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当前位置:查字典高考网>高考总复习>高考英语复习方法>英文小说连载《朗读者The Reader》Part 2 Chapter 9

英文小说连载《朗读者The Reader》Part 2 Chapter 9

来自:查字典高考网 2019-01-07

W HY DID you not unlock the doors? The presiding judge put the question to one defendant after another. One after the other, they gave the same answer. They couldnt unlock the doors. Why? They had been wounded when the bombs hit the priests house. Or they had been in shock as a result of the bombardment. Or they had been busy after the bombs hit, with the wounded guard contingent, pulling them out of the rubble, bandaging them, taking care of them. They had not thought about the church, had not seen the fire in the church, had not heard the screams from the church.

The judge made the same statement to one defendant after another. The record indicated otherwise. This was deliberately phrased with caution. To say that the record found in the SS archives said otherwise would be wrong. But it was true that it suggested something different. It listed the names of those who had been killed in the priests house and those who had been wounded, those who had brought the wounded to a field hospital in a truck, and those who had accompanied the truck in a jeep. It indicated that the women guards had stayed behind to wait out the end of the fires, to prevent any of them from spreading and to prevent any attempts to escape under the cover of the flames. It referred to the death of the prisoners.

The fact that the names of the defendants appeared nowhere in the report suggested that the defendants were among the female guards who had remained behind. That these guards had remained behind to prevent attempts at escape indicated that the affair didnt end with the rescue of the wounded from the priests house and the departure of the transport to the field hospital. The guards who remained behind, the report indicated, had allowed the fire to rage in the church and had kept the church doors locked. Among the guards who remained behind, the report indicated, were the defendants.

No, said one defendant after the other, that is not the way it was. The report was wrong. That much was evident from the fact that it mentioned the obligation of the guards to prevent the fires from spreading. How could they have carried out that responsibility? It was ridiculous, as was the other responsibility of preventing attempted escapes under the cover of the fires. Attempted escapes? By the time they no longer had to worry about their own people and could worry about the others, the prisoners, there was no one left to escape. No, the report completely ignored what they had done and achieved and suffered that night. How could such a false report have been filed? They didnt know.

Until it was the turn of the plump and vicious defendant. She knew. Ask that one there! She pointed at Hanna. She wrote the report. Shes the guilty one, she did it all, and she wanted to use the report to cover it up and drag us into it.

The judge asked Hanna. But it was his last question. His first was Why did you not unlock the doors?

We were . . . we had . . . Hanna was groping for the answer. We didnt have any alternative.

You had no alternative?

Some of us were dead, and the others had left. They said they were taking the wounded to the field hospital and would come back, but they knew they werent coming back, and so did we. Perhaps they didnt even go to the hospital, the wounded were not that badly hurt. We would have gone with them, but they said they needed the room for the wounded, and anyway they didnt . . . they werent keen to have so many women along. I dont know where they went.

What did you do?

We didnt know what to do. It all happened so fast, with the priests house burning and the church spire, and the men and the cart were there one minute and gone the next, and suddenly we were alone with the women in the church. They left behind some weapons, but we didnt know how to use them, and even if we had, what good would it have done, since we were only a handful of women? How could we have guarded all those women? A line like that is very long, even if you keep it as tight together as possible, and to guard such a long column, you need far more people than we had. Hanna paused. Then the screaming began and got worse and worse. If we had opened the doors and they had all come rushing out . . .

The judge waited a moment. Were you afraid? Were you afraid the prisoners would overpower you?

That they would . . . no, but how could we have restored order? There would have been chaos, and we had no way to handle that. And if theyd tried to escape . . .

Once again the judge waited, but Hanna didnt finish the sentence. Were you afraid that if they escaped, you would be arrested, convicted, shot?

We couldnt just let them escape! We were responsible for them . . . I mean, we had guarded them the whole time, in the camp and on the march, that was the point, that we had to guard them and not let them escape. Thats why we didnt know what to do. We also had no idea how many of the women would survive the next few days. So many had died already, and the ones who were still alive were so weak . . .

