Stefan Zweig, The World of Yesterday, trans. Harry Zohn, Lincoln 1964 (Die Welt von Gestern, Stockholm 1942.)


T.H. In one of his Cantos, Pound compares the structure of usura with a mechanism, so in other terms we might think of usura as a modern dispositive.

P.N. Yes, a dispositive to exterminate the people who have the money and the culture. If you read Stefan Zweig’s Die Welt von Gestern [4] you understand how aristocracy felt, how the social classes collapsed and how money became the new value. The Third Reich made sure that money changed hands from the Jews to the new elite of criminals. The Final Solution, Auschwitz, was the key to building a new world: Europe. That is why we can never wash away the bloodstain!

T.H.: Were you also confronting these investigations of history and presence in the context of Portuguese society?

P.N.: No, I was living in Paris. But in Portugal when Hitler died Salazar put the flag at half-mast for three days. In my country the Holocaust is something that still now most people don’t talk about. I was born under fascism, tasted it, hated it and ran away from it. I studied in England and travelled a lot. It was only then that I started to learn the true meaning of words like resistance, democracy and freedom.

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