Books By Willy

They Paraded the Dead

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 My Demise

 

   

 

 

   

      My Miserable Life

 


    

 

 

They Paraded the Dead

By Willy  

    It was a bright crisp morning in April, 1938. Timothyís Mutti and Papa had gone to work. He had a day off from school. Timothy was alone and he was playing in the attic. The attic was empty except the four toy cars that he had brought with him. The days were getting warmer, but the nights were still cold. The attic was Timís favorite place to play when the weather was cool. 

Tim loved to look down on the street and spy on his neighbors. Tim was not a vicious boy. He loved to pull pranks on the tourist and his neighbors. He never did anything that would hurt anyone. His latest prank came about when his voice was starting to change. He would yell in a deep masculine voice, hello. Everyone on the street would turn around to see who was calling. Some of pedestrians would turn around, look and wave even if they never saw the person that yelled hello. Some would turn around four or five times looking for the person that had yelled.  Some of the reactions of the victims on the streets were very comical and humorous. Some of the reactions would put Tim into a laughing frenzy. He would roll on the attic floor laughing uncontrollable from the humorous reactions of the people on the street below. He would laugh so hard that tears would come to his eyes and his sides would ache from the continuous laughter. When Tim had a shilling in his pocket, he would debate whether to toss the coin out the window to play a trick on an unsuspecting victim and watch their reactions or save it for a candy. When he decided to spend the shilling on a laugh instead of a piece of candy, Tim would pick out a victim walking down the street. He would try to drop the coin so it would fall close enough behind the person to make them think they had dropped the coin. Most of the men would check their pockets to see it they had a hole in them. The women would look at their pocketbooks to see if it was open. The expressions and reactions were quite comical. After they checked their pockets or pocketbooks, they would look around to see if anyone was looking. Sheepishly, they would quickly pick up the coin and look to see if anyone had seen them pick up the coin. Still uncertain who had dropped the coin; they would put the coin in their pocket and quickly walk away looking over their shoulder. Tim was quite amused from the reactions of most of his victims.  When the victim showed no reaction at all, Tim wished he hadnít wasted the shilling. Usually, most of the victims would give him a comical performance; it was worth the shilling.

Tim loved to race his windup cars in the attic. There was nothing in the attic. His Papa had taken everything out of the attic a year or so before. It was a wonderful place to race his cars. He could race the cars the full length of his home. Tim would take 20 shilling from his saving and put ten shillings in each of his pants pockets. He also took his four wind-up toy cars along with him to the attic. Tim would pick one of the four cars to bet on. He would put that car on the right. Tim imaginary friend Charlie would have to bet on the car that Tim put on the left. If the car on the right won, he would take a shilling from his left pocket and put it in his right pocket. If he lost or won, a shilling would be transferred from one pocket to the other. The right pocket was the winnings of the cars on the right and the car Tim would bet on, and the left pocket was for the winnings for the cars on the left and the car Charlie would bet on. Tim would wind up two cars and let them race along the attic floor. He would run with the cars as they sped along the attic floor and root for the car that he had bet on. Tim would keep track on the number of times each car had won.  No matter which car Tim picked to win, most of the time it would lose. Charlie won most of the time. This intrigued Tim. Why did the car he thought would win would lose most of the time? He thought Charlie was cheating somehow and told him so.  It also frustrated Tim. At times Tim thought that Charlie was more real than imaginary; Charlie always seemed to win most of the races even though Tim had the choice of the four cars he wanted to bet on.

When Tim was younger and alone, he created Charlie. Charlie was always there when he needed someone to talk to. Tim had asked his Mutti if it was all right to have an imaginary friend. She told Tim that many young children have imaginary friends. As long as Tim knew that Charlie was just an imaginary friend and not a real person, it would be all right. When Tim was alone, he would talk to Charlie about things that he would not talk to anyone else about. Many times Charlie had helped Tim solve his problems. When none of Timís class mates and real friends were not around, Charlie was always there to pull pranks on Tim as well as to help him.

The heat from the sun had warmed the attic. Timothy opened the window that looked over the cobblestone street below. The Village was on the outskirts of a larger City. Almost everyone knew everyone else in the Village. Both sides of the street were lined with quaint shops and private residences. Most of the owners of the businesses lived above their shops. It was a classic picturesque Austrian Village. Many tourists visited the Village throughout the year especially in the fall for the harvesting of the grapes. At night, the Tavern was filled with tourists and Villagers singing, celebrating and drinking the new wines.

Timothy had inherited the best of both of his parents. Tim inherited Christineís ravishing features, curly hair, and her beautiful blue eyes. Robert endowed Tim with his blond hair and his masculinity. He was blessed with both of his parentsí intelligence. Tim was eleven years old.

Christine and Robert had tried to leave Austria. The Nazi officials would not let them leave. The Nazis would not let anyone in the community leave the Country. Most of the residents worked at a top-secret Factory or had friends working there. Timís father and mother were American citizens. For the last 12 years, Timothyís father had been working for a corporation in America that supplied equipment for the top-secret Factory. His mother was a teacher at a University in the adjacent City. Timothy was born in Austria and was attending school in Austria. Timothy was fluent in German and English.

Tim and Charlie had been playing in the attic for a couple of hours. He had already called out hello to his neighbors and watched their comical reactions. Tim had been laughing so hard his side ached. Tim amusement was about to come to an abrupt end. It would be replaced with fear and hatred. Tim heard loud angry voices coming from the street below. Frightened, Tim crept over to the window; he listened to the men below. He heard a Nazi SS officer asking Fritz, the Tavern owner, if he knew of any Jews living in the Village.

A chill of fright ran through Timothyís body. Timís best friend, Peter was a Jew. Pete only lives a couple of houses down the street. There were a number of Jews living in the Village. He knew that his mother was part Jewish and so was he. He had heard the whispers at home and at school about what was happening to the Jews in Germany and Austria.

Timís Papa was well aware of the atrocities. Tim had heard his Mutti and Papa discuss the Union of Austria and Germany. The German Gestapo had taking away all the rights of the Jews. They could not own property and they had to register all of their possessions.  Tim had asked his father questions concerning the atrocities. His father tried not to frighten Tim. He had told Tim not to worry; nothing would happen to him or his Mutti.

Down on the streets, Fritz pointed at Timothyís home and a couple of other homes on the block, and then Fritz whispered something to the officer. Fritz stepped back and said, "His parents were probably at work."

It was loud enough for Tim to hear Fritz say that the kid might be home. A flash of fear ran through Tim. Tears started to appear in his eyes. As Tim watched, the whole group turned and looked at Timís home. Tim quickly jumped back from the window. He crawled across the floor to the opening in the attic floor. He started to climb down the rope ladder to the second floor. He stopped when he heard banging on the front door. Fear flowed across his young body. Tears ran down his face and he wanted to scream out for his Mutti and Papa. Charlie said to be quiet. Tim held his breath fearing that they may hear him crying. The officer and the soldiers were shouting profanities and threats. The threats and knocking continued for a few minutes. They tried to open the door. It was locked. Thankfully, they finally stopped. Tim crawled across the floor to the window and heard the officer telling the Tavern owner not to mention to Timís parents that they were there. Fritz said, "I am not going to tell them a damn thing. I want those bastards out of the Village."

The officer salutes Fritz and shook his hand. Tim watched the men going into the shops along the street. When they reached the Bakery, Tim could no longer hear what they were saying. They walked into the Bakery. About ten minutes later, they came out of the Bakery forcing Frau Lipman out on the street. The officer pointed at a couple of homes and then at Timís home. The officer said something to the Frau Lipman. An argument broke out between Frau Lipman and the officer. She kept shouting nein, nein, nein and shook her head vigorously. The officerís voice became louder and louder as the argument continued. Tim heard the officer say that Fritz had told him that Jewish families lived in the two of houses across the street and Timís home. Frau Lipman continued to deny that the other families and Timothyís family was Jewish. The shoppers, residents, and shopkeepers had stopped and were watching what was going on. The officer yelled to them to go back into their shops. Tim saw the fear in everyoneís faces as they all left the street.  The officer finally gave up arguing with Frau Lipman and continued down the streets and out of Timís sight.

With tears running down his cheeks and blinding him, Tim climbed down the rope ladder to the second floor. He went to his fatherís office on the first floor and called his mother at work. He told her what had happened. Trying not to frighten Tim any more than he already was, Christine said, "Honey you will be alright. If someone comes to the house, do not go to the door and do not let anyone in the house.  Darling, if anyone tries to enter the house hide in the attic. There is a place under the attic floor where you can hide. There are some loose boards over the bathroom and they are located over the shower end of the bath tub next to the outside wall. Remove the boards and climb down. Replace the board after you are under the floor."

Tim asked, "Mutti if I canít find the board, what should I do?"

"Darling, you are a very smart boy. I know you will be able to find the loose boards. Go up in the attic and look for the loose boards. When you find the loose boards, remove them, and remember how to replace them. Leave the board off of the opening. It anyone tries to come into the house hide in the opening below the attic floor. If they come back, you can hide below attic floor quicker. Remember to replace the wooden planks when you are under the attic floor. Do not look out of the windows or doors. Someone may see you and tell the officers. Most of all do not let anyone know that you are in the house or let anyone in the house even though they are your friends. No one must know that you are in the house."

"Mutti, I am scared they will come back before you get home."

With tears running down Christineís face and fear racing through her mind, Christine said, "Honey, please remember what I told you. I will be home soon. I love you."

"I love you too Mutti."

As Christine hangs up the telephone, a shockwave of fear ran through Christineís body. Trying to control her composure, she grabbed her coat and pocketbook and casually walked out of the institution. A trolley had just passed. She ran frantically after the trolley. One of the passengers saw her running and asked the operator to stop. Thankfully he stopped. She would have had to wait another hour until the next trolley came along. She felt somewhat relieved, but fear still flooded her mind. Her worse fears had started to emerge. Her heritage was starting to surface.

The passenger that asked the operator to stop saw the fear in her face. He told Christine to relax and asked Christine why she was so nervous. If he only knew the fear that Christine felt. Christine thanked the man for stopping the trolley and said that she had an appointment and she did not want to be late. She tried to smile, but fear still showed on her face. The ride home was the longest she had ever had. Time seemed to drag.

With uncertainty and fear, Tim climbed back up the rope ladder, and scanned the attic floor for the loose boards over the bathroom. Frustration and fear filled Timís mind. He couldnít find the boards. Tim started to cry. He was afraid the soldiers would return and find him before he found the opening. Tears were blurring his vision. He could not see the cracks between the planks. He wiped his eyes. Tears were still blocking his vision. Charlie reminded Tim of what his father had once told him, if he ever had a problem; do not let it upset you. Stop what you are doing, and relax for a few minutes. When your mind has cleared, go back and try to solve the problem with a clear mind.

Tim sat down, relaxed for a few minutes, and wiped the tears from his eyes with his shirt sleeves. Tim looked across the attic floor and tried to recall what his mother had told him. Tim got up and tried again. He tried to remember every word his mother had said. He repeated the words that his mother said, "The loose boards are over the bathroom and they were located over the shower end of the bathtub next to the outside wall." 

Tim looked through the attic opening to see where the bathroom door was located. He got up and walked over to where he thought the door was located. The wall that the shower was on was about two large steps back from the bathroom door. He took two steps, got down on his hand and knees, crawled across the floor trying to lift each board with his pocketknife. The distance between the pitched roof and the floor was getting closer. Timís head was bumping against the roof. He was at the third board from the outside wall. He slid his knife into the crack on the floor, Tim pried on the board, and one side of the boards lifted up. A brief feeling of relief came over Tim. There were a small group of boards and they were meshed together. He pulled on the board that he lifted. A group of boards came away from the attic floor. Tim put the boards aside and looked down into the dark hole below the attic floor. Tim had a renewed confidence in himself. He had found the opening.

His papa had nailed boards to the studs and made a ladder so that they could climb down to the floor below. There was a space about a meter wide between the bathroom and the bedroom walls. Timothy climbed down the ladder to the floor below. It was too dark for him to see what was there. He waited for a few minutes until his eyes became accustomed to the darkness. He slid around the pipes going into the bathroom to the outside wall of the house. In the darkness a string from a light brushed his face. For a moment a flash of fear ran through his body. Then he remembered that the same thing had happened to him when he walks into his closet. He pulled on the string and a light turned on. There was a space between the outside wall and the bedroom wall. On each side of the space were shelves that ran from the floor below to the floor of the attic. The shelves were filled with books and cans of food. On the opposite end next to the bath room was a stack of clothes and miscellaneous items. There was a small stool so that he could reach the top shelves. Also, there were shelves on the outside wall of the bedroom and bath. The shelves were also filled with cans of food. Blankets and pillows were stacked on the floor. His father had put in a faucet and a small sink. A bedpan was sitting next to the hall wall.

Timothy remembered that his father had been working on the second floor in the evenings for a long time. Tim had asked his father what he was doing. He told Tim that the walls needed some repairs. His father did not want to upset his son and tell him the truth unless it was necessary.

Tim turned off the light and climbed up into the attic. He noticed that the loose planks had nails in them. The nails ended even with the bottom of the planks. When he looked at the planks after they were installed they looked as if they were nailed in place like all the other planks. The planks were at the outside edge of the attic floor next to the roof of the house. You couldnít walk on the planks. You had to get on your hands and knees to reach the planks. The slanted roof was in the way. As Christine suggested, Tim did not replace the planks. He started to climb down the rope ladder to the second floor. He heard someone opening the front door. He froze with fear. A flood of tears rolled down Timís frightened face. Then he heard his mother calling him. He answered his mother and ran down the stairs to meet her. She grabbed and hugged her son. Tears came to her eye when she saw the fear in her sonís face. Christine hugged Tim and looked into his tearing eyes, stroked his curly blond hair, bent over and kissed Tim on his forehead. Christine took Timís hand and led Tim up the stairs to his bedroom. Christine tried to sooth the fears in Tim even though she knew that it would not work. Christine saw that Tim was emotionally exhausted.

Timothyís parents had not thought that they would have any problems with the Nazis because they were Americans citizens, but they had prepared for the worst. Christine and Robert did not attend any of the churches. Christine, with respect for her mother and her grandmother, she worshiped on the high Jewish Holidays. Both her father and grandfather were Christians. On her passport she had indicated that she was a Christian. When Christine was a child she suffered ridicules and ethnic remarks that the kids made about her mother and grandmother.

Christine stayed with Timothy until she was sure that Tim had fallen asleep. While Christine was waiting, her thoughts were on the Nazi bastards. A wave of hatred ran through her mind. She had never hated anyone. With what she was going through, her mind was filled with hate. With her body and soul filled with anger, Christine left Tim and went into the front bedroom. She peeked out the window. The street was not as busy as it usually was. The streets were almost empty. The few people that were on the streets hurried. She wanted to call Robert at work and tell him what had happened. But she couldnít. They would not allow the employees to receive or make outside calls. She wanted so much to tell Robert what had happened. Christine felt trapped. She wanted so much to get her family out of Austria and Europe. Due to Robertís job, they could not leave Austria. She and Robert knew what was happening in Germany. This had been in the back of her mind. Being an American citizen, Robert and her had hopes the Gestapo would not bother them. Time had slipped by. Tim was still sleeping. She looks at her watch. Robert would be home soon. As she was walked down the stairs to the kitchen to cook supper Robert burst through the door. With fear in face and voice he yelled, "Where is Timothy?"

Christine put her arms around Robert and said, "He is in bed sleeping. He had a terrible afternoon."

Frantically Robert said, "I stopped at the Bakery to pick up some bread and Frau Lipman told me that some Nazis were going through the neighborhood looking for Jews and Fritz told them that we were Jews. What gave him the idea that we were Jews?"

Without any hesitation Christine said, "A couple months ago Fritz saw me going into the Synagogue. I think he was making a list of everyone that went into the Synagogue. Timothy overheard Fritz telling the Nazi officer that we were Jews. Tim called me at work and I told him about the hideout in the attic."

Robert replied, "It doesnít make any difference how they came up with the idea that we are Jews. We have to find a way to get us out of the country."

Christine knew it was useless to even try. Many others had tried and could not get out of the country. With Robert identification showing that he worked at the Factory, he could not even get out of the Village. Slowly she shook her head and said, "Honey, you know that no one in the Village can leave the country. All the roads are blocked and they have troops surrounding the Village. With your identification, you would not get out of the Village."

Robert went up stairs and gently shook Timothy. Tim opened his drowsy eyes and saw his father. Tim jumped into his fatherís arms. Robert held him tightly. Robert said to Tim, "Son you are a very brave boy and I love you very much. Sometime in the future your mother and I may have to take a trip without you. We will have to leave you at home alone. We may have to go away for a long time. I have made a place where you can hide if someone comes looking for you. No one must know that you are still in the house. You must stay in the attic and you will have to take care of yourself."

Robert and Christine knew if they could not get out of Austria, and they wanted to save Timothyís life, they may have to leave him. Robert had put together all of his important papers in one box so he could grab them, if it became necessary. He had removed almost all of his savings from the bank and changed the schilling into American dollars. He had written instructions for Timothy in case they had to leave him. He prayed that the time would never come. Unfortunately it looked like it may come at any moment. He had seen and heard what the Nazis had been doing to the Jews as well as many foreigners. There seemed to be no just cause for harassing and destroying the lives of millions of people. There was nothing Robert or anyone else could do about the rage of terror that was spreading across Europe.

Robert got the box with the money and personal papers, and showed Timothy the documents and a letter of instructions. He did not go over everything in the letter. If they had to leave Tim, he would have plenty of time to read the instructions. He helped Timothy into the attic. Tim put the box with all of the other items in the hideout. While Christine was preparing dinner, Robert had a long talk with Tim. He told Tim about his relatives that live in America. Robert tried to put a lifetime into a few short hours without frightening Tim any more than he was already.

The Last Supper: 

Christine fixed a light dinner. Robert and Christine did not talk about the dayís events. They sat quietly thinking about what might be ahead of them. After dinner they listened to the radio. Robert thought that they might get some information relating to what had happened today. There was nothing but music and the weather. They put Timothy to bed and they all prayed together. They tucked Timothy in, hugged, and kissed him. They didnít want to discuss what might happen to them as well as Timothy.

Tim could hear his parents whispering in their bedroom. He couldnít make out what they were saying, but he knew that it had to be about what had happened today.

Robert had heard that since Germany and Austria had united, the German Military was putting the scientists that were working on military project under house arrest and he may have to live at the Factory. He did not know where Christine and Timothy would live.

Timothy was a bright boy. He knew what had been going on across Europe. Since his parents didnít talk about it, he didnít. He was still wide-awake and listening to the whispers of his Mutti and Papa down the hall. They all had gone to bed early, but no one went to sleep. Tim had dozed off a couple of times. He would awake in a jolt of fear. He would listen. His parents were still talking. Slowly he would doze off again. And again he would awake in fear.

The Midnight Raid:

It was passed midnight and Timothy was still awake and so were his parents. Someone started banging on the front door. Everyone jumped up. Robert whispered to Christine, "Wait for a few minutes. I am going to put Timothy in the attic."

Christine waited. Within a few moments, there was another series of banging on the door. She yelled, "Wait a minute I will be down in a moment."

While Robert was with Timothy, Christine made Timothyís bed. In the darkness, Robert lifted Timothy up into the attic and told Tim to get into the hideout and replace the board. When Tim put the box in the hideout, Robert had told Tim to leave the boards off of the opening. The streets lights below gave Tim enough light to find the opening. Tim climbed down the ladder and replaced the boards over the opening. Robert was waiting in the bathroom and heard Timothy replacing the floorboards in the attic. Robert tapped on the wall and called, "Tim stay in there and donít come out and donít make a sound. Do not come out for any reason. Do you understand?"

"Papa, I want to go with you. Please let me go with you and Mutti."

"Son, we do not have the time to argue. I would love to have you go with us. If you went with us they would take you away from us. It is best you stay here. Do you understand?"

With tears in his eyes and despair in his heart, Tim obeyed his father. Extremely frightened and on the verge of crying, he whispers, "Yes Papa."

Robert whispered, "Tim, do not move around, donít make any noise, and please done say a word. Do not come out no matter what happens. Do you understand?"

With a over bearing desire to go with his parent, he obeyed his father and whispered. "Yes Papa."

Christine joined Robert in the bathroom. Christine said, "Darling, I love you, be brave."

Robert said, "I love you Tim."

Crying, Tim said, "I love you too."

The pounding on the door continued. With fear running through their bodies, Robert and Christine walked down the stairs with their arms wrapped around each other. Robert bends over and kisses Christine. There was more banging on the door. Robert yelled, "We are coming."

Together they continued walked slowly down the stairs. Robert unbolted the door, a Nazi officer and two soldiers with gun were standing outside. Robert asked, "Whatís the problem."

