After The Fall – Monologue (Holga)

A monologue from the play by Arthur Miller

Act 1

HOLGA (thirties)

Holga is a German archaeologist. She is a calm and independent woman. But the past haunts her.

Here she reminisces about the war. 

It was the middle of the war. I had just come out of a class and there were leaflets on the sidewalk. A photograph of a concentration camp.

And emaciated people. It was dropped there by British Intelligence; one tended to believe the British. I had no idea. Truly.

Any more, perhaps, than Americans know how a Negro lives. I was seventeen; I lived in my studies; I planned how to cut my hair differently.

It was much more complicated than it seems later. There are many officers in my family. It was our country.

It isn’t easy to turn against your country; not in a war. There are always reasons – do Americans turn against America because of Hiroshima? 

No, there are reasons always. (Pause) And I took the leaflet to my godfather – he was still commanding our Intelligence.

And I asked if it were true. ‘Of course,’ he said, ‘why does it excite you?’ I threw my briefcase at him.

And he opened it and put some papers in and asked me to deliver it to a certain address. And I became a courier for the officers who were planning to assassinate Hitler…

They were all hanged.

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