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The mountaineers of Hitler’s 16th corps
stood on Mt. Elbrus and admired the view,
confident that peace was near. Case Blue
had gone as planned. In one last blitz they’d tour
the storied Caspian—along its shore,
the vital oil of Grozny and Baku.
Russia would fall in 1942—
the stronger race deserved to win the war.

Though it was clear on Europe’s highest peak,
the view was incomplete. They were too late:
a Soviet collapse could only slow
certain defeat. That month, some of the weak—
yes, many Jews—began to concentrate
up on a mesa in New Mexico.