With arrogance the Officer bellows, "Herr Robert Williams."

Politely Robert answers, "yes, what can I do for you?í

The Officer looked up and down Christineís beautiful body, and then asked, "Is this Frau Christine Williams?"

Trying to hold back the anger that flooded through his body, Robert answered simple, "Yes."

Still with lust and arrogance on his face the Officer yells, "Where is your son Timothy?"

Politely, Robert replied, "We sent him back to the America for a visit with his Grandmother."

Demanding the Officer yelled, "When did you send him and how did you send him?"

Trying not to excite the Officer, Christine said, "Robert sent him with a business associate that left yesterday."

With rage the Officer yells, "You are lying. Get your son now!"

Still with sincerity, Robert politely said, "She is not lying."

In anger, the officer took his riding crop and slashed it across Robertsís face. The whip cut horizontal gashes across Robertsís face. Blood streamed down his face. The officer started to hit Robert again. Robert blocked the whip with his arm. Robert slammed a fist into the officerís face. The officer fell to the floor. One of the soldiers took the butts of his rifle and slammed it at Robertsís head. Christine tried to block the blow that was intended for Robert. Christine received the blow of the rifle butt in the center of her face. They could hear the crushing of the bones in her beautiful face. Robert grabs for Christine as she falls to the floor. Both Christine and Robert fell to the floor. Robert tried to get up from the floor, one of the soldiers hit Robert on the side of his head with the butt of his rifle. Again, they heard bones cracking. Robert and Christine fell limp to the floor. The officer yelled, "Help me up."

They lifted the officer off of the floor. The officer yelled at Robert and Christine to get up. One of the soldiers said, "They are not going to get up. I think we kill them."

The officer yelled at the men, "Why did you kill them?"

The soldier said, "I was protecting you."

With blood running down his face the office said, "You did not have to kill them. Go look for the boy."

Tim heard the confrontation. With tears blinding him, he climbed up the ladder. He removed the boards and walked over to the attic opening. Slowly, he lifted the cover. He heard heavy footsteps running through the house. His body was filled with rage. He wanted to kill the soldiers with his bare hands.

Deep within him Charlie emerged and yelled, donít you remember what your father told you, "Do not leave the hiding place. No matter what happens. Stay there and be quiet. Do not make a sound."

Tim was torn with the desire to kill the soldiers and saving his own life. He obeyed his father.

Tim:

I knew what Mutti and Papa had told me to do; I did not want to listen to Charlie. But, I quietly lowered the cover and crept across the attic to the opening of the hideout. Slowly I climbed back down the ladder and replaced the planks. With fear and hate running through my body, I listened to the men roaming through the house. I thought that they would never leave. My tears had dried up and I no longer felt afraid. Anger and hate swept through my body. After a long time I heard the soldiers walking down the stairs. One of the soldiers said, "I donít think anyone else is in the house. Only the bed in the master bedroom has been slept in; none of the other beds have been slept in."

Still with arrogance, the Officer yelled, "The damn kid has to be in the house. Maybe he was sleeping with his Parents. Continue looking for him. He has to be in the house. We are not going to leave until we find him."

Fear flashed through me, again I heard them roaming through the house for a long time. I prayed to God and as asked Charlie to make them go away. If God did not make them go away, maybe Charlie could make them go away. From what the Officer said, I thought that they would not leave until they had found me. I had heard that homes had been burned down when they could not find someone they were looking for.

The soldiers continued their search. From the sound of their footsteps, I knew where they were in the house. When they were close, I held my breath. I was afraid to breath. I was afraid they would hear me breathing. At moments, I felt like climbing up into the attic and shouting, "He I am. Come get me."

Charlie came out of my body and said, "Stop thinking like that. Donít you want to live?"

Of course I wanted to live. At that moment, I wanted revenge and nothing else would satisfy me. I took a deep breath and tried to wash the hate from my mind. It still lingered.

When the soldiers had gone through the house again, they called the officer and told him that they couldnít find anyone. The officer insisted that I had to be in the house. He told them to look again. Again they searched the house and fortunately they didnít find me. The officer cursed them and told them that they were useless and angrily yelled, "The kid has to be in the damn house. Find him. Keep looking."

The officer searched the house himself, when he came to the opening for the attic; he asked the soldiers if they had looked in the attic. They told him that they had and there was no one up there. He yelled and said, "How did you get up into the attic?"

One of the soldiers said, "I lifted him up and he stood on my shoulder."

"Lift me up," Yelled the officer. The soldiers did not replace the attic access cover. They lifted the Officer up on their shoulders and rises him up into the dark attic.

He demands, "Give me a flashlight. You canít see a damn thing up here."

While gritting his teeth, one of the soldiers politely said, "Sir, pull the cord above you it will turn on a light."

Cursing, the officer searched for the cord impatiently, he still could not find the cord. With a smile on his face one of the soldiers said, "Sir, it is directly over your head."

Sill grumbling the officer finally finds the cord and turned on the light. He climbed off of the soldiers shoulder into the attic, still cursing to himself.

The soldiers did not come up into the attic and walk around. I saw the same rays of light shining through the cracks in the attic floor when the soldiers turned on the attic light. I listened quietly as the officer walked from one end of the attic to the other end. I could visualize where the officer was by the sound of his boots banging on the planked floor. He walked the length of the attic a number of times. When he was above me, I held my hands over my mouth so I couldnít cry. I expected to see the cover of my hideout being lifted. I listened to each step the officer made. The officer walked to the street end of the attic. He did not move for a long time. I waited quietly. I heard the officer slowly turning around. He walked slowly in my direction. He stopped almost on top of me. He did not move. I held my breath. I was afraid that I had not replaced the board correctly. Again, I expected to see the boards above me being lifted. The longer he stood there in silence, the more frightened I became. I felt that I could not hold my breath any longer. My lungs were about to burst. After a few moments, the officer yelled and cursed at the soldiers. I jumped with fear and took a breath. I thought that he heard me gasping for air. I held my breath again. The officer did not move or say anything for a while. I looked up; still expected to see the board above me being removed. I froze, I could not move. After a few minutes the officer yelled again, "That kid has to be in this house search every corner in this damn house."

The soldiers were in the bath room relieving themselves. I could hear them whispering, I peeked through a crack in the wall. They both shook their heads with smirks on their face, and shouted back, "Yes sir."

The soldier did not move. Again the officer walked to the street end of the attic. He did not move for a long time. The longer he stood there, the more frightened I became. I thought he had taken his boots off and was standing above me. He was waiting for me to sneak out of my hideout. I visualized all type of things happening to me. Again, I thought that they would burn the house down and I would be burned alive. I had heard about many homes in Germany being burned down. After a long time I heard the officer slowly turning around. I took a deep breather of relief. The Officer walked slowly in my direction. Again, he stopped almost on top of me. He did not move. Fear started again to raise its ugly head.

With arrogance, the officer yelled, "Get me down from here."

The soldiers were still in the bath room, they had not searched the house again. One of the soldiers yelled back, "There is a rope ladder up there, just drop it through the opening and climb down."

The officer yelled back, "Get the hell over here and help me down. I donít want to break my neck."

Again they looked at each other with disgust, one of them whispered, "I hope he does break his neck," then he yelled, "Yes sir."

While my parents were lying on the floor bleeding for the next hour, they searched and searched until the officer finely gave up. One of the soldiers told the officer that he thought the woman was dead and the man looked like he will die any moment. One of the soldier asked, "What are we going to tell them if they are dead?"

The Officer said, "We will tell them that they resisted arrest. They resisted arrest and you killed them. If you tell them anything else I will make sure you will go to prison and never get out.

Timothy Greatest Fear:

When I heard the soldiers talking about my parents, I climbed out of my hiding place. They had not replaced the attic cover. I crawled over to the opening.  From the attic opening, I could see the soldiers in the foyer on the first floor. The officer and the soldiers were standing next to my parents. I listened to them talking about my parentís condition. Tears streamed down my face. I wanted to jump down on them and kill them with my bare hands. I stuck my head through the opening and saw my parents lying motionless on the floor below. I no longer wanted to live. They had killed Mutti and Papa. I watched the soldiers pick up the limp body of Papa. They wanted the officer to help them. He refused. I saw them going out the front door.  I crawled across the attic floor and peeked out the attic window. I saw them dragging Papa across the street to a waiting car. They turned around and returned to get Mutti. Again, I watched them; they lifted Mutti from the floor and walked out the door. The officer followers them and stepped in my parent blood on the floor and slipped and fell to the floor. He cursed my parents as he stood up.

I returned to the window and watched them load Mutti into the car. The officer was still complaining about the blood on his uniform. I could not let then take my parents away. I yelled to the top of my voice, "Mutti, Papa I want to go with you." 

The sound of the words never left my mouth. I yelled again and again. Only rushes of air left my mouth. I thought that I had lost my hearing. It was like I was shouting in a vacuum. I could hear the soldiers talking on the street below. Why didnít I hear my own voice? As my parents were driven away I yelled again. Still, no sound came from my mouth. I wanted to run after the car. I ran across the attic to the opening. I looked down through the opening. They had turned off all of the lights in the house. I ran back to the window and watched the car leaving the village. Helpless to help my parents I fell to the floor. With hate flowing through my body, I swore that I would kill all three of the men and Fritz. I promised my parents that someday, some way if I lived, I will kill all of them. I looked up into the star filled heavens and prayed to God to take care of my parents and donít let them die and donít punish them for the hate and anger that I have in my body.

From exhaustion and emotional trauma I cried myself to sleep sitting by the attic window. I woke up when the morning sun rose above the tops of the building on the other side of the street. I jumped with fear. The temperature had dropped during the night. I felt like my whole body was frozen. My whole body was shaking from the cold. I was afraid that someone across the street had seen me in the attic. I listened to hear if anyone was in the house. I remembered that the officer didnít replace the attic cover. I crawled across the attic floor hoping that no one from across the street was watching me. When I reached the attic opening, I listened for noises. There were none. I climbed down the rope ladder. I searched all the rooms on the second floor. I tiptoed down the stairs and saw the blood of my parents on the floor. I screamed, like the night before, no sound came from my mouth. The front door was slightly ajar. I walked around the blood and shut the door and locked it. I went to the back door to see if it was locked. It was locked.  I went up the back stairs to my mother and fatherís bedroom and grabbed their pillows; I kissed one then the other a number of times until I thought I heard someone. Hurriedly, I took the pillows with me to the attic. I pulled up the rope ladder and put the cover on the attic opening. I climbed down into my hideout and stayed there for the rest of the day. When my thoughts returned to the night before, I cried thinking of Mutti and Papa. I could not fall asleep. I kept seeing the images in my mind of my parents being hit, lying on the floor and carried across the street. I could not wash the images out of my mind. Time and time again the picture flowed through my mind. I wanted to scream stop it.

The following morning I tried to talk and nothing would come out. I wondered what had happened to my voice. I tried many ways to get some type of noise out of my mouth. I could whistle, but by vocal cords would not work.

For the next couple of weeks I spent most of my time in my hideout. At night I would look out on the streets below. I ate all the food that was left in the icebox. I carried all the dry and canned food to my new home in the attic. During the day I would search the house for money and any other thing that was of value. I carried all my family pictures and other items that I wanted to my new home. I knew that I would outgrow my clothes. I carried some of my fatherís clothes to my hideout. I spent many hours reading the books that were still down stairs. After I read them I would return them to the spot where I had found them.

In my fatherís letter of instructions he said, "If you are not found do not turn yourself over to the authorities. You must stay free. If you let them catch you, they will enslave you. You are a very smart young man. I know that you will not let them catch you. Timothy you must educate yourself. Read everything that you can find. Make sure that you exercise every day. Keep your body strong and you will be able to fight off any problem you have with your health. Do not lose the document in the metal box. They are the papers you will need when the Nazis are driven off the face of the earth. I am underlining, that you must keep yourself clean and healthy. If you donít take good care of yourself and you get sick, you will not be able to get medical treatment and you may die. The only medical treatment you will get will be what you can do for yourself. If you do get sick, try to remember what your Mutti did for you when you were sick. Read the labels on the medications in the medical cabinet before you take them. If the medications are for me or your mother, only take half of the amount that is prescribed. If you take care of yourself, you will not get sick. Take the medicine from the cabinets and put them in the attic with you."

I went down stairs and gathered all the medications that I could find and took them to my hideout. I continued to search for anything that I could use. Every day I noticed something that I might need. My hideout was starting to get crowded. I spent most of my time reading and exercising. I ran up and down the stairs. I climbed the rope ladder to the attic dozens of times each day. I limited the amount that I ate. I did not know how long my supplies would last or how long I would have to stay in hiding.

A couple of weeks had passed. In the afternoon the sun had warmed the attic. I brought a pillow and a blanket from my hideout to the attic. In the daytime it was lighter and warmer in the attic than my hideout. I did not feel like I was boxed in. I could read without being seen. I felt safer being close to my hideout than being down stairs. I could hide quicker if someone came in the house.

I had been reading since early morning. I was lying in the attic and was on the verge of dozing off. I heard someone talking. It was much louder than the street chatter. I jumped up. Chills of fear ran through my body. I listened for a few minutes. At first, I thought they were in the house. The voices were coming from the streets below. I crawled to the window. I wanted to look out the window but I was afraid that someone across the street would see me. I listened. It was the soldiers that were searching for me. One of them said that he had left the door open. From what I could hear, they had returned to steal things out of my home. I had set the dead bolt; they could not get into the house without knocking the door down or having a key. I could hear them trying to get into the house without breaking the windows or doors. They finally gave up and left in frustrated. 

The days were getting warmer. On the nights that I could not sleep, I went up into the attic to watch the street below. Like many nights while watching the street below, I would fall asleep next to the window. It was past midnight. A scream awoke me. I heard men cursing and a voice of a young girl screaming continually. I looked out the window. I peeked out the window. Two soldiers were dragging a limp young girl down the street. It was Heather. She lived only a few doors down the street. She was in her nightgown and barefooted. Hate raised its ugly head in my body. As before, I wanted to kill the bastards. A few minutes later more soldiers came down the street with Heatherís parents. The soldiers pushed them along with the muzzle of their rifles against their backs. I could not help her and I did not try. I felt ashamed of myself. I cried. I felt the fear that must have been going through Heather. That could have been me instead of Heather. God, where are they taking them? I wanted to scream and tell them to leave them alone. I could not. I did not want to be dragged down the street. I had remembered what my father had told me. "They will enslave you."

During the summer, more of my neighbors had been taken away. The Village was one of the few places near the City that had a Synagogue. Throughout the years, Jews moved to the Village to be closer to the Synagogue. Many Jews from the City and surrounding Villages came to worship at the Synagogue. The Nazis had been slowly removing the Jewish families from the Village. Almost every day someone was taken away. I cried and prayed for them. I felt helpless. I wanted so much to help them; there wasnít anything I could do. If I tried, I would be dragged down the street like the rest of them. Again, I remembered what my father had told me. "The Nazis will enslave you."

During the past months, I had tried unsuccessfully to get my vocal cords working. I tried screaming, talking normally, and whispering. Nothing seemed to work. Charlie was the only one that could hear me. Every morning I went down stairs and looked through the books for something to read aloud, hoping that my voice would start working again. It did not seem to work.

At night when I wanted to read, the light in my hideout was not bright enough. I could read, but it was tiring. Also, I could not turn on the lights in the house. It would be obvious that someone was in the house. When the soldiers were looking for me, I had seen the light from outside my hideout coming through the cracks.  One night I wanted to see if the light in my hideout could be seen on the other side of the wall. I turned on the light in my hideout. I climbed out of my hideout and went into the adjoining rooms to see if the light could be seen. Small rays of light could be seen around the receptacles and the piping going into the bathroom. Also, there were rays of light coming through the cracks in the planking in the attic. I knew that if I someone was in the attic, bathroom or the adjoining bedroom, I could not turn on the light in my hideout.

My father had used some putty to replace a broken glass panel in the back door. I retrieved the putty and sealed the cracks going into the bath and bedroom. The cracks going into the attic were around the opening of my hideout. I patched the ones that I could. I also wired a small lamp to one of the receptacles so I could lie in my bed and read. It was much better than the overhead light.

Over the months I had became a little braver. I rearranged the furniture downstairs so I could sit in a comfortable chair and read without anyone outside seeing me. Late one afternoon, I was down stairs reading. I heard voices from outside it startled me. I peeked out the front door. I saw a man and a women walking up the front steps. I did not have enough time to get upstairs. I jumped into the hall closet. The couple walking up the front steps to the door. They tried to open the door. The man grumbling to the woman that someone had told him that the house was open. I heard the man say that he had to get a locksmith. When they left, I hurried to the attic and stood next to the attic window. I waited to see what they were going to do.

The couple returned with a locksmith within a few minutes. The locksmith opened the door. The woman entered first and saw all the blood on the floor. She screamed, "I am not going to live in this house."

I could hear her running out of the house and down the front steps. The man ran after her. I could hear her screaming when he caught up with her a few houses down the street. He tried to get her to return on her own but she refused. He picked her up. She was screaming while he carried her back to the house. People from both sides of the street came out to see what had happened. I peeked out the window. No one dared to intervene. With the things that had been happening, they were too scared to get involved.

When the man returned to the house with the screaming woman, he told the locksmith to go back to his office and if he needed him he would call him. The news about the blood spread through the neighborhood like wild fire. Someone had said that the Williams had gone back to America. Now they knew it was a lie.

The man dragged the screaming women into the house and slapped her, a number of times. Finally she stopped screaming. He made her get undressed and scrub the blood from the floor. He threatened her and told her that she better not tell anyone about the blood. Little did he know that everyone on the street knew about the blood before it was removed? Everyone on the street had asked the locksmith what had happened, and he told them.

Timothy's New Houseguest:

The woman worked for a long time removing the blood. She finally finished cleaning the blood from the floor. While her husband was still taking an inventory of what they needed, the woman cleaned the house. Before they left the house they had another argument about living in the house. The man won the argument. 

They returned frequently with different things for the house. After a couple of weeks they moved in permanently. I had houseguest; they both left the house in the morning and didnít return until after dark. I could set my watch on the time they left and when they returned. They had the same routine every day of the week except for Sunday. On Sunday they stayed in bed a little later and left the house about ten in the morning and came back around three-thirty in the afternoon. Sunday was a miserable day for me. I could not come out of my hole and go to the toilet and take my bath until they decided to leave. I did not like using the bedpan. I did not like to stink up my hole in the wall and they would wonder where the stink was coming from.

I had a free run of the house during the day while they were at work. If the man was sick and could not go to work. I could not sneak out of my hole and go up into the attic. If the woman stayed at home, I could not move. When she was awake at night I think she could hear me breath. One night I heard a disturbance on the street below. I climbed out of my hideout to see what was going on. There were a couple of soldiers arguing over a woman. I had seen her roaming the street of the Village before. I climbed back into my hideout. The woman house guest said, "There is someone in the house. I heard them walking around."

The man got up and searched the house. After searching the house, he told the woman she must have heard someone on the outside. She insisted, he told her to shut up and go back to sleep, there was no one in the house. This really made me mad. I could not climb out of my hideout during the night. She must have ears like a jackrabbit. The man couldnít hear as well.

Every morning, I had to lie quietly until they left the house before I climbed out of my hideout or move around inside of my hideout. When they were gone, I would go downstairs and have a feast. The ice box was full of food. I was so hungry that I gulped down the food cold. I no longer had to eat food out of a can. It didnít take long until I found out who my houseguest were, Hans and Marie Berger. Both of them worked at the Rathskeller. Every day they brought food home from the Rathskeller. Hans liked sweets and so do I. Every day they would bring home a bag full of pastries and other food. There were always a few pastries left over. I would eat one or two of them. There was so much food that I felt the Berger's would not miss the amount that I ate. I was wrong. I should not have taken the pastries. There was never a question about the regular dishes. It was Hansís pastries. Hans knew exactly the number of pieces of pastries that were left over. For a few days he thought that Marie had eaten the missing pieces of pastries. This irritated Hans. After about a week, he accused Marie of eating his pastries. Of course she denied taking the pastries and an argument broke out. Hans slammed Marie against the wall and again accused her of lying. This created an explosive atmosphere. They hardly said a word to each other for the rest of the evening. Hans finally cooled off a little and apologized to Marie. I listened to them talking. They had suspicions that someone was coming into the house while they were gone. They were going to set a trap for the intruder. They didnít have the time that morning nor did they know what they would do. They said that they would come up with a plan at work and set the trap that evening. I had not eaten all of the pastries that I had taken. I decided to return the pastries that I had. I hid the pastries in the bottom of the icebox. I hoped that they would find them and forget about setting a trap for the intruder.

My plan worked. That night Marie was looking for something in the icebox and found the pastries that I had planted. I was lying quietly in my hideout when I heard Marie yell angrily, "Hans, come here."

