“God Only Knows” – A Chat Between God and Satan
God Only Knows
Photo by Diego PH on Unsplash

The following is a story — probably not a true story — that may have been told by an Auschwitz survivor. It goes like this. God and Satan have an unscheduled meeting around the beginning of 1944, over 56 years before their usually scheduled meeting at the start of each century. Satan calls the meeting, flabbergasted by the sheer enormity of the carnage going on in the death camps, especially Auschwitz.

Satan: How can you let it go on?

God: What do you mean?

Satan: What do I mean? You must be losing it, but you are surely not losing it to me.

God: I no longer meddle in their affairs.

Satan: Their affairs? They are annihilating your so-called chosen people.

God: Are they?

Satan: My goodness! They are and at an alarming rate. They have created a hell of their own; they have created Hell and are sending to it every Jew that they can get their claws on, as well as every Gypsy and freethinker.

God: They will eventually stop.

Satan: I am not sure that they will, and if they do, it may be too late for the Jews.

God: They will be stopped sometime next year.

Satan: So you do not mind it at all.

God: I do.

Satan: But not enough to save them.

God: Why do you care?

Satan: Even I recognise that they have not done anything that warrants such barbarity.

God: You did not mind all the other injustices that occurred in the past.

Satan: I did to some degree, but they all pale in comparison.

God: Do they now?

Satan: That is it; you have lost it. There is no doubt about it.

God: Careful there!

Satan: Even I would not create or oversee an Auschwitz.

God: It cannot be that bad.

Satan: Have you even taken a look? It must be stopped.

God: It cannot be.

Satan: It must be.

God: I forbid it.

Satan: How about a bargain?

God: I will not be fooled again.

Satan: I will let you have all their souls if you stop it right now.

God: No!

Satan: No?

God: No.

Satan: I will let you have ten percent of all my souls.

God: No!

Satan: What do you want, then?

God: You are the one bargaining.

Satan: You have to give me something.

God: Do I? Very well. I will stop it the moment that a whiff of smoke billowing from the Auschwitz crematoria reaches the nostril of a Maori infant.

Satan: In New Zealand?

God: Yes.

Satan: You will stop it and purge it from history.

God: I will not do the latter.

Satan: You will stop it the moment that a whiff of smoke billowing from the Auschwitz crematoria reaches the nostril of a Maori infant in New Zealand and then purge it from history.

God: No!

Satan: My goodness! Are not you the devil?

God: Watch it now!

Satan: So you will only stop it the moment that a whiff of smoke billowing from the Auschwitz crematoria reaches the nostril of a Maori infant in New Zealand.

God: Yes.

Satan: How lucky you are that most of them are oblivious.

God: I am God, after all.

Satan: That, you are.

God: Are you being facetious?

Satan: Not at all. I am Satan, after all.

God: That, you are.

Satan: That, I am.

God: You are being facetious.

Satan: God only knows.

Beethoven – Ludwig’s Answers
Photo by Fralac (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Wikimedia Commons

The original questionnaire by Bernard Pivot (French literary talkshow host), adapted by James Lipton (Inside the Actors Studio), may offer an interested idea about the individual replying to the ten questions being asked; in this case, Ludwig van Beethoven, the one and only.

What is your favourite word?


What is your least favourite word?

     Royalty, anything royal.

What is your favourite drug?

     Music, and love.

What sound or noise do you love?

     The piano, anytime.

What sound or noise do you hate?

     Small talk, especially by men.

What is your favourite curse word?

     Küss meinen Arsch (Kiss my ass).

Who would you like to see on a new banknote?

     Myself, of course!

What profession other than your own would you not like to attempt?


If you were reincarnated as some other plant or animal, what would it be?

     Lion, or blue whale.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

     You can sit on my right.