“I opened this shocking ‘death letter, outlined in black’ sometime after the 15th of November 1970. I was about to send an invitation, and love letter to Gisela Braun. The poem written about it and the sad news was not written until 2017. My love and my sadness persists.” Wally George Du Temple
” Concerning Gisela Braun. Dipll – Bibliothekarin, born 11 July 1934 / died 15 November 1970.
Dear Mr W. George DuTemple, It is hard for me to tell you, that our youngest sister Gisela is dead. She was shot dead by an unknown man this Sunday evening 19:30, when she was on her way to a concert, that she liked very. It was a famous requiem ( Brahms ). Nobody knows why, there was no reason – never she had an enemy; all people liked or loved her. And we sisters knew that Gisela talked about you, George. And we believed that she wished to come to Canada to see you again soon. We found nice pictures of you both on a boat, and others of you and Gisela on a rock in Helsingor. The police found these photos in her bag.
A woman heard her cry for help. When she opened her windows, she heard a shot and saw Gisela dead on the earth. She was dead at once by shooting the artery.
Next Tuesday will be an hour of rest in the crematory and then we will bury Gisela in Munick in the grave of our mother.
Please, Mr DuTemple, don’t forget our Gisela and remember her as a love in your heart.
Mem Bop Get. Braun
I know, my English is bad, but you will understand,
A Death Letter Outlined in Black
re: Gisela Braun.
I had never recieved one
A death envelope, outlined in ash.
I thought it strange for my lover Gisela
To have outlined it so.
In a twitching flash
I noticed the hand writing
Had not the calligraphy of Gisela
To have black framed it so.
I slit open the envelope lining
Outlined starkly in lines of black.
It was not from Gisela
Who had death marked it so.
Fingers hastened, fumbling to unpack
That letter from Frankfurt, full sadness.
Her sister it was who had written
She had tomb stoned it so.
A criminal, insane with urban madness
Had shot Gisela in the street.
She was going to hear Brahms Requiem.
With my words in her heart.
We had met at an Esperanto retreat
The year before in Othelo’s Elsinore,
Seven days, beach walks and talks-
Green grass caressed our thighs.
I wanted more with her, and so I swore
To follow her to Frankfurt town.
Seven days and seven ‘Desdemonian’ nights-
White linens touched our slumbering bodies.
When police searched her gown
They found in her concert dress
Photos, feelings and passions
She carried me with her.
“I am going to my favorite concert but I confess
I yearn for you as I long for bed.”
( from Brahms Requiem )
“For all flesh is as grass,
and the glory of man
The grass withers
and the flower falls….
How lovely are Thy dwelling places.”
But oh so violent and unfair!