The tone of Marie voice irritated Hans. The hair on the back of his neck must have stood up, and he shouted arrogantly, "What in the hell do you want?"

"Come in the kitchen!"

I could hear Hans running down the hall to the kitchen, he must have grabbed Marie, she screamed. Hans yelled, "Donít talk to me in that tone of voice again."

Marie yelled, "Let me loose and look in the icebox. There are your precious pastries that you accused me of eating. You and your feeble mind, you would forget where you put your head if it wasnít attached. I donít want to hear another word from you about the food disappearing. You donít know when to stop eating. You eat too damn much already. Look at your shirt, the buttons are about to pop off."

Hans sheepishly walked out of the kitchen; he didnít remember putting the pastries on the bottom shelf of the icebox. He thought he was starting to lose his mind and told Marie.

I was listening and laughing with my hand over my mouth. I thought I would help Hans a little. I wanted to drive Hans completely crazy. Since they had noticed the disappearance of the food, I decided not to eat too much until things cooled off.

When the Bergers were at work I went down stairs and looked around for something to hide. I had learned the routine of Hans and Marie. After dinner, Hans sat down every evening with his favorite pipe, read the paper and listened to the radio. I wanted to throw the pipe outside. I could smell it in my hideout.  He never took this pipe to work with him it was too big. Hans always sat it on a rack on the table next to his chair. I took the pipe and sat it on a shelf behind Hansís chair. That evening when Hans sat down to read the paper his pipe wasnít in its usual place, instead of getting up and looking for his pipe he yelled at Marie, "Were in the hell did you put my pipe."

With a little bit of sarcasm, "I havenít seen your damn pipe. I would not touch that filthy thing."

In anger Hans yelled, "It is not in the rack you must have moved it. Come here."

Marie stopped working in the kitchen and walked into the parlor. No sooner had she got into the room. She saw the pipe on the shelf behind Hans. She yelled, "You called me in here while you sat on your fat ass. The pipe is where you left it."

Still angry, Hans shouts, "Where is it?"

With a bit of temper, Marie said, "Turn around; it is on the shelf where you left it."

"I didnít leave it there. You moved it."

"Why would I want to move your damn pipe?  No matter where you put the damn think. It stinks up the whole house. You senile old bastard you are getting worse every day. First it was the damn pastries, now it is your damn pipe. You are always complaining about something. If it isnít one thing it is another."

In a huff, Marie spun around and left the room. Hans was furious. He felt that Marie was trying to drive him crazy. She was the culprit that was hiding things from him. He felt that she wanted to drive him crazy and have him committed to an institution. Or, she had a boy friend and she wanted to leave him. He was certain that Marie was up to something. Marie wasnít sure if Hans was getting senile or was trying to drive her crazy.

I would sit in my little hideout and laugh to myself when they were fighting. I pulled a couple more tricks on Hans. The temperature between Marie and Hans started to heat up even more. Then I hid a few things of Marieís. She knew that Hans was deliberately hiding her things because he wanted to do the same to her. The atmosphere became so explosive that Marie moved out and went to live with a friend. 

After Marie left, I continued moving Hansís things around. Hans felt that Marie must be coming into the house or having someone else helping her to drive him crazy. Without Marie in the house to nag at, Hans talked to himself out loud complaining about everything. He was as bad as I was with Charlie. I wondered if he had given the person that he was talking to a name.

With Marie out of the house I could move around at night without anyone hearing me. I ventured into Hansís bedroom and moved Hanís slippers and glasses to Marieís side of the bed. When Hans awoke the next morning, he screamed, "Marie where did you put my glasses."

Hans remembered that Marie wasnít there and stopped screaming at Marie. Without thinking I laughed. A sound came from my mouth. The laugher frightened me as well as Hans. I slapped my hand over my mouth. Hans dashed through the house thinking it was Marie or one of her friends. Hans looked everywhere. There was no one in the house. First he thought the laughter was his imagination. Then he remembers what had happened to his glasses and slippers. Chills spread through his body. The Nazi told him that the old tenant had died and left no heirs. In his mind he knew that the Nazis had murdered the couple that owned the house. Marie was very superstitious and some of it had crept into Hansís soul. Were the ghosts of the Williams still in the house? He had to make sure no one else was in the house. He looked throughout the house, got a ladder, and climbed into the attic.  Since he could not find anyone he felt that it had to be the spirits of the Williams. He kneeled next to his bed and pleaded to the spirits to forgive him and Marie for living in their home. I was listening to his prayers. The prayers brought back memories of the night my parent were taken away and I started crying audibly. I stopped crying as quickly as I had started. Hans heard the whimper. Fright swept through Hansís body. He continued to pray hoping that the Williams would forgive him. If they wanted food or wanted to move his things around they could. He even set two extra plates at the dinner table for my parents.

Hans could not wait to tell Marie about the spirits. Yet, he was afraid that Marie would never come back if she knew that ghost were in the house. At work he pleaded with Marie to come home with him. He did not tell her that he had heard the Williams spirits crying. He knew that he would not be able to get her in the house if he told her at work. With his prodding all day Marie consented to come home with him. It was much better than the dump her girlfriend lived in.

After Hans got Marie into the house, he served Marie a glass of her favorite wine and a plate of díoeuvres that she liked and asked her to please take a seat at the table. When Marie saw the table set for four, she asked who else was coming for dinner. Hans didnít want to tell her why he had set the table for four until he told her what had happened that morning. He told her that it looked nicer with four setting than a setting for two.

After they were seated Hans apologized to Marie for all the trouble he had put her through. Then he told her about the spirits in the house. Chills filled Marie body. She wanted to get out of the house and never come back. When Hans told her about the laughter and the crying Marie jumped up from the table and ran to the door. Hans caught her and pulled her onto the couch. She pleaded with Hans to let her go. Hans told her that he wanted her there when he prayed to the Williams.

They sat motionless for a while. I had heard some of the conversation and wanted to hear what was going on. I crept out of my hideout and I opened the attic cover so I could hear what they said. Hans started talking to my parents as if they were in the room with them. Hans had told them that they enjoyed living in our home and from now on he and Marie would never fight again. Hans was continuously complementing my parents about one think or the other. Listening to Hans talking to my parents, again it brought back memories of my parents. Deep emotions started to fill my body. I could not hold back the tears. Thinking about my parents, like before, I started crying. It was not a light whimper. It was loud enough that Hans and Marie to heard me on the first floor. I heard the reaction from my crying and I came back to reality. I quickly replaced the attic cover and climbed into my hideout. Excitedly, Marie said, "There is someone up stairs."

Hans replied, "Marie there is no one up there except the spirits of the Williams. I heard them crying this morning. Come on, I will prove it to you. You stand at the top of the stairs and I will search the rooms. When I am finished you can go into the rooms and see for yourself."

Hans went through the rooms then said, "There is no one in the rooms. Come and look."

Hesitantly Marie went through the rooms and she didnít find anyone. She asked about the attic. Hans got the ladder, opened the attic cover, and looked around. He climbed down the ladder and helped Marie. She climbed up the ladder and looked around the empty attic.

This did not quite satisfy Marie. She said to Hans, "I still think that someone is in the house. I donít know where they are hiding. But, I have heard them walking around."

With tenderness Hans said, "Sweetheart, it is the spirits of the Williams. I know it is. This morning my slippers and my glasses were on your side of the bed. You were not here, there was no one else in the house; so, who could it be. I know that I did not leave my pipe on the bookshelf. And, all the other things I accused you of doing. If you didnít do it, who else could it be?" 

Still uncertain whether to believe it was ghost or someone in the house Marie said, "Hans, I donít know. Maybe you are right. Letís move out of this house."

"Marie, do you want to go back to the dump that we were living in?"

"No."

"As you know, I am still paying that Nazi to let us stay in this house. It is cheaper to live here than any of the other places that we have lived. If we told them that there were ghosts in the house they would not believe us. They would think we are hiding someone in the house and burn it down. I donít care if there is someone living in the walls, whether they are alive or dead. The other day I went through the house and attic, there is not a place for anyone to hide. We would never find a place as nice as this and if we did we could not afford it. Letís not talk about it anymore. We will be all right. The spirits wonít hurt us."

Marie still wasnít quite sure if it was spirits or someone alive roaming around the house. She reminded Hans that Ghost had driven people crazy.

The night of Broken Glass:

The months continued to pass. The summer had come and gone. The leave on the trees had already turned to beautiful colors. I always loved the changing of the seasons. The weather was getting colder every night. Hans did not like to sleep in a warm house. I added extra blankets to my hideout bed.

In the middle of the night, I was woken by glass breaking. I thought someone was trying to get into the house. I hear Marie and Hans getting out of bed and running downstairs. I climbed out of my hideout and went to the attic window. There was a mob walking down the streets breaking windows. I could see a fire a few blocks away. The synagogue was higher than the building across the street. I could see the upper floors of the synagogue.  Flames were shooting out of the roof and windows of the synagogue upper floors. I expected to see and hear the Village fire engines. I only heard the shouting of the mob and the crackling of the timbers burning. The fire lit up the whole village. The flame was so intense that I felt the warmth of the fire on my face even though it was a couple of blocks away. The screaming and shouting lasted all night. Smoke from the smoldering timbers lasted for almost a week if not longer.

I prayed to God that no one was killed in the fire or by the maniacs that roamed the streets. I was worried that they may burn down my home. If they set my home on fire I would be trapped in the attic. I listen to the conversation of the people on the street. All of the Jewish business in the Village had been ransacked. The buildings were not burned down. Only the synagogue was burned down. When Marie and Hans were at work, I made a makeshift rope from sheets and blankets. I made it long enough to reach the ground from the rear attic window. I stored the rope in my hideout hoping that I would not have to use it.

As the months passed more of my neighbors were taken away. The Village was one of the few places near the City that had a Synagogue. Throughout the years, Jews moved to the Village or the adjoining Villages to be closer to the Synagogue. Many Jews from the City and surrounding Villages came to worship at the Synagogue. The Nazis had been slowly removing the Jewish families from the Village. Almost every day someone was taken away. I cried and prayed for them. I felt helpless. I wanted so much to help them; there wasnít anything I could do. If I tried, I would be dragged down the street like the rest of them. As I had remembered many times before what my father had told me. "They will enslave you."

Christmas without my Parents:

When I could not fall asleep in the early evening, and Hans and Marie were still downstairs, I would go up into the attic and watch the streets below. It was the week before Christmas, the shops were beautifully decorated. It was snowing slightly. It was getting colder each day. I had put on layers of clothes to keep warm when I was not in my bed. I watched the shoppers hustling down the streets with packages in their arms. Memories of the past Christmases came alive in my mind. My memories of Christmas last year were vividly displayed inside of my head. I felt the warmth and happiness of Mutti and Papa. Mentally I tried to relive Christmas last year. Memories of Mutti and Papa being carried away kept blocking my memory of Christmas. I had tried to block the thoughts of Mutti and Papa being dragged across the street.  I could not.

There wasnít a Christmas or New Year celebration in my home this year. Hans and Marie did all of their celebrating at work or out on the town, they came home well fed and drunk.

The Parade of the Dead:

On a cold winter morning before the sun rose, Marie heard a commotion; she jumped out of bed and ran to the window to see what was going on. Marie called Hans. I was awake. I heard Marie yell to Hans, "Oh god, come here. I canít believe it."

I climbed out of my hideout and crawled to the attic window. There were soldiers herding people down the street. They looked like a parade of skeletons. I started to cry. They looked like they had been starved. Some of them had all their hair shaved off. Marie looked at a young girl that had passed under a street lights, she had blood running down her legs. Marie said to Hans, "What are they doing to these people? Who are they? Donít they let the women clean up after they have their period?"

As the young girl got closer, Marie noticed that the girl was only a child. This brought back memories of when she was that age and what had happened to her. She wanted to kill the man that did this to the poor girl. Marie said angrily, "That child isnít old enough to have her period. Someone must have raped her"

Hans whispered, "You are probably right. Donít talk too loud. The Nazis will hear you. I hear a couple of Nazi officers talking while I am serving them. They were talking loud enough that I could hear every word that they said. One officer said that he told his men to take their pick of the women. They were going to die soon anyway. I heard him complaining that they didnít have any more room for them and they were going to send them to a concentration camp. They had been keeping them at the soccer field at the school. They are taking them down to the train station. I heard that they pack them in so tight that most of them die before they get to the concentration camp."

Sorrowfully, Marie said, "They all look like skeletons. They have been starving them."

Hans again cautioned Marie not to talk so loud and replied, "The Nazis have been taking the leftover food from all the restaurants to feed them. They canít collect enough garbage to feed them."   

I was looking to see if I could see Mutti and Papa. I did not see them. Suddenly, a man dashed for an opening between two buildings. The soldiers fired at the poor man. He made it to the opening. I wanted to shout to him that there was a gate on the other end of the alley and it was always locked. The soldier followed the man down the alley. The poor man was trying to climb over the gate. Barbed wire lined the top of the gate. I could hear the man screaming in agony. The soldiers stopped running when they saw the poor man struggling to get off of the barbed wire. They stood there laughing at the struggling man. The officer that had taken my parents away came over to the alley entrance and yelling for the soldiers to bring the man to him. The soldiers grabbed the struggling man by the feet and pulled him screaming with pain from the barbed wire. He fell onto the hard cobblestone walk, face down. The soldiers dragged the poor man by his feet back down the alley. The screaming had stopped. The poor man no longer struggled. The officer was waiting. With hate and anger, the officer told the man to stand up. The man did not move. Again, the officer yelled to the man to stand up. Still, the man did not move. The officer yelled to the soldier to pick the man up. One of soldiers put his hand under the man arm. The other soldier grabbed the man by the collar of the man coat and twisted it. This choked the poor man and he was gasping for air. They lifted the man to his knees. The officer drew his pistol and fired one shot into the head of the man. The soldiers dropped the man. The officer turned to the poor souls standing in the line and yelled, "Take a good look. This will happen to you if you try to escape."

They left the poor man lying on the street for everyone to see. No one dared move him. It was getting lighter. I was still looking for my parents. I could hardly see with the tears flowing from my eyes. I wiped my eyes and saw my best friend Peter. Without thinking, I yelled to the top of my voice, "Peter."

Hearing my own voice echoing between the buildings, it startled me and everyone on the street. I thought that I would not make a sound. Peter started to yell back at me. Peterís father was holding Peterís hand and he put his other hand over Peterís mouth. Peter tried to pull away, his father held him back. We were so close to each other, yet so far apart. I ducked back into the attic. A deep feeling of sympathy soaked through my body. How can I help them? Tears continued streaming down my face. I wanted to run down into the streets and kill all the Nazis. I had never felt so much hate in my life.

The guards and the prisoners all looked around in the direction of my home. The officers that had taken my parents away order the soldiers to search my home. I hurried to my hideout. The soldiers ran to my house, banged on the door, and shouted, "Open up."

Hans ran down the stairs to the door with Marie following him. Hans opened the door and asked, "What do you want?"

One of the soldiers knew Hans and told the other soldiers to check the other houses. When the other soldiers left he asked Hans, "Who yelled out Peter?"

Marie quickly intervened and said, "I heard someone calling but it didnít come from this house. Someone down the street yelled Peter."

The soldier said, "The captain has been looking for a young boy that lived in this house. His father said that they sent him to America. The officer didnít believe him. We looked everywhere twice, including the attic. The officer even looked himself and he could not find anyone."

Hans was curious about the boyís parents.  He walked out on the porch and whispered, "Did you kill the parents?"

The soldier said, "I donít know. They looked like they were dead. After we took them back to the army base, they took them away in an ambulance. I have not seen them since. I think both of them were dead. Their face and skulls were crushed. Why did you ask?"

Hans Whispered to the soldier, "My wife doesnít want to live in a house were someone has been killed. There was a lot of blood here in the hall when we moved in. I made her clean it up."

The soldier snickered, "My wife is the same way. Sorry to have bothered you."

As soon as Hans shut the door Marie said, "I told you someone was in this house. I have heard him walking around at night."

Again, they searched every room, and the attic. Hans said, "If there is someone in the house he has to be so thin that he can slide through the cracks."

Marie halfway agreed with Hans. Marie wanted to move out. Hans convince Marie to stay in the house. He said, "If there is a young boy hiding in the house, the Nazi will think that we have been hiding him. The Nazi will take the boy and kill us."

Marie unwillingly agreed to stay.

Since food had been missing and the soldier said they had looked for a young boy in the house, Marie felt sorry for the young boy. Without Hans knowing, Marie prepared a plate of food for him and put it the ice box.

After Hans and Marie went to work, I went down stairs to get something to eat I opened the icebox and saw a plate of food. I thought that Hans and Marie were setting up a trap for me. If I ate the food, it would verify that I was living in the house. Did they poison the food? Charlie told me to leave if alone and donít even touch it. Ignoring my better judgment and Charlie, I picked up the plate. I found a note under the plate. In the note Marie wrote, "Since food has been disappearing and someone has been playing tricks on me and Hans. I think you are the Williamís son. Since you stopped taking the pastries that Hans brings home, he does not know that you are still eating the other foods in the icebox. I have been making a note of how much food is in the icebox when I leave in the morning. I check to see how much is missing when I come home. You can eat all the food you want and I will not tell Hans. I hope you enjoy what I have set aside for you today. If you want more, you are welcome to take what you want. We take the leftover food from the Rathskeller and it does not cost us anything. I hope you donít take any more of Hansí pastries. I will bring a couple of pastries home for you and leave them on the plate. If there are other pastries in the ice box, do not take them. They belong to Hans. I donít want to upset Hans anymore than he already is."

I ate the food with Charlie cursing every bite I took. I washed the plate and returned it and the note. I did not reply to the note.

I peeked out to see if someone had moved the manís body. When I saw the poor man lying there, again, it made me cry. He could have been Mutti or Papa. I was wondering if he had a family. Did they see the Nazi officer shoot him? If it was my Papa, I think I would be lying next to him after I tried to kill the officer. It bothered me, why didnít everyone attack the Nazis? There were hundreds of men women and children, and only about a dozen soldiers. They could overpower them. I guess they were all too afraid or did not have the strength or will to fight.

Some of the people passing the dead man would stop and stare at him for a few moments, and walk away. Some would spit on him. Other would cry and bless him. Some would just ignore him. Every time I passed a window my head would turn in the direction of the poor man, my eyes would tear. I did not want to look at him anymore, but my head would turn and I would look at the poor man again. Seeing the poor man lying there all day, hate had built up in my body. I cried with bitter rage. I wanted to kill all the Nazis. I felt helpless. There was nothing that I could do. In the late afternoon someone came around and picked up his lifeless body and carried him away.   

At night when I could not sleep, I would sneak out of my hideout and look out on the streets below. I wanted to yell out, "hello", as I had in the past. I knew that it would draw the attention to everyone in the Village. Soldiers would be busting down doors looking for me. Before I went into hiding, the Villages knew that I was the one that was playing trick on the tourist. I think my neighbors were as amused by my antics as I was. It brought smiles on their faces. If I yelled now, I would not know if my vocal cords would cooperate. I could not depend on them working.

In the months and years to come, once a month they paraded the dead. I would look to see if Mutti and Papa were in the parade. Since I never saw them, I felt that they were dead. Each month I had new hopes of seeing my parents. If my parents were in the parade, I planned to take one of the butchers knife from the kitchen, attack the last guard in the parade, kill him then work my way through the crowd and kill the next guards until I had kill all of them. Unfortunately, I never saw them. I was wondering where all of these people were coming from. Months after months they paraded hundreds of pool souls through the Village to the train station. I was so filled with anger after each parade that I swore that I would not look at another parade. Every time I heard a particular chatter from the Villagers I could not resist going up in the attic and watching the poor souls being paraded down the street. I ask myself many times, when will it end.

Like Hans and Marie, new tenants had moved into Heatherís and Peterís homes. The neighborhood was changing. I saw a number of new faces in the Village. A number of the old faces had disappeared. Almost everyone kept to themselves. Most of the new neighbors did not trust the old neighbors and a larger percentage of the old neighbors did not trust the new neighbors. I would see clusters of people talking to each other. As soon as a stranger came close to them, they would clam up and watch until the stranger was out of ear-shot before they continued their conversation. It appeared that no one trusted or wanted to become friends with the new neighbors. The mood of the Village had changed. Some of the local residents no longer frequented the Tavern. The Tavern was mostly filled with tourist and soldiers.

As the months passed, I stopped playing tricks on the Bergers. It was no longer fun. I hated to hear Hans and Marie fighting. Marie was the one that got the worse end of the arguments. One morning when I went down to see what Marie had prepared for me, Marie had left a note. Somehow she knew that I was not the ghost of my parents, as Hans believed. I wanted so much to answer her notes, but I was afraid to. I did not know if I could trust her. Would she tell Hans? He was always bragging to Marie about the high ranking Nazi officers that he knew. I knew that he would mess up his pants if one of the officers threatened him. I stopped roaming the house at night. As before, Marie and Hans had the house during the night and I had it during the day. Occasionally, I would leave my hideout during the night, but most of the time I stayed in my hideout when Marie and Hans were at home.

