14/27

 

I spent the war years, in fact, in such horrible circumstances of politics, espionage, bribery, and corruption as even at that time were rarely to be found concentrated in one place, namely in Bern, amid Germans, neutral, and hostile diplomacy, in a city that had been flooded overnight by a tidal wave of diplomats, spies, journalists, speculators, and profiteers. I lived amid diplomats and soldiers, had contacts with people from many enemy countries, the air around me was a single net of espionage and counter-espionage, of intrigue, denunciations, and political and personal speculation - and of all this in all those years I noticed nothing at all! I was shadowed, listened to, spied upon, I was an object of suspicion now to the enemy, now to the neutrals, now to my own countrymen, and I noticed none of it. Only long afterwards did I learn this and that about it, and I could not understand how I had been able to live enveloped in this atmosphere, untouched and unharmed. But that is what happened.

 

With the end of the war there coincided the completion of my transformation and the climax of suffering in my trial. This suffering no longer had anything to do with the war or the fate of the world; even the defeat of Germany, which we abroad had foreseen with certainty for two years, was at that time no longer terrifying.