On 17th July there came to us at Potsdam the eagerly-awaited news of the trial of the atomic bomb in the [New] Mexican desert. Success beyond all dreams crowded this sombre, magnificent venture of our American allies. The detailed reports ... could leave no doubt in the minds of the very few who were informed, that we were in the presence of a new factor in human affairs, and possessed of powers which were irresistible.
Like a sea-beast fished up from the depths, or a diver too suddenly hoisted, my veins threatened to burst from the fall in pressure. I had great anxiety and no means of relieving it ... And then it was that the Muse of Painting came to my rescue - out of charity and out of chivalry ... - and said, "Are these toys any good to you? They amuse some people."
There must not be lacking in our leadership something of that spirit of the Austrian corporal who, when all had fallen into ruins around him, and when Germany seemed to have fallen into chaos, did not hesitate to march forth against the vast army of victorious nations and has already turned the tables decisively against them.
We proceeded systematically, village by village and we destroyed the houses, filled up the wells, blew down the towers, cut down the shady trees, burned the crops and broke the reservoirs in punitive devastation.