One evening as many before, Marie came into the bathroom. She turned on the water in the bathtub. She lost her balance and fell against the wall. The putty that I had put around the pipe a year earlier had dried up and popped out of the hole. A ray of light shined through the hole. The bang on the wall startled me. I saw the ray of light coming through the hole. I got up and peeked through the hole. Marie was undressed. I had never seen a woman in the nude. Marie was very beautiful and had a beautiful body. She was much younger than I had thought. I had watched them from the attic as they walked to the trolley. Marie always dressed like an older woman.

This was the first time I had seen Marie up close. She was much younger than Hans. I wondered why she had married a man much older than her. As she stepped into the warm bath she was only inches from me. Strong emotional feeling ran through my body. Looking at Marieís beautiful body, I could not take my eyes off of her. After a few minutes of looking at Marie, I had fallen deeply in love with her. I wanted to climb out of my hole and be with her. She laid-back in the tub and closed her eyes for a while. Suddenly she rose up and started to bathe herself hurriedly. I was watching her. After she finished bathing, I think Marie senses that I or someone was looking at her. Curiously she looked around the room as if she was looking for someone or something. I could sense that something was wrong. I backed away from the crack. Charlie said, "I think she know you are on the other side of the wall."

I thought that I had bumped something and made a noise without realizing it. But, I donít think so. I moved closer to the crack to see what Marie was doing. Marie had finished her bath and she was getting out of the tub. Again, she looked around the room. The way she covered herself with the towel I thought that she had seen me. She walked into the bedroom and said something to Hans. I couldnít hear what she had said. Hans didnít whisper and from what Hans had said, I knew that Marie had told him someone was watching her take a bath. Hans came into the bath and looked around, shook his head and said to Marie, "You are the one that is superstitious; I am convinced that the ghost of the Williams are still in the house. Maybe Herr Williams was watching you, ha, ha."

"Hans do you really think they are watching us?"

"I donít know. You are the one that thinks someone was watching you, not me."

"Hans letís move out of this place. I have heard that ghosts have driven people crazy. I think I am going crazy. I know someone was watching me. I could feel their eyes looking at my body. Yet there was no one in the room. I donít think I will be able to go to sleep tonight."

Hans laughed and said, "Stay up all night. I am going to bed. If the Williams come back, tell them hello for me. Goodnight."

The following morning when I went down to the kitchen to see what Marie had left me. I found a note under the plate. The note read, "I know that you eat everything in the plate that I leave for you, and sometimes other things are missing. I have not told Hans and I will not tell him. Would you please tell me if you were watching me take my bath last night? If you did, I will not tell Hans. I had a strange feeling that someone was watching me take my bath. I looked all around the room, there wasnít anyone there. I donít mind you watching me. I just want to know if I am going crazy. You do not have to write me a note. Just leave something that will give me a hint. I hope you enjoy what I have for you today."

Oh, how I wanted to talk to Marie. She had left me a piece of pastry. It had a cherry in the middle of it. I ate the pastry and did not eat the cherry. I washed the plate as I usually did and left the cherry centered in the plate.

I was torn between patching the hole with putty again and leaving it open so I could watch Marie. I was going to leave the hole open. I went upstairs to the bathroom to take my bath and to see how the hole looked from inside the bathroom and the bathtub. The hole was next to the hot water pipe. You could not see it when you were standing up. I sat down in the bathtub and faced the hot water faucet. I could see the hole. It was very vivid when you were in the bathtub. Since Marie had asked me if I had seen her, I felt that she would probably look around the room for a hole or crack. Reluctantly, I patched the hole.

During the day, I tried to forget my frustrations by running up and down the stairs. By the time Hans and Marie came home, I was exhausted. I was dozing off when I heard someone whispering. I jumped and sat up. I thought someone was in my hideout with me. Fear raced through my body. I could not see my hand in front of my face. I listened for a few minutes. I did not hear anything. I thought that I must have been dreaming. I started to lie back down and I heard a womanís voice whispering. It was Marie. I put my ear against the wall. I could hear her saying something, but I could not understand what she was saying. I wanted to respond to her. Fear of the unknown kept me from responding to Marie. Why did I have to plug up the hole? She stopped whispering. I could no longer hear her. I lay back down and listened. I could hear Marie bumping around in the bath room. Later I heard her opening the bathroom door.

Oh, how I wanted to talk to her, or to someone. Depression was setting in. I was becoming very lonely. Every day the loneliness became worse. I tried various things to keep my mind off of my loneliness.

As usual, the following morning I was awakened by Hans letting out the gas that he had accumulated during the night. Marie was a little more discreet. Marie and Hans would not be going to work for another hour. I turned on my reading light to read. My mind drifted to the night before. Was Marie trying to talk to me? I could not wait to get out of my hideout and see what Marie had left me.

Finally, I heard Hans and Marie walking down the stairs. I heard the front door shut. I climbed out of my hideout into the attic. I went to the window and saw Hans walking down the street alone. Fear ran through my body. Marie was still in the house. I hurried and climbed back into my hideout. I knew Marie must have heard me. I sat quietly in the dark waiting to see what Marie would do. I was sure that I had heard her go downstairs with Hans. I lay back down and was waiting. I heard Marie climbing up the stairs. She walked into the bathroom. She called to me, "Tim or whoever you are, I know you are somewhere in the house. You must be very lonely. I told Hans that I felt a little sick and I would come in later if I felt better. I want to talk to you. When you ate everything that I had prepared for you and left the cherry in the middle of the plate, I knew that you were trying to communicate with me. Last night I tried to talk to you. I do not know if you heard me. From the sounds that I have heard you make, I know you are somewhere close to the bathroom or the bedroom across the hall. If you ever feel like talking to someone, just leave a note under the plate that I prepare for you. I have laid awake at night listening to you move around the house. I know you were pulling trick on Hans and me. As I look back I chuckle every time I think about them. I promise you that I will never tell anyone that you are in the house. I am going to take the next trolley to the City. I have left a nice plate for you. I hope you will enjoy it. I want to talk to you even though you do not want to talk to me. Have a nice day. I will be leaving in a few minutes." 

When I heard Marie leave, I was not sure that she had left the house or was it a trick for me to leave my hideout. I must have laid there for an hour listening and expecting to hear someone moving around the house. Finally I got enough courage to leave my hideout. I eased up the cover to my hideout. I expected to see Nazis waiting for me. Thankful, there was no one there. I creped silently out of my hideout into the attic. I opened the access cover of the attic slowly. Again, I expected to see soldiers pointing guns at me. I peeked through the opening. I did not see anyone. I stepped down on the door knob of the bedroom door and eased myself to the floor. I looked in all the rooms and closets on the second floor. I was slightly relieved. I slowly walked down the stairs trying to miss the squeaky steps. Thankful there wasnít anyone in the house. I went into the kitchen and opened the icebox. Marie had left me a beautiful plate of food, and a note. The note was similar to what she had said earlier. I wanted very much to trust Marie. I was afraid that she would tell a friend that I was hiding in the attic. The friend would tell someone else and eventually the Nazis would know. 

With the desire to see Marie bath herself again I looked for a place where a hole would not be as noticeable as the one that was next to the hot water faucet. I drilled a small hole that I thought would not be noticed. I covered the hole on my side of the wall. If I had the light on in my hideout, the light could not be seen in the bathroom. I sat in the bath tub where Marie would be sitting. Thankful it was not as noticeable as the hole next to the hot water valve and it was easier for me to get to it without fear of making a noise. I felt that if I made the slightest sound, Marie would hear it. As much as I loved to watch Marie bath, I felt ashamed of invading Marieís privacy. Yet, I could not stop my impulses.  I would go for a while without watching Marie. As the day passed, an urge would drive me to watch Marie take her bath. From the smile I saw on her face, I knew that she felt that I was watching her bathe. From some of her actions, I felt that she was trying to get me to talk to her while she was taking a bath.         

As the weeks and months passed, the walls of my little hideout were closing in around me. Each day the walls were getting closer to me. I had grown six inches and gained 20 pounds since I went into hiding. It is becoming more difficult for me to move around in my hideout. Every night I wonder if Marie is waiting for me to crawl out of the attic. I tried not to leave my hideout during the night. I was afraid she had told someone. Charlie kept telling me that I should not have given Marie a hint that I had been watching her. This had made me more cautious than I was before.

I studied and kept myself busy. This helped to make the days pass more rapidly. My voice starter to return; during the day I would read aloud. Each day, my vocal cords seemed to loosen up. When I grieved over my parents, my progression seemed to slow down. I tried not to think of them. At night I laid quietly for fear Marie would hear me, my thoughts would return to the memories of my parents. I could not stop myself from thinking about Mutti and Papa. In spite of it all, with my determination, I think my voice is close to being normal.

I had the house in the day and Hans and Marie had it at night. Hans and Marie had brought extra food home just to appease the ghost of my parents. Neither one of them complained about the missing food. As the months passed Marie did not talk to me as often as she did. She had more or less told me if I did not talk to her she would not talk to me. I felt that she was encouraging me to talk to her. The loneliness almost pushed me into talking to Marie. A number of times, I almost answer her. At the last moment, I think Charlie slapped his hand over my mouth. A few times when I was hungry and ate too much I would hear Marie sarcastically say, "I hope you enjoyed the meal."

As I got older I became a little braver. Since Marie knew that someone was hiding in the walls, I let her lie in bed and listen to me as I ran around the house. At night I would go through Marie and Hans things looking for money. I never took too much, but over the years I had accumulated quite a few schillings. Hans and Marie had noticed that some of their money was missing. One night I heard them discussed the problem. They were afraid to tell the police. If there was a slightest suspicion that someone was hiding a Jew or someone that the Nazis were looking for; the Nazis would arrest the occupants, and tear the house down looking for the person that was hiding. For their own safety they agreed not to make an issuer of it.

Hans was my pipeline to the outside world:

I never knew what was happening around the world. There was a radio blackout on the war and what was happening to the millions of Jews that were being arrested by the Nazis. When Hans and Marie were at work, I would listen to the radio. The only thing that was allowed to be broadcasted was the Nazi propaganda of how Germany was conquering the world. I did not use the radio very often, I was afraid that someone outside would hear the radio and mention it to Hans or Marie.

Hans was always listening to the Rathskeller customerís conversation, especially the Nazi officerís conversations. If he decided to tell Marie, he would wait until they went to bed before he told her. A lot of the crap was not worth listening to. Why did he have to wait until they went to bed before he told Marie? He had the whole evening to tell her, yet he would wait until they were in bed together. Most of the gossip was boring and Marie would fall asleep while Hans was still talking. This irritated Hans to no end. When I heard them talking in the bedroom, I would sneak out of my hole and lift the attic access cover and listen to them. Most of the time they left the bedroom door open and I could hear every word that they said. One night he told Marie about the atrocities that the Gestapo was performing on the Jewish prisoners. He told Marie that he had heard two Nazi officers complaining that the Gestapo had arrested so many Jews that they could not kill them and dispose of their bodies fast enough. The graphic details that Hans used sent a firestorm of hate through my body. I wanted to kill all the Nazis. Marie would scream at him to shut up, she did not want to hear any more. Like me, Marie could not fall asleep. Images of the atrocities would flow through our minds. I think that Hans would do this deliberately to upset Marie. These episodes would renew my desire for revenge and kept the fire burning inside my soul.

As much as I hated to hear about the atrocities, Hans kept me informed on what was really going on around the country and the world. Not the Nazi propaganda, the truth of the advances of the Japanese and German in the war.

Hans usually never talked to Marie unless he was blasting her for doing some trivial thing. He was always complaining about something. When they were home together, Hans would go in the parlor and read the paper, smoke his pipe, listen to the radio and complain to Marie about something, even if Marie was at the other end of the house. 

If Marie wasnít cleaning the house, preparing the meals or taking a bath, she would find a place as far away from Hans as possible. They very seldom talked to each other. To get away from the smell of Hans pipe she would go outside and sit on the front steps or take a walk around the Village. During their awaken hours when they were home, they were in separate rooms. About one or sometime twice a week, Marie had to service Hansís sexual appetite. From what I could hear, Marie did not enjoy the episode.

My food supplier:

With the help of the Burgerís supplying me with plenty of food I had gained a lot of weight and was much taller. I worked out every day. The stairs started to look worn from me running up and down them. I had just turned 15. I looked older than my age. I had developed into a handsome young man. At least that is what I thought. I looked a lot like the pictures of my father when he was younger.

Over the years I had ran up and down the stairs thousands of time to exercise my muscles. I had run up and down the stair frontward and backward. I could walk up and down the stairs on my hands faster than most people could on their feet. I had timed myself to see how long it would take me to run the length of the house, up the stairs, up the rope ladder, close the attic cover, climb down into my hideout, replace the boards to my hideaway and lay down in my attic bed. My shortest time was just over thirty seconds. I had practiced doing the same exercise with my eyes closed. At times I would do idiotic things to confuse Hans and Marie. This had kept me from going crazy. It helped to broke up the monotony of my everyday life. Marie did not complain about my antics. I would hear Hans complaining to Marie.

I was still talking to my imaginary friend Charlie. I had no one else to talk too. If I did not have Charlie to talk to, I think I would have gone crazy. Talking to Charlie was enjoyable. It helped me when I was depressed. Charlie and I had many long talks. At times, I felt that Charlie was real. Charlie and I would get into a heated argument over some trivial thing. When I realized what I was doing, I would laugh at myself. I would remember what Mutti had told me. "It would be alright to have an imaginary friend as long as I knew that he was not real."

I was simple talking to myself. At times, I thought there were two people in my body. I felt that Charlie was real and alive inside of me. Charlie helped me make decisions and solve some of my emotional problems. I have often wondered if other people talk to themselves as much as I have. I realized that I was looking at my problems from two viewpoints, Charlieís and mine.

When Hans was down stairs, occasionally, Marie would come into the bathroom and talk to me for a while. I think she was as lonely as I was. This had helped me through some of my worse moments. It always took away some of my loneliness and desperation. It reminded me that I was still alive and not alone. When Hans and Marie were awake, I could not do anything else but lie quietly and think about my parents. I had many low points; they went from killing myself to killing everyone in the Village. I was afraid to do anything to myself or anyone else. I would apologize to God for just thinking about harming myself or anyone else.

When Marie was in the bathroom alone and Hans was still down stairs, she would talk to me for a long time. I think she was baited me, she would say something and I felt I had to answer her. Many times I almost answered her. Like many time before, I felt like Charlie had slapped his hand across my mouth so I could not answer Marie. I think she enjoyed the one way conversations with me. It may have taken away some of her loneliness. The only things that Hans did with Marie were sleep, have sex and go to work.

I wanted so much to answer Marie when she talked to me. I had watched Marie bathe many times. I had fallen deeply in love with Marie. I was confused, was it love, or was it lust. I looked forward to listening to her talk to me. I was so close to her, yet so far. Many times, I had an urge to burst through the wall and take her into my arms. I had been very close to doing it.  I donít know what held me back.

Every day she would set aside a plate for me; sometimes she would leave me a note. After they had gone to work, I would crawl out of my hole in the attic and causally head for the kitchen icebox. When I removed the boards to get into the attic, when I crawl out of my hole, when I slid down the rope ladder, or as I passed a room, I always felt that the Nazis would be waiting for me. This fear never left my mind. The feeling haunted me. Every noise frightened me. The unknown had made me very cautious and jumpy. I had learned every squeak and moan of the house, all the crazy street noises, the voices of all of my neighbors and enemies. The fear was bad, but the loneliness was worse. At times I wanted to open the attic windows. Stand in front of it and yell out to the world, "Here I am, come and get me."

I would visualize this scene. When they came for me, I would look down on them as they gathered below the window and jump on top of them hoping that I would take a few of them with me. I must be a coward. I never had the nerve to do it. I often wonder what would have happen if I did. Would I live through it? What a way to live.  

Marie had been very thoughtful. I wanted to do something for her. One night I took all the money that I had taken from her and Hans and put it into her pocketbook. My mother had pressed a rose between the leave of an old book. I removed the rose and left it with the money.

That evening when she took her bath, I knew that she felt that I was in the room with her or very close by. She had taken off her clothes and was resting in the warm water. I watched her looking around the room as if she was looking for me. She asked, "Why did you gave me the all the money? Thanks for the rose. That was very sweet of you. I noticed that you finished everything that I had put out for you this morning. I wish that you would talk to me. I will not tell Hans that you are in the house. Are you Timothy Williams, Herr Williams or Frau Williams? I think you are Timothy. I have found letter to your Mutti from her Mutti. You grandparents thought that you would grow up to be a very handsome man. I hope that someday I will get to see you. Since you were so nice to me, I will bring a few extra pieces of pastries for you tomorrow. I hope that I donít get caught stealing them."

I did not want to get Marie fired trying to steal a few pastries and I wanted to tell her not to steal for me. I started to respond to Marie. Charlie stopped me from saying anything. The moment was interrupted by Hans yelling out, "Who in the hell are you taking to. Hurry up; you have been in there all night."

I wanted to kill Hans. Marie said, "Hans I did not know you were waiting. I am thinking out loud. Do you mind?"

"No, you can think all you want. Just get the hell out of there. I have to go."

"I am getting out of the tub now. Give me a couple more minutes."

Marie was a beautiful woman. I could not keep myself from looking at her. She hurriedly, dried herself off and left the bathroom. I lay down and tried to get Marie out of my mind. If I have to stay inside this hole any longer, I know I will go crazy or burst though the walls.

Inside of me my thoughts was tearing me apart. I was afraid Marie would get caught stealing for me and be fired. If she was fired, would Hans still bring food home for me? How long could I live with the cans of food that was still in my hideout? For most of the night and the following day I could not stop thinking about Marie getting caught stealing food for me. I prayed that she would not get caught. When Marie came in after work and I heard her cheerful voice, the feeling vanished. A feeling of freshness came over me. My whole body felt relaxed. All day ever muscle in my body felt tense. I had not thought that she was stealing the food for me. If she had been fired, Hans would have been yelling at her. From that day on, I worried if Marie would be caught and fired.

Marie:

In my heart, I knew that Timothy Williams was living somewhere in the house. I was not sure if Hans thought it was the ghost of one of the Williams. I did not trust the bastard. He would sell me to the Nazis for a few shillings. He was using most of my salary to help pay the Nazis for letting us stay in this house. He was also using me to satisfy his sexual desires. I think I was paying more for the rent than he was. In a way, I had been using him. Without an education, I could not get a job. Without Hans help, I would not have gotten the job at the Rathskeller. I have to be thankful for that. I would have had to sell my body to every man on the streets to survive or go back to the hell I went through at home. At least I had some of the nicer things in life and a little spending money. And, I only have to put up with Hans, and his sex drive, not every mans on the streets. Usually his desires were over before they started.

I had fallen in love with someone hidden in the walls. I did not know if it was a man or a woman. In my heart, I felt that it must be the young boy that the Nazis were looking for. In the evening when Hans was not around, I had searched every room for a place where he could be hiding. I did not find a place where anyone could hide. This frustrated me. I knew he was there, but where.

The first time that I sensed that someone was watching me bathe, it frightened me. It also frightened me when I heard someone roaming around in the house. The fear went away as time passed. I donít know if it was my disgust with Hans or my loneliness for someone to love that drove me to the person that is hiding in the walls.

When I bathed in the evening, I can fell his eyes watching me. Knowing that someone maybe watching me; it gave me a wonderful feeling. I did everything to get him to talk to me. Nothing worked. I became obsessed with this unknown person. I thought about him almost constantly when I was at home. Over the years, I could not imagine how he could live alone. One evening Hans said jokingly, "Is Herr Williams still watching you take your bathe?"

Then he laughed. This made me very angry. The only small pleasure that I had in life, he had to spoil it. I smiled at Hans and said, "Yes, we bathe together every night and then we make love. He is a much better lover than you are."

I was not sure if he believed me or not. With a huff, he got up and left the room. I hated myself for what I said. If he believed me, would he tell the Nazis? Would they rip the house apart looking for someone hiding in the walls? They have been finding people hiding in homes across Austria. The Nazis were paying people to turn in Jew and others that were wanted by the Nazis. This troubled me for a long time. 

