Papa told me not to lie,
mama told me not to lie.
Along came a German leader
who said lying is OK.
Your lies simply need to be outrageous,
he recommended,
and then repeated every day.

Papa and mama did not tell
this abused American child not to lie.
When he became a leader,
he caught on to the German practice.
Now his country suffers the consequences
of his biggest lie.

Remember what happened
to the nefarious German dictator and his lies?
Twelve years after he gained power,
his country lay everywhere in ruins.
Burned to ashes,
he lies in an unknown grave.

Page 111


Peter W. Petschauer

Peter W. Petschauer, PhD, Dr hc, is Professor Emeritus of European History from Appalachian State University. He is also an author and a poet. Some of his most recent works include An Immigrant in the 1960s: Finding Hope and Success in New York City (2020) and Hopes and Fears: Past and Present (2019). The author may be reached at or

How to Cite This:

Petschauer, P. W. (2022). Leaders’ lies matter [poem]. Clio’s Psyche, 29(1), 111.

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