copyright 2002 Todd Ristau

by Todd Wm. Ristau

(a lot of noise backstage, finally an ancient man with a frightwig of white hair, rotten teeth, deeply wrinkld face, and wearing a WW1 German officer uniform is either wheeled or carried in by several men in suits. He wheezes and speaks in a horrible voice like a german zombie might.)

THE BARON: Everyone makes mistakes. Of course. Mistakes are as inevitable as war. What marks a man is how he deals with the mistake. Whether he shows himself to actually be a man or to be a miserable coward not worthy to be kicked, spat upon, or fed to the swine which are his superiors in everyway.

(coughing fit)

There was a time in this world when honor meant something to a man. When a man without honor was not a man at all. I was just a young man when I entered the officer corps of the 1st Royal Hanoverian Uhlans, a cavalry unit of the FIRST world war.

My father was an old-fashioned, harbitten Prussian who had won the Grand Cross in eighteen hundred and seventy. He taught me a thing or two about honesty, being a man, and how to admit guilt without apology.

(coughing fit)

I passionately loved my country. And just as passionately was I devoted to my Kaiser, William the Second! How radiant he was in his uniform, withered arm clinging to those gloves. I lay among my life's most treasured gifts that I was able to see him in person once, so very handsome in his uniform. A pearl.

(coughing fit)

His Majesty was charming, touching, irresistable, adorable...I hung my heart more and more each day on the Emperor! He was so remarkable! Far and away the greatest Hohenzollern that ever existed! He combines in a manner never before seen the most original intelligence with the shrewedest good sense! What swiftness and sureness of apprehension!

(coughing fit)

Then that Eulenberg business. The papers charging the Kaiser's closest friend and inner circle were a bunch of pederasts and homosexuals. Or at least homoerotic. Fritz Krupp, the head of Germany's largest shipmaking firm, and also dear friend of the Emperor shot himself.


It was the only honorable thing to do. Shooting himself was not an admission of guilt, it was an act of love for the Kaiser. If any part of these dealings were true, even the smallest part, then how could the Kaiser not have known? How could the Kaiser lead our nation if there was even a hint that he was not pure of any taint? What would become of the country if some weasel in the press levied the same unspeakable accusation at William himself?

(coughing fit)

Of course Krupp shot himself, sacrificing himself and his reputaion for the honor of our King.

And that is why my dear friend, Strom Thurmond has asked me to make this public appeal.

Senator Lott, no apology can erase the shame. No resignation from a seat of power is sufficient.

(pulling a P38 from his Uhlanka and holds it toward the audience.)

You have shamed your Kaiser.

There is but one honorable thing to do.

(lights out while coughing fit continues)


"THE BARON SPEAKS" debuted December 20, 2002, performed by Todd Ristau, who was carried in by Clinton Johnston and Sean Nitchmann.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: The follow up to the Trent Lott piece I did the week before. It went over very well, and it was great to have Sherwood Ross in the audience, because he knew all the historical detial was accurate on the Eulenberg Scandal.

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