It was almost over:

As many nights when I could not sleep, I climbed out of my hole and creped over to the front window and watched the Village. Usually it was the same scene. A few civilians were walking the streets. A couple of prostitutes that had migrated from the City were hanging around the Tavern wanting for a drunken soldier. Fritz would not allow them in the Tavern. The soldiers were singing Nazi songs that echoed through the village. This was a typical evening like many others. Alfons, the Villageís personal vagabond was sleeping it off in the doorways of a shop across the street. The Nazis had taken away all the other winos, why havenít they taken him away. I often wondered where he slept when the weather was bad. I felt sorry for the poor sole. Mutti and Papa had fed and cared for him. They tried to get him to stop drinking. He looked as if he was starting to give up his drinking. After Mutti and Papa were taken away, Alfons returned to the bottle. I could not blame him. If I had loved the taste of wine or whiskey, I think I would have become a drunkard. At times, I have taken a taste of the beverages that the customers at the Rathskeller had left behind. Hans would bring them home. 

I group of drunken soldiers came out of the Tavern and were headed for the trolley station. As they passed Alfons, one of the soldiers kicked Alfons. A rage of hate ran through my body. The hate grew as I watched them humiliate and kick Alfons. What had he done to deserve this humiliating. They picked up Alfons and throw him into the gutter. They yelled that the gutter was where Alfons belonged. One of the soldiers urinated on Alfons. The other soldiers laughed. I could no longer hold back my anger. I yelled in a deep baritone voice, "Attention, leave that man alone. I will have you all sent to jail."

Fear must have run through their bodies. They scattered and ran in the direction of the trolley. I was standing up in front of the window for the world to see me. A Nazi Officer was standing in front of the Tavern. He looked in my direction and then opened the Tavern door, and called to the soldiers inside. As the soldiers piled out of the Tavern, he pointed in the direction of my home. He told the soldiers to get the man that is standing in the window. For a moment, I did not try to hide. I was going to take them all on. Charlie yelled, "Hide you fool. They will kill you."

Quickly, I took Charlieís advice and returned to my hideout. I heard the soldiers pounding on the front door. Marie and Hans were very frightened. Marie was awakened when I shouted. She had heard me shout, but she did not know what I had said. Frightened, they hurried down the stairs and opened the door. The soldiers grabbed Hans and dragged him down the front steps to the streets where the officer was standing. The officer knew Hans and asked him why he had shouted at the soldiers. Hans did not know what he was talking about and said so. An argument between Hans and the officer intensified. Hans insisted that he was awakened by someone shouting. The officer sent a group of soldier to search the house.  I lay quietly listening to them running through my home for almost an hour. There must have been a dozen soldiers running through the house. From the sound of their boots banging of the attic floor, half of them must have searched the attic. I was sure that someone would find my hideout. The rage I had when I saw them kicking Alfons was still pumping hate through my body. I had made up my mind that I would not go with them. I will try to kill as many as I could. I had seen them running across the street. None of them looked as if they were armed. I was standing on the ladder to my hideout waiting for someone to lift the planks off of my hideout. I planned to grab the one that removed the planks and pull him into my hideout. The only weapon I had was the bedpan. I had it in my hand and was going to crack his skull with it. As I stood there waiting, adrenaline was being pumped through my body. I had no fear, only hate. As I listen to them climbing down the rope ladder and the comments they were making, they thought the officer was drunk. I thanked God for not letting them find me. They finally gave up. They left the house, I creped to the window so I could hear what was going on. The soldiers had gathered around the officer. One of the soldiers asked the Officer what had happened. The officer told them that a man was standing in the window and shouting commands at a group of solders that were putting a piece of trash in the gutter. He turns and pointed in the direction where Alfons had been. Alfons was no longer there. When they didnít see Alfons and the soldiers could find anyone in the house except Hans, and Hans denied shouting. They thought that the officer was drunk and seeing things. The crowd dispersed.

Hans and Marie watched the crowd as they walked away. Hans nudged Marie. Hans started to say something. Marie put a finger across his lips and said wait until we get inside. As soon as Hans shut the front door, he said, "The officer must have seen the ghost of Herr Williams."

Marie did not answer Hans; this intensified Hansís belief that the ghost of Williams was still in the house. Marie was convinced that someone was living in the walls, but she did not tell Hans. She felt it was best to let him think ghost were in the house. Marie knew that it was the man that she had fallen in love with. For the next few days, I was afraid the Officer would have another search of my home. If they could not find me they would burn down the house.

For a long time, I have had a deep desire that was driving me crazy. I wanted to walk the streets at night. Feel the fresh air on my body. Talk to someone. Hold a beautiful girl in my arms. Sit down at a table with my Parents. Have a warm meal. This incident enhanced my desire to be free of the hole in the wall. I had been tempted to walk out the front door many times and walk the streets. Charlie always talked me out of it. To walk the streets, I needed an identification card. At night the soldiers would stop people and ask them for identification. In the daytime, I hardly ever saw a soldier asking for identification. I was determined to get an identification card. One night I took Hansís identification card from his wallet. I knew that the soldiers had seen Hanís hundreds of time and they never asked him for his identification. Maybe I could alter his card. I gave up the idea when I could not remove his picture. I would destroy the card if I continued. I felt that I could make a card for myself. Hans would not miss his card for a few days. I drew the symbols over and over until I thought they looked authentic. I typed in the information with my fatherís typewriter. I thought it was good enough. I needed a picture of myself. I looked through the family album and found a picture of my father when he was about 20 years old. I looked a little like Papa. It was the best that I could do. I felt that the soldiers would be so drunk they would not notice the difference. When I had finished, I returned Hansís identification card.

I wanted a key to the house. I felt that Hans always opened the door when they came in and when they left. I knew that Marie kept her key in her purse. She left her purse on a hook in the front hall closet. I climbed down the rope ladder and left it hanging through the attic opening. If I had been a moment later, I would have dropped down from the attic on top of Marie as she walked out of her bedroom. 

I took the key out of Marieís purse, I turned around to run back up the stairs and I heard Marie scream. I froze in my tracks. I believe she brushed against the rope ladder. She was in the hall blocking my way to the attic. Within a moment she ran back into the bedroom and slammed the door shut. I literary flew up the stairs, and up the rope ladder into the attic. I had just pulled up the rope ladder before Hans opened the bedroom door. I was replacing the attic cover when Hans cracked open the door and looked outside. He reached his arm outside and turned on the hall light. I watched as Hans walked down the hall and down the stairs. I slowly replaced the cover then eased into my hideout. After a few minutes I heard Hans say, "Marie, come down here, there is no one down here."

"I am not going down there I know what I felt and saw. There are people running around in this house."

Hans climbed up the stairs and took Marie by the hands. They looked in the bathroom, the other bedrooms, and all of the closets. Then they went down stairs. They searched every room. There was no one in the house. Hans asked Marie what happened. She said, "I came out of the bedroom and was heading for the bathroom. Someone brushed past me in the dark. He was wearing a scratchy jacket. He scared the living hell out of me. When I turned to go back into the bedroom he was at the bottom of the stairs looking up at me. The street lights lit up the stairs enough that I could see him coming up the stairs. It looked like he was coming back up the stairs to get me."

Hans asked her how many men were there. Marie thought for a minute and said, "Two."

She thought for a couple more seconds and changed her mind, then said. "No. I think there was only one man."

Hans asked her how long did it take for him to get past her and down the stairs. She thought for a few moments then said, "Instantly."

"Marie no one could have done that instantly. It would take a few seconds for someone to run down the hall and stairs and turn around and look at you. It had to be two people."

"I donít care how long it takes or how many people it had to be. I felt that scratchy jacket go past me, when I turned around and looked down the stairs he was at the bottom getting ready to come back up the stairs after me. I ran in the bedroom and shut the door."

Hans said, "If he wanted to get you, why would he go down stairs and turn around and come back upstairs?"

Excitedly Marie said, "I donít know. He ran past me and down the stair before I could turn around. I turned around instantly and saw him at the foot of the stairs getting ready to come back up. Maybe he wanted to take me with him."

Hans let out a chuckle and said, "Who in his right mind would want you. Marie, think about what you are saying. No one could have done what you have said."

With a little sarcasm Marieís snaps back, "A lot of men like meÖ..I understand what you are saying. I am telling you what happened. I felt someone pass me on the second floor and as soon as I turned around he was down stairs on the first floor."

Hans shrugs his shoulder and said, "Ghost could have done what you said. No human could have moved that fast. After the officer saw someone looking out the window and what you are telling me, I know the ghost of the Williams are still in the house. Letís go back to bed. We will be dead tomorrow if we donít get some sleep."

Hans was convinced that a ghost was in the home. Marie wasnít quite sure who was running around the house; eating the food and who had given her the money or how many people were hiding in the house. For a few days Marie did not talk to me. She still provided me with a plate of food. She did not leave a note. I wanted to apologize for scaring her, but I could not bring myself to doing it. One evening when she was taking her bath she said, "I donít know if it was you that ran past me the other night. If it was, you scared the living hell out of me. I think Hans is getting a little suspicious. He has heard me talking to you. I donít know if he believes me when I tell him that I was talking to myself. Please donít roam the house when we are home. I think Hans told Fritz about the missing money and about the other night, I think he is starting to believe that someone is in the house. I donít want them to tear down the house looking for you. Hans thinks that they will kill us if they find you."

Suddenly Marie stopped talking. Marie must have heard Hans coming up the stairs. Hans yelled out, "Hurry up in there. I am tire and want to get to bed."

Freedom, or is it:

I tried Marieís key in the front and back door and it worked. The key was for the deadbolt on the doors. I would have been trapped inside if Hans had used the key for the deadbolts. You could not open the doors without the key. I wanted desperately to get outside the house. Hans may have told the Nazis that Marie had seen someone in the house. I did not want to be in the house when they started looking. For the last four year I had not been outside the house, I had been lucky.  How much longer would my luck hold out?

While Hans and Marie were at work I searched every room for a way that I could get in and out of the house without anyone seeing me. Every window and door was visible to one of my neighbors or the streets. In the rear of the kitchen was a door that led to the cellar. I had not been in the cellar since I was about seven years old. I was surprised that I had remembered about the stairs to the cellar. I had seen the door, and the area was used as a broom closet. I opened the door. For a moment, I thought I had the wrong door. I did not see the stairs. I tried to remember how my parents had gotten into the cellar. Then I noticed a recessed handle on the floor. I pulled on the handle. A section of the floor lifted up. Above me there was a chain with a hook on it. I hooked it into the recessed handle. The opening led to the cellar. There was a light switch at the top of the stairs. I turned the switch and the lights in the cellar turned on. It looked like no one had been in the cellar for years. When the soldiers searched the house, why didnít they find the stairs, or did they see the cobwebs and did not bother searching the basement. There were cobwebs crisscrossing the steep stairs. I walked down the squeaking stairs. I remembered that my father was building something down here many years ago. As I made my way through the cobwebs I saw a hatchway in the rear of the house. There was a padlock on the hatch. On the wall adjacent to the hatch was a rusty key hanging from a nail. I removed the key and tried it in the lock. With a little help the lock snapped open. I removed the lock and slowly lifted the hatch. The rusty hinges squeaked as I raised the door. Chills ran through my body. I eased the door open just enough so I could peek out to see or hear anyone on the outside. I could not hear anyone. I could not see anyone because of the tall grass and overgrown weeds circling the hatch. I raised the door quickly so the squeak wouldnít be so long. Also, there were overgrown trees and bushes surrounding the hatch. They help to hide the hatch from the alley. Papa would mow the grass in the back yard. It had not been mowed since they took him away. I opened one side of the hatch and walked out. A feeling of freedom flowed through my body.

I enjoyed the fresh air for a while until I heard voices heading in my direction. I quickly went back into the cellar. I replaced the lock and took the key with me. I returned to the attic and lay quietly in my hideout thinking. Now that I had a way to get out of the house without anyone seeing me, should I take the chance and explore the outside world? Once I was out on the streets would anyone recognize me and turn me over to the Nazis? The desire to be free was nagging at my soul. From what I had heard the Bergers say, they were still finding Jew hiding in the City. I remembered what my father had written in his instructions. If they catch you, they would enslave you. I felt like I was already in prison.  I had been in prison for four years.

During the next few days the desire for freedom increased. One night as I lay quietly listening to Hans snore, I thought that I would go for a walk on the streets. I climbed out of the attic using the closet doorknob as a step. I replaced the attic opening cover and hurried down the rear stairs and into the cellar. I lowered the broom closet floor as I walked down the dark cellar stairs. I felt my way across the basement to the hatch and opened it. I peeked out to see if anyone was around. For the first few moments fear kept me from moving. Yet, I wanted to continue. I stepped out of the hatch and closed the hatch behind me. In the darkness, I felt my way to the alley that ran behind my home. I had played in the alley many times with my friends. I headed to my left. I stopped and thought for a moment. If I went to the end of the block and turned left, I would be in front of the Tavern. There was always one on two customers standing outside. I turned around and headed in the opposite direction. When I came to the end of the alley the street was empty. I turned right and headed to the cobblestone paved street. Across the street, I could see that the lights were on in the rear of the Bakery. It was well past midnight. The local drunks were still at Fritzís Tavern. I hurried across the street and then looked around the corner of the building to see if anyone had seen me cross the street. At first I did not see anyone heading in my direction. As I turned around, I saw a soldier coming out of a basement patio. I looked around to see if there was a place where I could hide. Across the street there was a narrow opening between two buildings. I had use the opening as a shortcut years ago. I hurried across the street and squeezed into the opening. I finally realized how much I had grown. I had to turn my head sidewise to get it into the opening. I just got my body inside the opening when two soldiers turn the corner. They yelled halt and continued up the street. Even though they were across the narrow street, I held my breath. Pessimistic Charlie raise his ugly head and said to me, "I warned you not to go outside. They are going to find you."

At that moment I agreed with Charlie. Why had I left my hiding place? I had been there safely for almost four years. I was trapped in the crack between two buildings. I could not continue and I could not climb out, the soldiers would see me. I waited. Only a few minutes had passed, but with the fear that was going through my body, I thought that I had been trapped for hours.

Fortunately, they did not find me. The soldiers turned around and came back to the cobblestone street. They headed in the direction of the Tavern. I had out grown my shoes. I was using a pair of Papa shoes. They were at least a couple sizes too long. When I was trying to squeeze between the two walls my shoes got wedged between the two walls. I started too eased out of the crack; I could not move. I glanced out between the openings; I was lucky that my shoe got suck. The bastards were peeking around the corner to see if someone came out of hiding. I jerked my head back and scratched the side of my face and my nose. For a moment I thought I would not be able to get out. I was stuck for another half hour while the soldiers played cat and mouse. Finally, one of the soldiers said, "Who ever it was, they are probably on the other side of the Village by now."

I waited for another few minutes. I did not see them peeking around the corner again. I still could not move my feet. I slid my feet out of the shoes, turned my head sideways and squeezed out of the opening. I reached into the opening and pulled my shoes loose. I put my shoes back on and headed to the alley behind the Bakery. I could not go back to my hideout unless I walked halfway around the Village. I did not know where else in the Village the soldiers would be patrolling. The soldiers patrolled the cobblestone street around the clock, some nights the soldiers that were not on duty would hang around the tavern until the crack of dawn. The soldiers In the Tavern would sing Nazi songs all night. I had heard them so many times that I knew the songs by heart. People have complained about it, but no one has the courage to do anything about it. They all are afraid that the Nazis would send them off to the concentration camp. I heard Hans and Marie talking about a waiter that spilled a tray of food on a Nazi officer. It wasnít the waiter fault. No one had seen the waiter since the incident and no one know what happened to him. One of his friends went to his apartment to see if he was sick. The landlord and the other tenants have not seen him. The landlord opened his apartment, if he had taken off, he did not take anything with him. He had been gone for about three months and he has not returned to get his pay check. Hans and the other waiters and waitress are afraid to wait on the Nazi officers. They are afraid that they will disappear also.

I hurried across the street and peeked down the alley. I did see anyone in the alley. Seeing the Bakery and smelling the fresh bread cooking brought back old memories. Frau Lipman husband had died a few years ago. I had watched part of the services from the attic window. She ran the Bakery alone. She was a kind and loving lady. Before I went into hiding, every time I walked past her shop she would call me in and give me a treat. She always demanded a hug for the treat. Her eyes would always glisten when I hugged her. I thought she was going to cry. Not seeing anyone, I walked around the corner of the building into the alley and went to the rear of Bakery. I peeked into the window and saw Frau Lipman working. I stood there for a few minutes and watched her. All of a sudden she looks around. I think she sensed that someone was looking at her. She turned, saw me, and she yelled, "Timothy, my baby." 

I turned and started to run. She ran to the door and opened it before I could take a step. I saw the love in her eyes. I could not resist her love. I smiled and walked into her open arms. Excitedly she whispered, "You must get inside the Nazi are patrolling the streets. They must not see you out here. There is a curfew and everyone has to be off the streets by ten."

Frau Lipman hurried me into the back of the Bakery and up the stairs. After she had me hidden on the second floor she said, "Stay here. I will pull the shades on the windows and doors."

I wanted to trust her but I could not. After she went down stairs, I followed her. I stopped at the bottom of the stairs and watched her pulling the shades on the windows, and locking the doors. She was heading for the stairs. I ran back up the stairs and waited for her to return. She returned with tears in her eyes and asked, "Tim, where have you been."

I wanted to tell her, but I could not. Respectively, I said, "I am sorry, my father told me not to tell anyone where I have been hiding. He felt that if someone else knew where I was hiding, they would be in as much danger as I am. If the Nazis found out that you knew where I was hiding, the Nazi would force you to tell them where I was hiding and they would kill both of us."

With a slight teary eyes and compassion she said, "I understand. You have grown so much. When I first saw you I thought you were standing on a box. You are taller than I am. How old are you now?"

"I will be fifteen in August."

With a smile on her face she asked, "Can I give you something to eat?"

I was hungry, but I did not want to inconvenience Frau Lipman and I said, "No thank you, I have eaten."

Frau Lipman held me in her arms and with loving eyes she said. "I have prayed for you and your parents ever day. Do you know where your parents are?"

"I donít know where they are. I hope they are alive. I believe the Nazi killed them."

"Oh my God, who told you?"

"I saw the Nazi carrying Mutti and Papa away, and one of the soldiers said that he thought that both of my parents were dead."

"Where were you when they took them away? Why didnít they take you?"

"I was hiding and I could see and hear them. They looked for me, but they could not find me."

"You should not be wandering the streets at night. There are more Nazis on the street at night than there are in the day."

I nodded my head and said, "I have seen them walking the streets. Most of them hang around Fritzís until it closes. They are so drunk when they leave they can hardly walk. Some nights Fritz does not close the Tavern."

Anxiously Hilda said, "I would love for you to stay here with me. I get so lonely since Leo passed away. You could stay in my sonís room."

Frau Lipman looked me up and down and with a frown on her face said, "Those clothes that you are wearing must be your fathers. They are too big for you. Come with me."

We walked into another room. I didnít know that she had a son. I had never seen him. I asked, "Where is your son? I donít remember seeing him. What is his name?"

"Karl, he was killed by the Nazis. There was a protest against the Nazi party and the Nazis fired into a crowd and Karl was killed. That was before you moved into the house across the street."

Frau Lipman opened a closet that was full of clothes. She started on one end and began searching. She found three beautiful suits. She asked me to try them on. I hesitated for a moment hoping that she would leave the room. Frau Lipman sensed that I was embarrassed; she smiled, and said, "All right I will turn around."

The suits were almost a perfect fit. Frau Lipman rummaged through the drawer to retrieve shirts, socks, and underwear. She looked at the shoes I had on they were twice my size. Again she searched the floor of the closet and found two pair of shoes. I tried them on. They were about half a size to large, but they fit better than my fatherís shoes. We sat on the bed and talked until daybreak. When I saw the skies had lightened. I jumped up and said, "I must go now."

I grabbed the clothes that Frau Lipman had set aside for me and stood up. Frau Lipman grabbed my arm and said, "No, you canít leave now. The streets will be filled with people. Someone will see you. You must stay here until tonight. Customers will be knocking on the door at any minute."

No sooner had the words left her lips someone was knocking on the front door. I followed her down the stairs. When we reached the bottom of the stairs she said, "Stay here. I donít want anyone to see you."

She looked across the room and saw the racks of dough and said, "I forgot to put the bread in the oven."

She called to the customer, "The Bakery is closed today. I am having trouble with my oven."

The customer disappointedly walked away talking to himself. She grabbed a piece of paper and wrote a note that said, "Bakery is closed today. I am having problems with my oven."

Hilda pulled the shade aside and taped the note to the window in the door then said, "I hope this will keep them away for a while."

She opened the shades, and peeked outside again to see if everything looked normal. There was the usual parade of people going to work or taking a stroll through the Village.

