Alfred Döblin: The law and the police are at the service of the war state and its slavery
From Berlin Alexanderplatz (1929)
Translated by Eugene Jolas
“You had to join up with the Prussians, you’ve been in the war. Now I call that theft of liberty. But they had their own courts and police, and because they had them, they put a muzzle on you, and so now it’s not a theft of liberty, according to a poor bum like you, but military service. And you’ve got to put up with it, like taxes, which go for something you don’t understand any better.”
Trumpets are blaring a military song beside him. A battle was fought on the open wold, ratatata, ratatata, ratatata. We have sacked the town and taken all their heavy gold. Sacked it – racked it, ratatata!