The Grandest Irony

Adolf Hitler

It is the grandest irony,
I think,
That Herr Hitler—
Wicked narcissist that he was—
Was eventually brought down by the decree
That all communiques of the Reich
Should bear the salute, “Heil Hitler”.

It was discovered to be the one thing
Every dispatch would have in common.
And that was the clue that proved sufficient
To decode them all.

That a mortal—
Any mortal—
Would consider his own praise a proper
Prime directive for his people
Is a monument to his twisted heart.
Who could be so deformed of mind?
So misconstructed and dastardly?

The Enigma Machine enabled Germany to encrypt and decrypt messages securely, until the system was cracked by their enemies.

Such hubris is a signal for those who recognize it—
A beacon in the darkness—
A lighthouse on the rocky shore.
Yet, so many see such narcissism without a clue
As to the dangers it signals—
With no idea of the things
That such tyrants tend to do—
Even as they “Heil!” their own Hitlers.

A typical Enigma intercept from the Bletchley Park operation in England. These messages were transmitted in Morse code as groups of five letters, which were easily intercepted — but were impossible to understand without sophisticated decryption. (Photo courtesy Dr. David Hamer)

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