newspapers, is still very confused. But at the moment the German army, which is simply protecting the people of Poland, is in control of Western Poland while Stalin's Communist forces are in control of Eastern Poland. Because of our timely intervention Stalin has been unable to advance any further, but, as there is still a lot of confusion, a great many points remain to be cleared up. So please, don't do anything rash at the moment and don't listen to politicians who want to start a war with Germany. Russia is our common enemy and we would therefore ask you to support only those politicians who wish to join, or just support Germany in the fight against Communism. Communism is a threat to the whole of Europe and so all of Europe must act in harmony so as to destroy the cancer which threatens to engulf it.
              We now know that this entire problem was started by a Polish general who, because of a mix up in his medication, suddenly went beserk and then, without Warsaw's approval, issued orders to attack German border posts and that's why, in the beginning, when we tried to say that we were only acting in self-defence, Warsaw refused to believe us. But, so that we could prove our claim, we had at this point hoped to bring you the names of the Polish units involved but unfortunately, in the confusion of the battles which have followed, we have been unable to locate to necessary information, so this will have to wait until next Wednesday when once again we will bring you a selection of the latest musical hits from the dance halls of London New York, Paris and Berlin. But don't forget, on the on the following Friday, from eight o'clock in the evening we will be bringing you five hours of uninterrupted dancing music so you can party the night away. However, in the meantime, I want you to think about what I have said. Britain has an empire to take care of and many people around the world depend on British justice and the British way of life. Consequently, because the empire often has problems we feel that, apart from your moral support, the care of Europe should be left in German hands so that in the future, the two great powers, Britain and Germany, by their Christianity, far-sightedness and inbuilt sense of justice will, together, lead the world into the kind of bright and prosperous future which will benefit all of our children and grandchildren.
              So until next week this is the Third Reich signing off to the sound of the latest hit from The Savoy Hotel ensemble.

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Vell, vat zoo you sink? Vill it take ze vind out of Churchill's sails and give us a vreazing sface? I know zat Churchill. He, like me, is an artist and his art form, like mine, is oratory, ze most powerful art form known to man. Churchill is our greatest danger and if ve can neutralize him ve vill soon control all of Europe, from ze Atlantic to ze Urals.
              Ach, I alvays hated painting zer pictures. It vasn't art.

---January 6, 2010---

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