(1945) It was in the old Rathaus building (the town hall, built in 1615 AD)-a warm night in Augsburg, Germany-and through an open window, of Adolph Stewart, one could hear the busyness of the street three floors below. The talk had been that Germany was losing the war; all the latest signs for the SS Men, was to run while, get out of Germany while they could, make it to other safer countries while they could. Yet all the grotesque unpleasantness and rottenness and man-hating meanness of SS Men, those still not willing to take off the Nazi uniform until every Jew was killed, was not over yet.
There was a knock on the office door, at once the freshen air that Adolph had savoured, vanished. He was a well educated man, a Ph.D., from the University of Heidelberg. A clean-living, young man, with one five-year old child, named Chris, and his wife, Pascale.
He neither drank, nor smoked nor swore and was in top physical shape: but he was Jew a Jewish-German. Here was a man unsullied, in the glory of his youth, with his daughter and wife who had come to visit him; a man who had not yet even reached middle-age. As the door opened two snarling and roaring, lightly intoxicated SS-Men came in (the Masters of Death), in their black uniforms, Adolph Hitler’s select. The same men that kissed their wives goodnight, and tucked their children in bed, these men came in oscillating, saw the Professor standing by his desk, he was pulling out two long glasses, as if to offer them a drink slowly to soothe away their irritation, and then, one of the two said „You remember me, Professor?“
Adolph, nodded and agreed, he had been at the University of Heidelberg, when he had been there. „Wasn’t I a pretty good student?“ he proclaimed.
„Yes, certainly you were,“ Adolph said. Chris and her mother hiding behind the large sofa chair, unseen.
„I’ll never forget when you got your Ph.D., from that Jewish professor friend of yours, I didn’t get mine.“
And now the mother had to cover the child’s mouth, tears were coming from her eyes over her cheeks.
„It is late,“ said Adolph, „how can I help you?“ (Knowing both these SS Men, were Auxiliary-SS Men, formed at the end of the war, conscripted to serve in Germany’s concentration camp, thus knowing ahead of time, his fate, and perhaps were on leave and taking advantage of the situation).
And then the SS Man, who had known Adolph, the one whom was called Erich, lifted a cigarette from his pocket, as the schutzstaffel on his uniform stared Adolph in the face, then he lit it as Adolph heard the barking of dogs coming up a flight of stairs, „You won’t escape, you need to come with us!“ Erick remarked, the dogs nearing the doorway.
(1970, (Narrated by Christ Stewart, thirty-years old, in Augsburg, Germany, to Chick Evens) „I tell this for a fact. It happened in that very room. I sat behind that sofa on the third floor of the Rathaus, horrified, and with my mother. It was all madness. The war was old, almost over, my world was young, just starting, and there inside my head was the sound of damp darkness, warnings of danger. They took my father and that would be the last I would ever see of him. After all were gone-the dogs and the dog handlers, and the two SS Men, even the janitor, we came out from behind the sofa chair, but we stayed in that office a long time that evening, until a heavy fog drifted and a wind drove it throughout the city it must had been 3:00 a.m., or so, it was 1945, I was five and half years old. Without noise we climbed down the three flights of stairs. Came to the first floor, dark as the way was, mother was not concerned for light, to the contrary. We seemed to walk on pine-needles, leaves, so soft and gentile we walked as for no one to notice us, and there was really no one there, other than the ghosts of the SS Men.
„Father was prepared for anything, mother told me, but she and I wasn’t, we dared not go back to our home, that was the instructions father had given mother, he had said to her, ‚Once, I find myself trapped, and there seems to be no way out, cautiously find your way to London, there will be obstacles along the way, there is an account in our names at the Bank of London, enough money in the account to allow you to live gracefully for a number of years.‘
„These were great and stupefying days, wondering and studying and never knowing what happened to my father. Oh, another thing, we did make it to London of course, we painfully went on a late train if I recall right, walked a great distance, someone gave us a ride, that’s all I remember. Other than, pert near hiding those last months of the war in a little apartment, as if the SS Men would come and find us.“
I listened to.
(Chick Evens: thinking back, and listening, now in the present, September, 2010) I listened to Chris‘ attentively, it seemed the months I knew her she was constantly in a state of revision, the past was always present. And now she had explained to me why she drifted off all those times as if in a stream of consciousness, in some kind of interior monologue, leaping, always leaping…
(Chris) The SS Soldier stands looking down over the sofa chair, stupidly, triumphantly; he can’t see me and my mother. We are blank. I quiver in horror „Ma!“ I scream. She covers my mouth, „Be quiet she whispers, close your eyes.“ Whatever, I say to myself, I kick the floor with my feet, I hurl the chair at the SS Man, I howl unspeakable words, and I really feel uneasy. But the SS Man remains, and so begins my teenage years, with this idiotic war going on inside my head, as it is now, and Chick Evens looking at me strangely, as I try to smile, and pretend I’m not having a monologue. I think my brain is squeezed so tight, my skull will crack if I let go of all this past information of going over the scene.
His eyes are like stones, I saw them, he stares like a wildcat, surging at my father, and my father melting like snow, and then the floor drying up like a creek bed. I think these are pieces of my dreams that fill the empty gaps when I awake and come out when I’m un-rested, and suffer his loss all over again, a year at a time, especial in fall. Mother has forgotten it all I think. When I bring it up, she shivers, and appears to become mindless, the storm in me piles up: why can’t these images that seem to be more on the creature side of life, defiant to my mind, obscene little pictures that are really unimpressive to me, fade once and for all?
I don’t really fool myself with these images and thoughts, and pretend I don’t have them, I just don’t share them, nothing noble, just pointless, ridiculous, it is a monster inside my brain. I can’t understand them, nor am I proud of them, or embarrassed by them. They just are, just shadows stinking dead shadows in the brain. Eerie, and leering, and leaping from season to season, from year to year. When they come, they spin mindlessly, lifelessly throughout my cerebellum.
Last night in my dream I killed the SS Man; I tore off his Nazi insignia, and threw urine in his face and broke his spine. Such are my annoying recollections of that day. No offence, but Chick Evens sometimes makes me cross, that’s why I told him today of the situation, no more blind prejudice, over my dramatic silent monologues, because they are buried so deep inside of me, when they come up they must be allowed to have their muttering, even if in dark shaded places, on ageless paths, holding a conversation with me inside my head, it comforts me afterwards.
I am aware of my potential, I don’t want to die, even though I have leukemia, and I know I live in dark chasms, and these huge dreams, voices in the darkness come to me, sometimes like thunder, but at the same time, I am not fooled, I know they are inanimate, non-living, unresponsive, that they themselves will not snatch me and put me in my grave, only if I become a lunatic to them watching me, and stop grinding my teeth when it becomes to intense. When that happens I produce a little coy -owl like, jerk, and smile. And sneak away.
Note: „Night in the Rathaus“: Written 9-4-2010 ((a chapter story Chapter one, two and three) (based on some facts, Taken from a live account, the author lived part of this story, and knew Chris well; she died of leukemia))
by Dennis Siluk Dr.h.c.