I had followed Hilda to the foot of the stairs. I did not completely trust her. Even with the love Hilda had shown me, I was afraid that she would tell someone at the door that I was inside or left a message to that effect. I went back up the stairs and waited for her in Karlís room. She did not immediately come back up stair. Each minute that I waited, I became more scared. I was afraid that someone would be following her up the stairs. I was a little relieved when I only hear one set of foot step coming up the stairs.  When Frau Lipman came into the room she looked at me and saw the fear in my face. She slightly shook her head and walked over to me. She put her arms around me and said, "Darling trust me. I will never turn you over to the Gestapo. They will have to kill me. You will be safe here. No one will ever know that you are here. I am sorry if I frightened you."

I opened my arms and hugged her. With the warmth and affect that radiated from the lovable woman, tears streamed down my face as well as hers. I remembered the treats that she would give me after we moved into the Village, I asked, "Before I went into hiding, every time I walked past the Bakery, you would come out and give me a treat. You always made me hug you for the treat. You had the same look on your face a few moments ago, why?"

A depressed look came across Frau Lipmanís face. More tears again came to her eyes. She tilted her head slightly and glanced at the ceiling and said, "Tim, I lost Karl to those devils. It was too late for me to have another child. I become very depressed when I thought of Karl. When you moved in and I saw you, you reminded me of Karl when he was your age. You replaced the joy and happiness that Karl had given me. Your actions were very much like his. A very emotional feeling came to me every time I saw you. Every moment that I was with you was like being with Karl. You brought memories of happier times back into my life. I want to thank you for bringing a little of Karl back into my life."

I hugged Frau Lipman and said, "It makes me very proud that you chose me to take Karlís place in your life. Every time you hugged me, it sent a feeling of love through my body. I had the same feeling when Mutti hugged me. I remember a couple of times I almost called you Mutti."

We were still hugging each other. Frau Lipman said, "I wish you would call me Mutti. It would give me a wonderful feeling to hear someone calling me Mutti again. Will you?"

I pulled away from Frau Lipman and smiled then said, "Yes Mutti," we both smiled and chuckled, "I will call you Mutti from now on."

I looked up to the heavens with tears rolled down my cheeks and I thought of my own Mutti and said to myself, "Mutti I hope you donít mind me calling Frau Lipman Mutti."

In my mind I could hear Mutti telling me that she was happy that Frau Lipman would be my new Mutti. 

It surprised me when I heard Frau Lipman say, "I know your Mutti wouldnít mind. She is a very nice lady. If it bothers you can call me Hilda. Tim you must be hungry by now. Let me fix breakfast for you."

I was wondering how she knew I was thinking about my Mutti. I looked into Hilda eyes and said, "Mutti, I am starved. I have not eaten since yesterday morning."

A smile came across her face. Hilda told me to lie down and take a nap while she fixed breakfast. As I laid there I could smell the aroma of the food cooking. It brought back memories of my Mutti preparing breakfast. Marie and Hans ate most of their meals at the Rathskeller. They only warmed up the food they ate at home. Most of the time I did not warm up the plate that Marie had made for me. I was so hungry that I gulped the food down even though it was ice cold.

Frau Lipman called to me to come down stairs. Cautiously, I walked down the stairs. Even though a part of me trusted Frau Lipman, the other side of me did not. I expected to see a row of Nazi soldiers in the Bakery waiting for me. I did not know what to expect when I reached the bottom step. I peeked around the corner to see if anyone outside the Bakery could see me. All of the shades were closed. I hurried across the room to where Hilda was standing. She told me to take a seat. She poured me a tall glass of milk. A plate of butter with a loaf of bread was next to my plate. I was so hungry that I wanted to grab the whole loaf and eat it. I waited patiently for Hilda. First she gave me a bowl of hot cereal with honey. She nudged me and told me to go ahead. She looked down at me with the same expression my Mutti had when she watched me eat. Hilda stroked the back of my head. My eyes glisten from the warmth that came from Hilda. Hilda bent over and kissed me on my forehead. I did not want her to see the tears starting to emerge from my eyes. I lowered my head so she could not see my eyes. After I finished the cereal, she gave me a large plate of eggs and sausage. She buttered a couple slices of bread for me and refilled the glass with milk. I ate until I was stuffed. I could not eat another bite. I had not had a meal like this for a long time. I cherished every bite. I noticed Hilda looking at me with the same smile she had before. I looked up at her and said, "Mutti, this is the first warm meal I have had since I went into hiding. I have never tasted anything so wonderful. I wanted to enjoy every bite. I donít want the taste to end. I held the food in my mouth for as long as I could. I donít know when I will have another meal that tastes so good." 

Hilda interrupted me and said, "Tim, you can have a meal just like this every morning. I would love to have you stay here with me. I know you need company and so do I. You must have been very lonely. I know how lonely it has been without having Leo with me for the past two years. I would love to have you stay with me. This is a big building and no one beside me has been up those stairs in the last two years. You will be safe here with me. Not only will we have the company of each other. I will give you anything that you want to eat."

What an offer. One side of me wanted to stay. The other side of me wanted to go back into hiding. I wasnít sure what I wanted to do. I looked up at Hilda and said, "I donít know what to say. Every moment that I have been out of hiding, I have been afraid that someone would grab me and drag me down the street. I am constantly looking around expecting someone to appear and take me away as they have taken all the other that were paraded down the streets.  I have become accustomed to the security I had where I was hiding. I havenít had the fear that is going through me now for a long time. I want to stay here with you very much. The fear that is in my body is telling me to go back into hiding. I donít know which side I should give in to. Since I have to be here for the remainder of the day, let me think about it."

"Tim, I am not going to make you do anything that you donít want to do. It will be your decision. You have been up all night. Go upstairs and take a nap in Karlís room. You can think about it later."

After breakfast we both took a nap for a couple of hours. I woke up when someone started banging on the door. Fear ran through my body. I followed Hilda down the stairs. I stopped on the bottom step and watched as my new Mutti open the shades on the door. There were a couple of Nazi soldiers standing outside demanding that she sell them some bread. She pointed to the note on the window. That didnít satisfy them. She put up a finger as to tell them to wait a minute. She came back with two packages of dough and two loaves of day old bread. She open the door just enough to ask them which one they wanted. The soldiers took the bag with the dough. She told the soldiers they could eat it raw or bake it themselves. She quickly closed the door and locked it. They left carrying the dough with them.

Later that day she started preparing the breads and pastries for the following day. She had stored all the dough that she had made this morning in a refrigerated room. She said that it may not be as fluffy as it usually is. But, she was not going to through it out.

That evening Frau Lipman prepared a wonderful dinner for me. This was my second wonderful meal. My last warm dinner was on the night they took my parents away. At dinner, Frau Lipman questioned me about my safety at the place where I was hiding. She told me that I must not be caught on the streets without an identification card. Proudly, I showed Frau Lipman my identification. Frau Lipman said, "Tim where did you get this?"

With pride I said, "I made it myself."     

I saw the look in Hilda face. I have to confess. My artwork wasnít that good. Hilda politely said, "Honey, you did a good job. But, it you get caught on the street without a proper identification you will never get out of prison. They may take you out and shoot you. They show no mercy for anyone who doesnít have a proper identification. Come with me."

We went to Karlís room and Frau Lipman retrieved Karlís identification from a drawer. She showed it to me. I looked at the identification card that I made and then looked at Karlís.  I had let my desire for freedom blind my better judgment. A little embarrassed, I said, "I see what you mean. I wanted to get out of my hideout, and walk the street so much that I was willing to take the chance."

"Honey, donít take chances with your life. Some of those fools will kill you just for the fun of it. That is a picture of your father, you are much younger. I can take a picture of you and put it on Karlís identification. If they ask you if you are my son, tell them that you are my brother-in-law son. My brother-in-law was killed on the Russian front about 6 months ago. If they ask about your mother, tell them she left you and your father a long time ago. You lived with your fatherís girl friend. After your father was killed, your fatherís girl friend sent you here."

Questioning, I said, "They will think it funny that cousins have the same name. Everyone in this area will be asking question if they see me on the street."

"Tell them that your father and your uncle Leo never communicated with each other and they didnít know that they both had named their sons after your father and your great grandfather."

I questioned Hilda, "Does anyone in town know Karl?"

"Everyone knows about my Karl and Leo brother Karl. No one knows if my brother-in-law had a son. My brother-in-law never got married. He had girl friends all over Europe. After Leo died there was no other member of Leoís family living except Karl. Now he is dead."

I asked, "Frau Lipman, I mean Mutti, is Hilda your first name?í

Hilda smiled, ran her hand across the back of my head. Still smiling she said, "Yes, I have something I want to show you."

Hilda went down stairs and came back with a package. In the package were the personal effects of her brother-in-law and his identification card. I asked, "Where did you get this."

"The Nazis sent them to Leo. I started to throw them away, I knew that Karl was a Nazi and I hated Nazis. Here is his Nazi identification card."

I looked at the card. Karl looked a lot like Leo. I was reluctant to accept the identity of a Nazi as my father. I said, "I donít know if Mutti and Papa would like it if I took a Nazi for a father."

With a stern look on her face, Hilda said, "Tim, at this time you cannot stand on principals. Your life is more important. If Fritz or anyone else sees you and they think that you are Tim, your chances of survival is a lot better with an identification of a Nazi father. You and I know it not the true. Do you still have your passport? Where are your parentís papers?"

"Yes my father gave me all of his papers before the soldiers came to carry them away. I have them hidden. I donít think anyone will find them."

I was not sure if I wanted the Villagers thinking that my father was a Nazi. I thought that my parent would be disappointed if I pretended that Karl Lipman was my father. We went to bed early. I was exhausted. I had not been up this long in years. As soon as I lay down, I was asleep.

The following morning we go up early. It never entered my mind to go back into hiding. With all the shades pulled, I helped my new Mutti reform the dough and put them in the oven. When they were baked, I could not see any different than the usual loaves. With my help we finished earlier. But, by the time we finished, it was too late for me to go back into hiding. I decided to stay with Frau Lipman for one more day. During the day, every sound that I heard made me jump. I had not been this scared for a long time. I had been jumpy every moment since I left my hideout. I was going to go back and live with the Bergers. I did not like the felling that was controlling my body. I could not relax.

While Hilda was making her deliveries, I tried to take a nap. Every sound frightened me. I could not shake the fear that was running through my body. When Hilda returned, I was nervously exhausted. Hilda noticed the fear and stress that covered my face. She tried to console me. With Hildaís love and affection, gradually the fear faded a little.

Like the other meals that Hilda had made for me, the dinner was wonderful. For desert, there were some of the same pastries like the ones that I had stolen from Hans. I asked Hilda if she supplied the Rathskeller with pastries. Hilda said, "Yes, why do you ask?"

I did not want to tell her that I had been eating pastries that she had made for the last four years. I hesitated; I was trying to think of something to tell her. If I told her where I had seen the pastries, she would know where I was staying. Now I had gotten myself in a corner and did not know how to get out of it. Finally I said, "Before I went into hiding Mutti and Papa took me to the Rathskeller for dinner. I had one that looked like this one."

Hilda knew that she had just started making that particular pastry a year ago. He could have confused it with another Pastry that she had made. It had been a long time since Tim had been in Rathskeller. Tim felt his answer satisfied Hilda. He was wrong. It put a question in the back of her mind. It wasnít similar to one of the other pastries that she had made. She did make an issue of it.

Each day I got up with plans to go back into hiding. During the day, I would find a reason why I should not or could not go back into hiding that day. The days turned into weeks and the weeks became a month. The main reason that I did not go back into hiding, I saw the work load Hilda had. To do all the work that is required to run the Bakery Hilda must have work around the clock. Hilda defiantly needed my help. I wonder how she could have run the Bakery alone. How many hours a day did she have to work? If I had done all the work that Hilda did, I would be behind even if I work around the clock. I could not have done what she had been doing alone. With my help we still had to work 14 to 15 hours every day. Even though I tried to take the load off of her, what she had to do was still too much for a woman her age. I pressured her to take it easy; she would not listen to me. As the days passed, I could not leave her. There was too much for her to do alone. I felt that if she continued, she would eventually kill herself working these hours. As young as I was, I was exhausted at the end of the day.

I had put off going back into hiding to long. I loved the freedom of being out of my hole in the wall, Hildaís company, the hot meals and her love won me over.  I enjoyed helping Hilda in the Bakery, I felt alive again. Hildaís cooking was wonderful.  I no longer had the depression that I had when I was in my hole. Eventually, my loneliness would have driven me to talk to Marie. Hans would find out about it and tell the Nazis. With the mood that I was in, I would not have cared if I lived or died.

My fears lessened a little every day I was with Hilda.  I had wanted this freedom.  Now that I had it, I did not want to give it up. Yet, I was still afraid that I would be caught. The security that I had felt while I was in my hole in the wall, felt more secure. There were hundreds of things that sent shock waves of fear through my body. When the shades were drawn, every shadow that passed the Bakery sent a streak of fear through me. Every unusual sound made me jump. Surprisingly, I was starting to recognize the sounds and the shadows. Little by little, the shadows and noises no long bothered me. Charlie said to me, "Donít be too sure of yourself. When you let your guard down, that is when they will find you."

The worse part of living with Hilda was when she made her deliveries. Someone would rattle the front door trying to get in, even though there was a closed sign on the door. I would hide in the attic until the rattling stopped. Then I would creep down the stair expecting someone to jump out of a room. Slowly this fear started to subside. I had been living with my new Mutti for over a month. I was helping Hilda with all the chores, including preparing the pastries and orders for delivery. I was proud of myself. I had learned the art of preparing the breads and pastries. Hilda did not have to waste her time looking over my shoulder to see if I had screwed up. This was a great help to Hilda. It gave us more time to relax and enjoy each other.

Tim, alias Karl:

Hilda took a picture of me and had it developed in the City. She knew that no one would question the pictures. The studio had hundreds of customers. Somehow, Hilda removed her sonís picture from his card. She glued my picture to Karlís identification card. Hilda removed the birth date and the identification number on Karlís card. Hilda put in a birth date for me. It made me two years younger than I was. She put in the same identification number as her brother-in-laws, Karl. I wanted to know why Hilda had changed my birthday.

She smiled at me and said, "Honey, rumors are that the war will last for another four years. They will put you in the Nazi army in a year or so if I put in your real birth date. This way you will have a few more years before you will have to hide again."

At times, I was still torn between going back to my hideout in my home and staying with Hilda. Somehow I still felt safer with Hans and Marie, the freedom to walking around the Bakery was still new to me.

Hilda talked me into going along with her plan. For the following week we discussed how she would introduce me to the neighborhood. Hildaís plan was to tell her customer that she had to close the Bakery for a few days and she would double the delivery the day before and she would be back on Sunday afternoon. She would tell them that she had to go pick up her nephew. His father was killed on the Russian front and he had been living with a friend of his father. She had spread the story around for about a week to let the neighbors digest the story.

During the week, it appeared the story had spread across the Village and into the City. The Villagers and the Nazis were looking forward to welcoming a heroís son. Some of the Villagers had known Karl and they were curious of what Karlís son would look like. I had two traits of Karl. I was tall and had blond hair. Hilda had shown me pictures of Karl when he was my age. Besides being tall and blond, there was no other likeness between Karl and me. Even though I had agreed to go along with Hilda idea, I was not quite sure I wanted to go public any time soon. Knowing that in a few days I would be introduced to the Villagers as Karl Lipman, this had heightened the fears in my body. The closer it came to the weekend, the more fearful I became. On Friday night I could not fall asleep. The adrenaline was being pumped through my body I was awake all night. Fear was racking my brain. When the alarm rang, I jumped with fear running through my body. I must have dozed off. Hilda was already up and had fixed breakfast. I hurried and finished my breakfast. We had prepared the bread and pastries the night before. The bread was already baked and the pastries were ready to be decorated. I helped Hilda decorate the pastries and arrange the orders. It was still dark outside. Hilda had parked her truck behind the Bakery as she usually does when she loads the truck for her deliveries. There was a long box in the rear of the truck where she carried the pastries. The box had a false bottom. It was much deeper than it looked. She put a few blankets and pillows in the box. Hilda picked out one of Karlís suits for me to wear. We packed a small suitcase for me. I helped Hilda load the truck with the bread and pastries. We put the pastries to one side of the pastry box. We had been loading the truck in the dark. The skies started to lighten. Hilda looked to see if anyone was watching. She didnít see anyone.  I jumped into the back of the truck and climbed into the pastry box. Hilda covered me with blankets, put a board over the top me, added the pastries and shut the box. Hilda made the local deliveries and then headed for the City. What a ride. Every time she stopped or make a delivery I expected the board over me to be removed and a soldier would be there pointing a gun at me. When Hilda entered the back of the truck to collect the bread and pasties for her customers, I thought someone other than Hilda was in the back of the truck. At times she would tell me to be quiet and do not move around. I could not move. I did not have enough room to move. I heard Hilda talking to her customers that came to help her with their orders. When they moved the pastries, I thought that they would lift the board that was under the pastries. Fear would creep back into my body. At times I would hold my breath. I expected the worst. I was also in pain. I thought that my bladder would burst. When Hilda told me that she had finished her deliveries, I told her about my problem. She found a deserted spot along the road and we both hid in the woods.

Hilda drove for about an hour to a recreational area in a forest with an adjoining lake. She and Leo had camped and fished here for many years. It felt wonderful to be out of the box. Hilda and I took long walks in the forest and she told me about everyone in the neighborhood, who she felt that she could trust and whom she feared. I did not want to trust anyone. We spent Saturday night sleeping in the back of the truck. Hilda had thought of everything. She had brought along some wood to make a fire to warm the food that she had prepared. Saturday night we sat in front of the fire talking. With the huge over-hanging trees, in the daytime you could not see the shy. It was pitch black after the sun went down. During the night, I expected to see soldiers coming out of the darken woods around us. Thankfully, we did not see anyone during the two days that we were there. We heard vehicles passing on the highway a couple thousand meters down a dirt road that entered the park. It surprised me that no one else had come to the park. It was a beautiful place. I could understand why Hilda and Leo chose this park to visit.

We woke up Sunday morning to a beautiful day. After breakfast, we cleaned up the mess we had made. Again we took a long walk and talked about or neighbors. In the middle of the afternoon we drove back to our Village. I rode in the front seat with Hilda. At each checkpoints fear flooded my body. I tried not to show the fear in my reactions. I was relieved when the soldiers did not question me about my identification card. I held my breath expecting the soldiers to reach inside the truck and drag me out. I was thankful that none of the soldiers questioned me about my identification. After that fear had left me another fear engulfed my body. What was going to happen when the villagers saw me? When we reached the Village, Hilda deliberately parked in front of the Bakery. She wanted to show me off to the Villagers. Hilda felt that if she had sneaked me into the Village everyone might get suspicious. By parading me in front of all of the neighbors, it would not bring out any suspicion from our neighbors.  I was scared to death. I thought that my fears would show. I did my best to act normal and not to be afraid. Hilda whispered to me, "Relax, you are a son of a hero. Stand up straight and look proud of yourself. I sat up straight, through my shoulder back, pushed my chest out and smiled as I got out of the truck. Inside of me, I was scared to death.

Karl (Tim) meets his new (old) neighbors:

Hildaís story had spread throughout the Village. No sooner had she parked the truck, they all came out of the shops and homes to welcome a heroís son. I looked at all the smiling faces. I was afraid that someone might recognize me. I saw Hans and Marie heading for the Bakery. When Hans came over to welcome me, I said with a smile on my face, "How do you do Herr Berger."

Hans looked surprised. For a moment he stood there stunned then he said, "How do you know my name."

"Aunt Hilda told me all about my new neighbors. She described you and Frau Berger, and all the other Villagers. She told me where everyone in the Village lived. She told me that you donít buy any of her pastries. You get them from the Rathskeller where you work. Did you know that Aunt Hilda supplies the Rathskeller?"

Marie laughed; Hans blushed and said, "Yes, I do bring home the leftover pastries from the Rathskeller. Your Aunt Hilda is a wonderful baker. Her breads are delicious also, and we buy her bread quite often."

I smiled and said, "You will have to buy bread from her more often, now that she has another mouth to feed."

Marie smiled, caressed my cheek and whispered to me, "That will be the day. He is the biggest tightwad in the Village."

Hilda, Marie and Hans all had looked at me with a suspicious look on their faces. I felt a sinking feeling running through my body. What did I have to open my big mouth? How did I know that he took things home from the Rathskeller? My first day on the streets of my Village, I made a fool of myself? Marie and maybe Hans now knew that I was living under their noses. Charlie told me I was a damn fool for opening my big fat mouth. The sinking feeling did not want to go away. I wonder if it showed in my face and my demeanor.