Hanna realized that what she was saying wasnt doing her case any good. But she couldnt say anything else. She could only try to say what she was saying better, to describe it better and explain it. But the more she said, the worse it looked for her. Because she was at her wits end, she turned to the judge again.

What would you have done?

But this time she knew she would get no answer. She wasnt expecting one. Nobody was. The judge shook his head silently.

Not that it was impossible to imagine the confusion and helplessness Hanna described. The night, the cold, the snow, the fire, the screaming of the women in the church, the sudden departure of the people who had commanded and escorted the female guardshow could the situation have been easy? But could an acknowledgment that the situation had been hard be any mitigation for what the defendants had done or not done? As if it had been a car accident on a lonely road on a cold winter night, with injuries and totaled vehicles, and no one knowing what to do? Or as if it had been a conflict between two equally compelling duties that required action? That is how one could imagine what Hanna was describing, but nobody was willing to look at it in such terms.

Did you write the report?

We all discussed what we should write. We didnt want to hang any of the blame on the ones who had left. But we didnt want to attract charges that we had done anything wrong either.

So youre saying you talked it through together. Who wrote it?

You! The other defendant pointed at Hanna.

No, I didnt write it. Does it matter who did?

A prosecutor suggested that an expert be called to compare the handwriting in the report and the handwriting of the defendant Schmitz.

My handwriting? You want my handwriting? . . .

The judge, the prosecutor, and Hannas lawyer discussed whether a persons handwriting retains its character over more than fifteen years and can be identified. Hanna listened and tried several times to say or ask something, and was becoming increasingly alarmed. Then she said, You dont have to call an expert. I admit I wrote the report.

您为什么不把门打开?

审判长一个接一个地向每个被告都提出同样的问题,每个被告都给予了同样的回答:她们无法打开。为什么?有的说,当炸弹击中教士住宅时,她受伤了。有的说,她被轰炸吓得呆若木鸡。有的说,在轰炸之后,她要照料受伤的警卫队员和其他受伤的女看守,她把她们从废墟中救出来,为她们包扎,护理她们。有的说,她没有想到教堂,她不在教堂附近,没有看到教堂着火,也没听见从教堂里传来的呼救声。

审判长一个接一个地警告她们:报告读上去可全不是这么回事。这是经过深思熟虑后的一种谨慎表达方式。如果说从纳粹党卫队的档案里发现的报告所记载的是另外一回事;那就错了。但报告读上去的确是另一番情形。报告里指名道姓地提到谁在教土住宅里被炸死了,谁受了伤,谁把伤员用货车送到了一家野战医院,还有谁乘坐军用吉普车陪送。报告提到,女看守们被留了下来,目的是让她们等候大火烧尽,防止火势蔓延和阻止囚犯们趁火逃跑。报告中也提到了囚犯们的死亡。

被告们的名字不在名单里面,这说明她们属于留下来的女看守之列。既然把女看守们留下来是为了阻止囚犯们逃跑,这说明从教士住宅抢救伤员并把他们送到野战医院的工作还没有全部结束。从报告中可以看出,那些留守下来的女看守让教堂里的大火肆意疯狂地燃烧,并坚持不打开教堂的大门。在那些被留下来的女看守中间,正如从报告中可以看到的那样,有这几位被告在内。

不,根本不是这么回事。被告们一个接着一个地这样说。他们说那篇报告是错的。报告里讲,被留下的女看守的任务是阻止火势的蔓延,只凭这一点就可以看到那篇报告的荒谬。她们怎么能来完成这项任务。这是胡说八道,而且另外的一项任务,即阻止囚犯趁火逃跑,同样也是胡说八道。阻止逃跑?好像她们不必要照料自己人了似的,也好像不能去照料囚犯了似的,好像没有任何人可以跑掉似的。不!那篇报告把她们那天晚上的所作所为,她们的功绩和所遭受的痛苦,完全颠倒了。怎么会有这样一篇如此错误的报告?她们也都自称不知道。

轮到那位慢条斯理、尖酸刻毒的被告人时,她说她知道。您问她吧!她用手指着汉娜说:是她写的那篇报告,她有罪,只她一人有罪,她在报告中隐瞒了自己而想把我们扯进去。

审判长就此问了汉娜,不过,那是他的最后的问题。他的第一个问题是:您为什么没有把门打开?

