The above phrase, 1 attributed to the great French general MacMahon, is polysemous. First, legend says that the general does not remember ever uttering these words. Second, if he did utter them, it was after the victorious feat of occupying an important strategic “position” (the Malakoff redoubt). Third, they were a response to a warning issued by an English general to retreat because MacMahon’s position was actually precarious (the enemy, i.e. the Russians, laid explosives in the redoubt before retreating). Finally, if the courageous words were indeed uttered, they were nothing but the general’s reaction to discovering that he had fallen into a trap from where there was no way back. As opposed to the general, Franz Rosenzweig, finding himself in Belgrade in October 1918, says that he is incapable of uttering, of repeating the declaration of the famous military leader from the Crimean War. 2 I am here in Belgrade now, writes Rosenzweig to his mother, yet I still cannot set aside the defeat and say: “j’y suis, j’y reste.” I am here, yet I am incapable of remaining here, I do not accept where I stand.