The way that Marie looked at me, the way she caressed my cheek, I felt that she knew I was the one that she had been feeding for the last four year. The look in her eyes, the smile that she gave me and the quick glances she took of me, I was certain that she knew who I was. Except for a few Nazi that moved in on the block, I was the only other new resident. This made me feel uneasy. If Marie knew, how many more would know. I could sense that she knew who I was. When Marie caught me taking a peek at her, I felt that she must know that I am the one that she had been feeding. No one was taking the food that she had left for me. I wondered what she thought when I no longer ate the food that she prepared. When she and Hans walked back to their home, she turned and looked at me with a smile on her face and winked. The expression on her face told me that she knew who I really was. The sinking feeling that was running through my body got worse. Now I wasnít sure if I could go back and live in my hideout. I would have to find another place to hide. Had Marie found a picture of me and seen the resemblance. I thought that I had taken all the pictures of me and my family into my hideout. She had found a letter to Mutti from my grandmother. Had she found a picture of me? Does she know that I am Tim Williams? When I was living in my hole she thought that I was Tim Williams. I tried to shake the fear and relax, I could not. I wonder what would come of this incident. I did not know, only time will tell.

I was introduced to all of my new neighbors, except for Fritz. Where was that bastard? Some of the newer neighbors came out and stood on their front door steps and watched. I was wondering what they were thinking. The soldier did not mingle either. They just gave the crowd a wide burst and stared at me and the crowd. Thankful, no one ask about the real Karl Lipman. I was not sure what I would say to them about Karl if they asked. They simple expressed their condolences and lied about what a wonderful man Karl was. From what Hilda had told me, only a few people in the Village ever knew the real Karl. They knew of him, but they really did not know him. He had left home right after he finished high school. From what Hilda had told me, underneath that cold smile, he was a tyrant. Fritz and a few of the Nazis around the village grew up with Karl. Karl was the one that most of them looked up to. He was the leader of the little hoodlums.

The crowd thinned out, we eased our way into the Bakery. Hilda thanked them all for coming.  Hilda had overheard someone say that I knew an awful lot about my new neighbors. She tried to smooth out the incident by telling everyone that she wanted me to feel welcomed in my new home. She told them that she had spent the whole day telling me about everyone in the Village.

After we went inside and finished preparing for tomorrows orders. Hilda made us a slight snack. While we were eating I remember that I had insinuated that Hans was stealing pastries from the Rathskeller. I realized that he must have been very embarrassed, especially in front of all the Villagers. This had been bothering me since the moment the words came out of my mouth. He would be wondering how Hilda knew that he was taking the pastries home with him. I told Hilda I had made a big mistake by accusing Hans of stealing pastries from the Rathskeller. Hilda agreed. I asked her if I could make amends by taking him some pastries to make up for my comments. Hilda told me that it was a good idea. I shouldnít start off making enemies and offending my new neighbors. From what I had said to Hans, I think it gave Hilda a hint to where I had been hiding. She had not told me that Hans and Marie worked at the Rathskeller. I had been in hiding for a long time before they moved in. I had noticed that she gave me a strange look when I made the remark about Hans taking pastries from the Rathskeller. The way Hilda look at me when I opened my big mouth, was she wondering how I knew that Hans was taking pastries from the Rathskeller or was it because I accused him of stealing from the Rathskeller. She had not mentioned anything to me about the Bergers. The incident had sparked a little curiosity in Hilda.

Knowing the Bergers schedule, the following morning, I was at their front door when they came out to go to work. I gave them the pastries. Hans was polite but he was still a little upset.  Marie thought that I was a doll. With the same suspicious smile that Marie had given me the day before, she complemented me and said that I was quite a gentleman for what I had done. As I was walking away I heard Marie give Hans hell. She told him that I was a young boy and was just repeating what Frau Lipman had said about him. After I walked into the Bakery I watched the Bergers as they passed the Bakery. Marie was still at it, she was giving Hans hell. They were heading for the trolley that took them to City, as they did every morning.

The next few weeks went by rather smoothly. I helped Hilda in the Bakery with the shades up. I could see what was going on outside. I no longer had to worry about the shadows passing by outside. I made the deliveries in the Village on an old bicycle with big baskets attached. Leo had used the bicycle to make deliveries to the homes and businesses in the Village. Hilda made the deliveries to businesses in and around the City in her truck. While she was out of the shop, I was alone. My fear increased when I was alone in the Bakery. Fortunately, I became friendly with most the customers, even the Village drunk, Alfons; he came around every morning for his breakfast and dinner package. Hilda had been preparing a package for him for years. The following morning he would return the dirty dishes. One morning when we were alone, he smiled at me and said, "Danke schon Herr Williams."

A cold chill ran through my body. All the strength in body melted away. I thought that I would collapse. I tried to keep my composure and said, "You are welcome Herr Hafner. How are you today?"

"Not to good. I think Fritz put something in my bottle of wine. It didnít taste like it usually does."

He sat down and had his breakfast. He looked up at me. He must have seen the beads of perspiration and fear on my face. He said, "Donít worry Tim; I want tell those bastards who you are."

When Hafner call me Tim again, another cold chill of fear ran through my body. Then within seconds a wonderful feeling of relief flashed through my body. Something within me knew that Alfons would never tell the Nazis who I was. My strength started to come back. I asked, "How did you know that I am Tim Williams?"

"Tim, I have seen you peeking out your attic window for a long time. I know your parents would be proud of you. Your secret is safe with me. I will never tell anyone. I want to thank you for chasing those soldiers away. When they threw me into the street my head hit the curb. Thankful, I did not pass out. I did not move. I was hoping they would go away. If I had fought back they would have killed me on the spot. I donít know why they have not sent me to a concentration camp and killed me. I have been hoping they would. It would put me out of my misery. They have shipped all the other winos to concentration camps. If they shipped me to a concentration camp they would not have anyone else to pick on. You should not have done what you did. You could have been caught. If they had found you, they would have killed you."

I took a deep breath and said, "I could not stop myselfÖ..I could not let them do that to youÖ..I wanted to go down on the street and take on all the soldier."

Alfons smiled and said, "Tim, donít put yourself in danger for me. You still have a long life ahead of you. I can take care of myself."

The chills of fear were subsiding. I took another deep breath and said, "I almost fainted when you called me by my name. I wonder how many others know who I am. Thanks, for not telling anyone where I was hiding. Where did you go after the soldiers came over to my home?"

Alfons looked up at me with his bloodshot eyes and said, "I hid in the alley across the streetsÖÖ If any of the Villagers thinks or knows that you are Tim, they are probably too scared to tell anyone. If they were wrong, they would be afraid that the Nazis would kill them for pointing a finger at a Nazi heroís son. They are all too scared to open their mouths and talk about anyone. They are afraid if they offend a Nazi, the Nazi would have them killed."

Sill looking into his bloodshot eyes, I remarked, "Why donít you give up drinking? My parents almost had you weaned from the bottle. Hilda would give you a job here if you quit drinking"

Alfons shook his head and said, "I know. After what they did to your parents, I tried to blind my thoughts of what they had done to your parents and the rest of the villagers. I have tried many times to stop drinking and it hasnít worked. I think I will die a drunk."

For a moment, I was ashamed of what I had said. As he was leaving, without thinking I said, "Have a good day and try harder."

I watched Alfons as he wobbled down the alley. I heard the bell on the front door. I hurried to the front of the Bakery. It was just another customer. This morning seemed to be busier than usual.

Dr. Von Gould:

Hilda was still making her deliveries. It appeared as if everyone in the Village came to the Bakery during the time she was making her deliveries. There were at least 10 people, if not more, in the Bakery. Why did they all come in at the same time? I was working my butt off. My neighbor Dr. Von Gould came into the Bakery. He did not welcome me the day that I became Karl Lipman. He lived in the house next door to my parentís home. Everyone called him Doc. To me he looked like he was 100 years old, if not older.  Years ago, when I first met Doc, he would greet me with a magic trick. He would pull a schilling out of my ear. When I was younger, I would wonder how the coin got into my ear. As I grew older, I knew that it was a slight of hand trick and I told my parents. My mother told me, if it made the old man happy, just play along with him. I didnít mind, I always got a schilling every time I met Doc.

Gradually the crowd cleared out. Doc. was standing at the window looking up and down the street. I walked over to Doc and said, "Guten Morgen."

The old gentlemen spun around, reached up, and removed a schilling from my ear. He smiled at me and said, "Guten Morgen to you my good man. I havenít done that trick for a long time. How have you been Tim?"

Fear raced through my body. Again, I felt like my legs were going to collapse under me.  For a moment I could not speak or move. I didnít know what to do. I could not say anything. First it was Alfons now its Doc, how many others know that I am Tim Williams. Does everyone in the Village know that I am Tim? If I had the strength I would have dashed out and went back into hiding. I didnít say a word. Doc saw the beads of perspiration starting to pop up across my face. Doc tried to put me at ease; he apologized to me and told me that he would not tell anyone about my secret.

Doc waved his hands over my face and snapped his finger then said. "Tim from now on you will not become frightened when someone calls you Tim. You will smile at the person and ask them why they called you Tim. You will not show any fear or be frightened."

Doc snapped his finger again, and then he said, "Remember Tim, you will be relaxed when someone calls you Tim."

I was dazed for a few moments. I saw the tears coming to the old manís eyes. He smiled at me. I smiled also and said, "Doc how long have you known?"

"Since the very beginning, I want to apologize to you and your family. I have been living alone since my wife died 30 years ago. There are only a couple of meters between our two houses. I could hear most of everything your family said. When I started to lose my hearing, I made a listening device. With my listening device I could eavesdrop on your family, I could hear everything that was going on in your home. These were very pleasant moments for me. Listening to you and your parentís, and the love you shared for each other were the happiest moments of my life. It took away my loneliness. I became a part of your family. I always looked forward to the next day. I have cried every time I think of the night they took your parents away. Like you, they had taken part of my family away. The noise of the soldiers hollowing woke me up. I turned on my listening device. I heard your mother and father hiding you in the attic. I had heard them talking about the possibility that they may have to hid you. I had heard your father working in the attic. Your parents loved you and they wanted you to survive the onslaught of the Nazis."

I asked, "Were you listening after they took my parents away."

"Yes, I could hear you running around the house. I wanted to take you in. But, I was afraid. I was afraid I would scare you. I had heard your father telling you not to let anyone in the house, not even your friends. I could not overcome my fear. You are more of a man than I have ever been."

I prepared coffee and some pastries for Doc. Between customers Doc and I talked for a long time. Doc brought me up to date on what was going on between Hans and Marie. We laughed about the tricks that I had played on them. Doc told me that they were still fighting amongst themselves. Doc had wondered what had happened to me when he could no longer hear me roaming around the house. For a while, he thought that I was not roaming around the house when he was listening. As the weeks passed, he felt that something had happened to me or I had been taken away when he was not listening. He went through a period of depression until he watched my entrance into the Village. He was greatly relieved that I was safe and nothing had happened to me.

Doc had heard the gossip that the son of Karl Lipman was coming to the village. He knew Karl and he felt that his son would be a carbon copy of his father. He did not have the desire to welcome Karlís son to the Village. He felt that Karlís son would be as ruthless as his father. He had seen the ruthlessness of Karl and he did not want to go through the same ruthlessness from his son.

I asked Doc many questions about the residents in the Village. I wanted to know who I could trust and who I could not. Since he and Alfons knew that I was Tim, I wondered how many of my neighbors knew that I was Tim Williams. Doc said, "Do not trust anyone. The fewer people that know that you are Tim Williams, your chances are better of getting away with being Karl Lipman. I would not worry about them; they are as scared of the Nazis as everyone else is. They spend more time worrying about their own lives than to think about you and who you are."

For the past few hours, Doc reassured me that he would never tell anyone that I was Tim Williams. Doc reminded me of all the times my mother had sent me to his house with food while he was in bed with a broken leg. Doc had tried to give me a few schilling, but Mutti had told me that the food was a gift and not to take any money from Doc. Of course I wanted spending money for sweets and toys. But, Mutti insisted that I never take money for a gift.

I recalled the old cuckoo clock that Doc had in his office. I always laughed every time it went off. It did not sound like all the other cuckoo clocks. It had a cuckoo of its own. I asked him if he still had the cuckoo clock. Doc told me that he did and it was still working and still had that same comical cuckoo. I asked Doc if he still worked at the hospital. Doc told me that he had retired before I went into hiding. I asked him not to tell Hilda where I had been hiding. If someone found out that I was Tim, I would have to go back into hiding. I didnít want Hilda to know. They may torture her trying to find out where I was hiding. Doc promised me that he would not tell Hilda or anyone where I had been hiding. I told Doc that Alfons came in this morning for his breakfast and he called me Tim also. I asked Doc, "Do you think that Alfons will tell anyone?"

With sincerity, Doc shook his head and said, "I have known Alfons for a long time. He hates almost everyone in the Village except for Hilda and your parents. They are the only ones in the Village that have ever showed him any respect. I think your secret is safe with him. Alfons worked for the tax department for many years. He watched the Nazi government robbing the taxpayers. He couldnít take the strain and started drinking. They fired him and he has been wasting away ever since. He was one of the best accountants in the country. Alfons and I have discussed his problems. He is determined to kill himself drinking. Alfons told me if he wasnít fired he would have killed himself. We also have talked about you living in the attic. We felt that you were safer living there than anywhere else. The Gestapo had search the house already and could not find you. They would think itís fruitless to search again."

I said, "Alfons saw me peeking out of my attic window. I wonder how many more have seen me peeking out the window. I donít remember seeing him looking up at me."

Doc smiled and said, "Alfons is like a fly on the wall. No one ever notices him. Everyone thinks he is stupid and crazy. He is a very intelligent man and well educated. His problem is that he hates almost everyone. Most people ignore him and they talk when he is around as if he isnít there. He knows how everyone in the Village feels about the Naziís. When you have a few moments invite him inside and get to know him. He will give you the pulse of the Village. He knows who is doing it and to whom."

Doc snickers and I blushed. I knew what Doc was talking about. Doc got up to leave. I thanked Doc and gave him a few pastries to take home with him. We hugged each other and I walked him to the door. I watched him cross the street and go into his home.

Two people knew that I was Tim, how many more know that I am Tim? When Hilda came home, I told her what had happened. She just listened, and then started preparing for tomorrowís orders. From the look on Hilda face, I knew that something was bothering her. I wondered if she thought that Doc and Alfons would say something to the authorities. When Hilda was like this I didnít bother her. For about an hour Hilda didnít say a word. Then out of the blue she said, "I donít think either one will say anything. They are always alone and no one bothers with them. No one associates with either one of them. All of the old folks that were Docís friends have passed away. The other Villagers didnít talk to him before and they donít associate with him now. As far as Alfons, he listens to everyone, but he never talks to anyone. I will talk to him when he comes for his breakfast tomorrow. I am sure that everything will be all right, they will not tell anyone. What bothers me is how many other people know that you are Tim?"

I sensed that Hilda wished that she had not suggested that I take the identity as the son of Karl Lipman. For the remainder of the day, I caught Hilda looking at me with a worried look on her face. She was less talkative than usual. I since what she must be going through. When we were alone later that day, I went over to Hilda and gave her a hug and kissed her on the cheek. I told her that I was glad that I came out of hiding. I enjoyed living with her. I loved the freedom of being outside with the rest of the world and I was sure that no one would bother us. Down deep inside on me, I did not believe what I was telling Hilda. I donít think Hilda believed what I said either.

As the weeks and months passed, no one else came around and called me Tim. Each day that went by, I felt a little more certain that no one else knew that I was Tim or they did not mention it to me. Occasionally Marie would drop in for a loaf of bread. She would give me the same suspicious smile every time she was near me. I felt that I could read her mind and she was saying, "I know who you are. I know that you have watched me take my bath every night. I know you emptied the plates that I left in the icebox for you. You are the one that played trick on Hans and me. You are the one that took Hansí and my money and returned it all to me."

When Marie was near me she would put her arm around me and stroke my back or look up at me and caress by cheeks. At times when I escorted Marie to the door, I felt she was hinting for me to kiss her. With all of her affection, it gave me a wonderful feeling that filled my whole body. She was so warm and affectionate. Every time I was close to her, I had to hold back my desire to take her into my arms. As before, fear had kept me away from Marie. As she walked out of the Bakery and walked across the street, she would look over at me with a rejected look on her face. Sometimes she would throw me a kiss. Was she telling me that she love me as much as I loved her or was she telling me that she knew who I was? In me, there was a deep emotional feeling for Marie. She was my first love. Did she see my love for her in my eyes? Did she like me? Was that the reason that she gave me a sensuous look? At times when I was thinking about Marie, I could not get her out of my mind. I would be working and Hilda would see me with a blank look on my face and say, "Tim, what are you thinking about. You look like you are in another world."

I would pop out of my thoughts and blush. I thought Hilda knew that I was day dreaming about Marie nude body. I would lie to Hilda and say, "Nothing really. I was just thinking about the past and what is going to happen to me in the future."

I was not really lying to Hilda. I was thinking about Marie and the thoughts were of the past. Did Marie like me? The lust I had for Marie was taking over my body. Would I ever be able to make love with Marie? There were other young girls in the Village; none of them had excited me like Marie had. I tried to shake her from my mind, I could not.

As time passed, Doc and I became inseparable. I never dreamed that my dearest friend would be old enough to be my Great, Great Grandfather. We spent many enjoyable hours together. There was never a dull moment. There was always a smile on our faces. Doc made my life wonderful. Just sitting around and talking about anything and everything sent a felling of excitement through my body.

I still had moments that by voice failed me and I had difficulty pronouncing some words. Doc taught me how to perform self-hypnoses, this helps some. When my voice did not want to cooperate, I would go to my room where I could be alone for a while. I would sit or lie down and relax. I would go through the routine that Doc had taught me. Surprisingly, my voice would return to normal.

Doc listening Device:

Doc had told me about his listing device. One evening he introduced me to the device. It was located in a small room on the side of his home only a few meters from my home. He kept the door locked and the shade was pulled. He had this large leather chair that would recline. A cabinet next to the chair had a sliding door in it. Doc sled back the door. On the shelf was a control box with a headset on top. Doc snapped a switch on the cabinet and the meters lit up on the control cabinet. Doc told me to sit down in the chair and put on the headset. Doc pointed to a knob on the cabinet and told me to adjust the volume. As I turned the knob I could hear Hans and Marie talking. I increased the volume and it sounded like I was in the room with them.  I must have had a surprised look on my face, Doc started to laugh. I listened to the conversation between Hans and Marie; Doc watched the changing expressions on my face. I was laughing, and trying to keep from making any noise. I was afraid that Hans and Marie would hear me. Doc continued to laugh at my reactions. Doc reminded me that the Berger could see me if I had the shade open, but they could not hear me unless I shouted. After the Berger quieted down, we turned off the listening device and let the Bergers live their lives in private, the conversation returned to my problem with my voice. Doc explained to me that he had hypnotized me and had given me a post hypnotic suggestion. He told me that I had gone through a traumatic experience when I saw my parents being taken away. Doc said, "The best way I can describe what happened to you, you had two choices, only one of your choices could be accomplish. Even though you wanted to go with your parents, your brain chose to keep you quiet. You brain over road your desire to speak. Your brain forgot to turn your vocal cords back on or it did not want to."

Doc explained to me that there was no guarantee that the hypnotic session would work and I may lose my voice again. He told me that I may have to have many more sessions before I return to normal. Doc asked, "Do you understand what I am trying to explain to you?"

I was not quite sure if I could answer Doc, but I said, "I think so, my brain had two things to do at the same time and it caused a short circuit and it blew a fuse."

Doc laughed, "That pretty close. I believe you understand enough about your problem. We will try to get your voice back to normal."

I asked Doc, "Did you make the listening device to listen to my family?"

"No, no Tim. There has been a rumor since I was a kid that this old house was lined with gold coins. I have never found them. Most of the people in the Village know about the rumor. Over the years the stories have been twisted around. There must be twenty version of the story. Every now and then someone gets a bright idea they can break in and become instantly wealthy. If I didnít have the listening device they could tear down the house around me and I would not hear them. I have a socket for a headset next to my bed. The attempted robberies usually happen during the night, I have a headset next to the bed that I can put on. Many nights I fall asleep with the headset on. Also, I had to put a switch on all the windows and doors. If the front door is locked and someone opens any of the doors or windows a very loud bell will go off. Everyone in the Village can hear it. If I am alone and reading and the front door is unlocked, someone could take the house away and I would not hear them."

"Has anyone tried to brake in?"

"Yes, there have been three attempts. I have odd sleeping habits. I am usually awake when everyone else is sleeping. That is when they usually come around. The last attempt was when you were living in the attic. I had been listening to the Berger for a while and had fallen asleep. I still had the headset on and I was awakened by voices of two men trying to pry open one of the windows. I got my gun, but I didnít want to kill them. I went into the parlor and got my flash camera. I was going take a picture of them. If that didnít scare the hell out of them, I would fire a shot over their heads. The flash did the trick. They ran like scared rabbits."

"Who were they?"

"I didnít have any film in the camera and the reflection in the window blinded me."

"Who do you think it was?"