我们在我们要汉娜在寻找答案,我们不知道该怎样帮助他们才是。

你们不知道该怎样帮助他们才是?

我们当中的一些人死掉了,一些人开小差了。他们说,他们要把伤员送往野战医院,然后再返回来。但是他们心里明白他们不会再回来了,我们对此也十分清楚。也许他们根本就没去野战医院,伤员们的伤势并非十分严重。他们还说,伤员需要地方,他们正好没有什么东西正好不愿带着这么多的女人一起走,否则我们也一起走了。我不知道他们去了哪儿。

您都干了什么?

我们不知道该做什么,一切都发生得很快。教士住宅起火了,还有教堂的塔顶。男人们,还有小汽车开始时还都在,随后他们就离开了。转眼之间只剩下我们和教堂里的女囚。他们给我们留下了一些武器,但是我们不会用。假使我们会用它们的话,这对我们几个女人来说又能帮上什么忙呢?我们该如何看守住这么多的女囚呢?走起路来长长的一列,就是紧凑一起也够长的,看守这样长的队伍,需要比我们这几个女人多得多的人力。汉娜稍稍停顿了一下,然后她们开始喊叫起来,而且越来越严重。如果我们此时把门打开让所有的人都跑出来的话

审判长等了一会问:您害怕吗?您害怕被囚犯们战胜吗?

囚犯会把我们不,不会。但是,我们怎样才能使她们重新就范呢?那一定会乱作一团的,我们一定对付不了这种局面,而且一旦她们企图逃跑的话

审判长又等了一会儿,但是,汉娜没有把那句话说完。您害怕一旦逃跑的事情发生,您会被捕,会被判决,会被枪毙吗?

我们当然不会轻易地让她们逃跑的,我们就是干这个的我的意思是我们一直都在看守她们,在集中营,在行军的路上。我们看守她们的意义所在正是不让她们逃跑。正因为如此,我们才不知道如何做是好,我们也不知道有多少囚犯在后来的日子里能活下来。已经死了那么多了,剩下这些活着的也已经如此虚弱

汉娜注意到,她所说的事情无助于事,但是她又没别的可说。她只能尽力而为他说好她所要说的事情,更好地去描述,去解释。但是她说得越多,事情对她就越糟糕。由于她感到进退维谷,就又转向了审判长问道:

要是您的话会怎么做呢?

但是,这一次她自己也知道她不会得到回答。她不期待回答,没有人期望得到一个回答。审判长默不作声地摇着头。

不是人们对汉娜所描述的那种不知所措和无助的情形无法想象。那个夜晚的情景:寒冷,冰雪,大火,教堂里女人的喊叫,那些曾命令她们和陪同她们的人的逃之夭夭。在这样的情况下,把囚犯放出来该会是什么样子呢!但是,认为当时这些被告的处境确实很难就可以相对减轻她们的罪责吗?人们就可以对她们的行为不那么感到震惊了吗?就可以把它看做是在一个寒冷的冬夜里,在一条人烟稀少的道路上发生的一场造成人员伤亡的车祸,而认为人们在这种情况下本来不知道如何是好?或者,这是不是反映了我们都应该担负的两种责任之间的矛盾呢?人们可以这样做,但是人们不愿意去想象汉娜所描述的情景。

报告是您写的吗?

我们在一起商量了该写什么,我们不想把责任都推到那些开小差的人的身上,但是我们也不想把责任都揽到我们自己身上。

您说,你们一起商量了。谁执的笔呢?

称!另外的那位被告又用手指着汉娜。

不,我没有写。谁写的,这重要吗?

一位律师建议请一位鉴定专家对报告的字体和被告人史密兰女士的字体进行比较鉴定。

我的字体?您想要我的字体

审判长、那位律师还有汉娜的辩护律师在讨论了一个人的字体超过十五年之后是否还能保持它的同一性,是否还能让人辨认出来。汉娜注意听着,几次想插话说什么,或者要问什么,越来越坐立不安。最后她说:您不需要请鉴定专家,我承认报告是我写的。