"I have no idea. I have a few good guesses. I had seen a couple of strangers hanging around the Tavern. I had noticed them sitting outside of the Tavern watching my home. They had been watching me for about a week before they attempted to break in.  I have not seen them around since that night."

Doc caught me off guard and asked, "Who is Charlie?"

I felt a little embarrassed. I stalled for a few moments. A big smile came across his face. I think he knew who Charlie was and wanted to tease me. I smiled back and said, "When I was little and didnít have anyone to play with. I invented Charlie. When I wanted someone to play with or talk to and there was no one else around, I would talk to myself. I named my imaginary friend Charlie. Did you hear me talking to Charlie?"

Still with the broad smile on his face he answered, "Yes, the first time I heard you talking to Charlie, you had me confused. The tempo of your voice and Charlieís is different. I did not know who you had confided in and was wondering if there were two people hiding in your home."

I felt a stupid streak run through my brain and was embarrassed, and said, "No Doc it was just me.  You must think I am crazy."

"No Tim, you are not crazy. I have my own Charlie, I have not named him. I think everyone has a Charlie that they can confide in. Everyone that I have known has talked to themselves in one form or another. It is a form of reasoning. You would not be normal if you did not try to resolve your problems by yourself. Sometime it is easier to reason when you say the words out loud rather than just think about them. You can also listen to your voice as well as you mind. The sound of your voice describes the feeling within you. Two ways of registering your thoughts in your brain are better than one. No Tim, you are not crazy. If you are, everyone else in the world is crazy also. My Charlie is the ugliest old fart that I have ever seen. (A slight smile came across Timís face.) When I get up in the morning and go to the bath room. I see this old bastard looking back at me. I know it has to be my Charlie. I never imagined that I would be living with an old fart that looks that terrible. I keep asking myself where did I go and where did he come from. I never liked that old bastard. "

I was about to bust my gut trying to hold back a laughing frenzy. I could not hold it back after Doc said, "If you see the old fart around here, kick his ass out of the house. I donít want him in the house."

It made me feel wonderful when Doc was happy. Hilda had told me that I had put a spark of new life back into Doc. She had not seen him this happy in years. She said that Doc sparkled with happiness when he was with me. I hated the years I was in hiding. I wished that Doc had taken me in. Unfortunately, I could not relive the past.

I let loose and started to laugh. My sides ached. Every time I looked at Doc he had this silly look on his face. He was deliberately trying to keep me laughing. I had to turn away from him and look the other way. When the laughter subsided, and I looked at Doc, he would again put that funny look on his face. The laughter would start all over again. When I finally settled down and Doc stopped putting that funny look on his face, Doc wrapped his arm around my shoulder and said, "In order to have a happy life we all have to be a little crazy. It we did not have a few laughs once and while, life would be very boring."

I felt must better about myself. Doc reassurance relieved my concern that I was going crazy. I had tried to kick Charlie out of my life and failed. He would always show up when I needed him.

For the following months every free moment that I had, I spent it with Doc. For some unknown reason Doc told me his life story. He had been a Psychiatrist for many years. Hitler had ordered unusual and unethical experiments on the minds of the Jews in Germany. High official influenced by Gestapo had started a program in Austria. This was against Docís principles and he refused to precipitate in the research. He retired and the government gave him a small pension.

After Doc and I talked about this part of his life, I noticed that the old manís eyes were a little watery. Doc looked away from me trying to hide his feeling. I think that Doc did not want me to see him crying. Doc memories of the first Jews that they brought into his hospital had returned. He remembered the fear in their faces, the crying, the pleading, and the desperation that spread across him and his staff. The poor souls did not know what they were going to do to them. All of his staffs refused to participate in psychological torture that the Germans wanted them to perform. Doc called his crew together and told them that he was going to retire. He knew his staff. He talked to each one of them separately. As suspected, like Doc none of his associates wanted to get involved in this type of research. He felt that if they all quit at the same time, there would be repercussions that none of them wanted. He told them that the best thing for them to do was to resign their position at different times. Or, requests relocation to different fields that they were trained in. Doc was the first to resign. This put the program into chaos. Without Doc leading the program and retiring, they had no one else to lead the program. Fortunately they all eventually were transferred to positions that were not as devastating as experimenting with the minds of humans. It was lucky for Doc and his crew that Austria had not united with Germany at that time. The Germans would have forced them to experiment on the minds of the poor sole.

I saw tears flowing down Doc face. I got up from my seat and walked over to Doc. I put my arm around his shoulder and asked Doc if he wanted me to go home. He replied, "Tim, a very difficult time in my life was opened up. I think I want to be along for a while. I am sorry that we have not been able to discuss your problem tonight. I know you are very interested in hypnosis and psychiatry. I promise you we will discuss the subjects at great lengths in the future. Have you been studying for the last four years?"

Proudly I answered, "Yes Sir. My mother made a schedule for me. She listed all the books that I had to study. I am two years ahead of my schedule. Hilda had put my age on my identification card two years younger than I am now. If I went back to school I would be put in a class that is four years behind my studies. Hilda told the authorities that she needed my help in order to keep the Bakery open and she did not have any other source of income. She told them that she would tutor me. They told her that they would test me at the end of the year. If I failed the test, I could no longer work with her and I would have to go back to school. I was probably studying when you could not hear me running around the house."

Doc put his hand on my shoulder and followed me to the door and thanked me for understanding his feeling. He told me that he had a similar problem to mine and he had not been able to solve his own problem. He felt that together we might be able to solve both of our problems.

Over the month to come, Doc told me many things about his life. Doc also was a Jew. His parents never insisted that he practice his religion and neither did they. But, deep within himself he respected his heritage. On the questionnaires that he had filled out over the years, he would always leave the place for religion blank. The authorities must have thought that he was an atheist. This had not bothered the Nazis. As the months passed by, Doc and I become the best of friends. When I had a free moment I would spend it with Doc. I think he enjoyed my company as much as I did his. He had been very bored and so had I. It got his sharp brain working again. He tutored me in almost every subject, told me the details of his estate and kept me up to date with what Hans and Marie were doing. Hans was sure his prayers to my parents had sent their spirits on their way. These meetings with Doc had given him a new lease on life. I could see the change in his appearance and demeanor. Docís stride had increased; he looked happier and more chipper than he had since the day he came in the Bakery to meet Karl.

Tim the Baker:

It didnít take me long to become a pastry chef. Not only was Hilda a great teacher, she knew just how much of each ingredients to use. I wrote down every detail of Hildaís recipes. If it was only a pinch I put in a pinch. If Hilda said a dash, it was a dash, one dash not two. I loved my job and the freedom. I hoped that no one else would recognize me. I tried to read the minds and faces of all of the customers. It I had suspicions about a customer, I would find out their name and tried to find out their occupation. Hilda was not familiar with some of her newer customers and they never said anything about themselves. She only knew their shopping habits at the Bakery. Between Alfons and Doc, I learned the background on most of Hildaís customers.

Tim meets Fritz:

I had made a number of deliveries to Fritzís Tavern. Usually Fritz was not there in the morning. One morning I was just leaving and Fritz came walking up to me, he said, "Karl itís about time I had a talk with you. I knew your father."

Fritz took my arm and led me to a large room in rear of the Tavern. When Fritz opened the door I saw Nazi posters on the walls. A large German flags was standing in the corner. An impulse ran through me, without thinking I saluted the flag. Fritz saluted also and shook my hand and said, "Your father was a great Nazi. I knew him when the party was just starting. I see he has brought you it up the right way. I know your Aunt Hilda doesnít like me. Donít let her wash away all the things that your father has taught you. We have many enemies out there. If you need anything just let me know. Your father would have done the same for my son if I had one. I would like to talk to you longer, but I have a meeting to go to. When I have more time, we will have a long talk. Good day, I am looking forward to our next meeting."

Fritz pointed to the door and said, "Keep in touch and if you need anything let me know. I am sorry that I canít spend more time with you today." 

Fritz shut the door behind me. I left the Tavern without saying a word to Fritz. Fritz never gave me the chance. I donít know what I would have said if he had gave me the chance. I guess saluting the Nazi flag said it all. I am still puzzled, why I saluted the flag. It was like I had no control of myself. I felt for a moment that I had stepped out of my body and someone took over my body for a few seconds. I returned to the Bakery with mixed emotions. 

I donít know why I was so excited about seeing Fritz. Was it the hate I had for him? Being that close to the man that I wanted to kill, stimulated a confused feeling within me. I couldnít wait until I told Hilda what had happened. Yet another part of me did not want me to tell Hilda. I hadnít discussed the Nazi problem with Hilda. I felt that she hated them because they killed her son. She had made derogatory remarks about them, yet something inside of me was uncertain how she really felt. Was it because Papa had emphasized that I should not trust my best friend? Deep within me, there was something that kept me uncertain on how Hilda felt about the Nazis. This had kept me from opening up the subject. I did not want to get into an argument with her.

While I waited for Hilda, my body was filling with rage. I was alone with Fritz long enough to kill him. Yet, it did not come to mind. After Hilda came back from making the deliveries in the City, I told her what had happened. Hilda reminded me that Fritz was the one that caused the Nazis to take my parents. I told her that I had heard Fritz telling the Nazi that we were Jews and I had promised my parent, that some day, I will kill Fritz, the soldiers, and the officer that took my parents away. I will pay them back for destroying my family. After hearing the words echoing in my brain, I remembered the very important words in my father instruction "Donít trust anyone, not even your very best friends."

I loved Hilda and she had put her life in danger for me. Did I put too much trust in her?  Should I be more cautious?  Hilda must have seen the hate in my face. She said, "Tim, donít do anything stupid. You have a long life ahead of you. Donít let hate deprive you of a wonderful life."

Hilda gave me a stern look and walked away.

Over the last four year, many times hate had raised its ugly head. At the moment hate had filled my body again. I tried to shake the feeling. To get my mind on something else, I swept and mopped the floors all over again. I thought if I was busy that I would not think about Fritz and the others. It did not work.

Time seemed to fly by. I had not been in my home for about six months. I was curious if Hans and Marie had missed me. Had they found my hideout? Now my desire to walk the streets freely had come to pass. Was it worth it? Some ways I wanted to go back into hiding. I was always afraid that my bubble would burst. At times I felt the Naziís would pounce on me at any moment. Without knowing what everyone was thinking when they approached me, it was driving me nuts. At times I felt like I was a missing part of a jigsaw puzzle and I didnít fit in. On the surface it looked like everyone had accepted me as Frau Lipmanís nephew, were they. This bothered me; at times, I felt that everyone knew that I was Tim and not Karl. I was paranoid and I knew it. I wondered if it was going to drive me crazy or was I already crazy. I hated this feeling and didnít want to feel like this anymore. I often wondered if I was really free. These moments of fear had come and gone a number of times during my stay with Hilda. I tried to shake the feeling and be happy. If they came to get me, at least the last six months had been enjoyable. I put my thoughts into helping Hilda with the chores. I tried to take my life one day at a time and be thankful for another day. I made my deliveries with a cheerful look on my face. All the soldiers would salute me as I rode by on Leoís bike. They had become accustom to seeing me around the Bakery and riding Leo bike. I had become friends with the ones that patrolled the streets at night. I was just start to feel a little like I was a part the puzzle and I fitted in. When I felt like this Charlie would pop up and say, "Donít be too sure of yourself."

Months would go by without seeing Fritz; I had not seen Fritz since I met him. It seemed that Fritz was never at the Tavern. Usually, if he was around, I would see him at the Tavern in the afternoon or evening. For a long time it looked like he had vanished. No one talked about his absence or seemed to care.

Hilda:

At night I laid silently in my bed reminiscing about Leo, and Karl. I enjoyed having Tim living with me. Tim had relieved some of my loneliness. I had someone to talk to and care for. I sensed the fear that still surrounded Tim. I felt that he still did not trust me completely. I wanted very much for Tim to trust me. I tried to imagine how and where he lived for the last four years. How had it affected him emotionally? I wondered if I should have encouraged Tim to stay with me. Would he have been better off where he was staying? I wanted him to open up to me and trust me. I thought that maybe his fatherís advice prohibited him from opening up to me. I thought it was best to tread lightly and not to try to get him to open up to me. Yet my desire for him to trust me was exasperating.

Tim:

When the alarm went off at 4:30 in the morning, a new workday had started. I wiped the cobwebs from my brain. I jumped into my working cloths, ran down stairs and turned on the oven. Hilda prepared the loaves of dough for the oven and I worked on the pastries.  

When Hilda and I had finished loading the dough into the oven she started preparing breakfast. The aroma of the breads stimulated our appetites. While I was eating my oatmeal Hilda sat a special loaf of bread that she had made for me on the table. It was rye bread with a number or roasted nuts ground up and mixed with the dough. My father had asked Hilda to make the bread especially for him. It brought back memories of Mutti and Papa. Papa loved the bread so much, sometimes he would eat too much of the bread before dinner and could not finish his dinner. Mutti had spent a lot of time preparing Papaís favorite dishes. Papa would eat so much bread that he could only eat a couple of bites of what Mutti had spent so much time preparing. I could tell Mutti was a little peeved at Papa. But, she never fussed at him. At times, I would look back and remember the beautiful moments with my parents. Mutti would go over and sit in Papa lap. Mutti would put her arms around Papa and kiss him. It made me very happy to see the love they had for each other. Mutti would see me watching them. I must have looked dejected. She would call me over and pull me up into her lap. We would cuddle together until Papa got cramps in his legs. We would climb off of Papaís lap and massage his legs. When I thought of moments like this, and Hilda and I were alone, I would go over and hug Hilda and kiss her. The first time I did it, she asked me why she deserved the affection. I told her that I did it because I loved her. Tears would appear in her eyes. The first time I did this, she hugged me tightly and said, "Tim that was the most precious moment in my life. It was beautiful. I love it when you hug me."

I will never forget the way Hilda looked at me. The love that came from her made me feel like I was in heaven. At times when I am alone, and I was thinking of going back into hiding, I would think of that moment. I have had other impulses to hug and kiss Hilda. They never gave me the same feeling that I had the first time I hugged and kissed Hilda on an impulse.

Tim opens up:

One morning while Tim was waiting for the pastries to cook, Hilda sat down on the opposite side of the table. Hilda had made an omelet filled with sausage. She also had prepared oatmeal with cinnamon for Tim; it reminded Tim of the first day he came out of hiding. Hilda put a pitcher of milk on the table and a loaf of the special bread she had made for his father. She liked to see her young guest eat with gusto. She wondered where and what he had eaten for the four year that he was in hiding. She wondered who was hiding him or was he living some place in the woods and scavenging for food. She wondered if he was looking for food the night that she caught him looking in the window. Had he passed the rear of the Bakery a hundred times and she had missed him. She was condemning herself for not looking for him. Even though she thought the whole family was dead.  As Tim was putting the last piece of bread in his mouth, Hilda asked, "Tim, I donít want to pry into your personal life. But I would love to be a part of your life from now on. I have a feeling that you have been holding back your feelings. I want you to trust me. I love you and I care for you very much. I would not do anything that would hurt you. I feel that there is something on your mind and I would like very much to help you with it. I know the experience that you have gone through has upset you immensely. I am not going to force you to tell me what is on your mind. When you feel that you can confide in me. I will be here to help you."

Tim poured another glass of milk and took a swallow. He looked at Hilda with compassion and said, "Mutti something has been bothering me. My father told me not to trust even my best friends. I feel that I can trust you, but there is this doubt in my mind. At times I fell that I was safer where I was for the four years. Now that I can walk the streets, I am afraid that in the next moment someone is going to take me away like they took all the others, Mutti and Papa, Heather, Peter and his father, and all of those that they herded down the street to the railroad station. I am constantly looking over my shoulder to see if anyone is following me. When one of your customers comes into the shop I am wondering what they are thinking about. I see them staring at me with questioning eyes. I feel that they are going to tell someone that I am Tim, or think I am a Nazi since my adopted father was a Nazi. It is driving me crazy wondering what is on their minds. Do they know that I am Tim? Do they believe our story that I am your nephew? What do they believe? Fritz thinks that I am your nephew. Is he lying to me? I remember the hate he had for my parents and me. I wonder if he really thinks I am your nephew. At times I want to go back into hiding. When I was hiding I wanted to walk the streets like I am doing now. I do not feel as secure as I felt before. No one knew where I was or knew that I was there. I donít know what I want to do." 

They both sat quietly for a while looking into each otherís eyes. Question flowed though Hildaís mind. She wanted to keep Tim with her. She felt that she would be able to protect him. If she let him go back into hiding someone might find him. Finally she said, "Honey, I know how you must feel. The whole Village has similar feelings. They have seen the same things that you have been seeing. They donít know if they are going to be the next one they take away. Even Fritz is afraid. One of my customers told me that she and her husband were eating at the Tavern. She was sitting at the next table with her back to Fritz. Fritz was talking to one of his Nazi friends. She told me that she overheard Fritz say that he was afraid someone in the Village was going to kill him. If it wasnít someone in the Village, it would probably be a Nazi soldier.  He said that some of the Nazi soldiers and officers would probably kill him just for the fun of it. If you crossed them the slightest, they would go into a rage and start killing. He thinks some of the Nazis are a bunch of animals. I canít believe this came out of Fritzís mouth.   Fritz told the man that he was afraid to go to sleep at night. Hans had told him that someone had been going through his house at night and stealing money from him and Marie."

A slight smile came over my face. I was happy that I had helped to put fear into Fritz. Hilda saw the smile and said, "Why are you smiling?"

"I hate Fritz. He is the one that started it all. I hope someone does scare him to death."

"I know. I feel the same way. I canít tell you what you should do. I try not to think about what may happen. You are welcome to stay with me as long as you want. It is your decision. You will have to decide on the life you want to live. Every day I go through the same thing. Fritz knows I hate him because he is a Nazi. He knows that I hated Karl. He and Karl tried to get Leo and me to join the Nazi party. One night we had an argument and Karl said that once the party takes over the government, if we did not belong to the Nazi party, we would starve. I never knew what Karl or Fritz would do to me and Leo. At least, I donít have to worry what Karl will do to me now. I only have to worry about Fritz."

"Hilda, did Leo want to join the party?"

"No honey. Why do you ask?"

"I was wondering how you could have lived with someone that wanted to do the things that the Nazis were doing. This is what has bothered me so much. Many nights I could not go to sleep. I was afraid the Nazis would find me. While I was hiding, the fear of not knowing what they would do to me if they caught me. During the first few month of hiding, this would keep me awake for a couple of days at a time expecting them to find me. I would fall asleep from exhaustion. I would wake up with the same fears and go through the same thing again. My own imagination was driving me crazy. Sometimes this would continue for a couple of days at a time. I would become totally exhausted. After a while I would get my courage back. When I heard the Nazi soldiers talking, it would start it all over again. The thought of my mother and father being dragged across the street and being thrown into the back of that car, the sight of Heather screaming and the soldiers beating her and shoving her parent with their rifles, the fear in Peterís face when he was being paraded down the street, the way Peterís father held him back when he tried to answer me, the starving souls that they paraded down the streets for all of us to see. All of this has been coming back to me during the night when I am sleeping and when I am awake. I cannot stop it. It keeps coming back. I have dreams of me being paraded down the street with my head shaved and being shipped off in a cattle car to be slaughtered. Hilda I donít know what will stop these nightmares. At times, I would say, to hell with it. I was going to climb to the top of one of the building and say, come and get me. When they came after me, I was going find a way to kill all of them. Fortunately, I did not have the courage to do it."

Tears were running down Hildaís cheeks. The love and compassion showed in her face as she got up and walked around the table. She put her arms around me and kissed me on my cheeks. She pulled a chair next to me, and sat down and caresses my face and said, "Tim, Leo and I have gone through some of the same nightmares that you have been going through. You only saw the ones that they took from our Village and the Villages near here. We went into the City one afternoon to pick up our supplies. Soldiers had blocked the streets. We thought that there was going to be a parade and it was. It was a parade of the death. The same type of parade that you saw here, but many more people and it was much worse. The poor souls were so thin that they looked like skeletons walking down the street. Many of them either fainted from starvation or died on the street. The soldiers would pull the ones that fell to the side of the street with their feet. At the end of the column, a large truck and a crew of men picked up the bodies and stacking them on the truck. If they were not dead already, they would soon die of suffocation. The Nazis stacked their bodies like you would stack sacks of flower. Leo and I prayed for those poor souls. Like you, Leo and I have had nightmares also. I think his nightmares were worse than mine. I would awake in the night hearing him begging for someoneís life. I would turn on the light; perspiration would be running down his face. Tim, it has been some time since we saw them. It hasnít left my minds and I donít think it ever will."

"Mutti, I am sorry that I brought back those memories. Forgive me. As much as I hate to remember what has been going on. I hope I never forget it. I want to get even with those heathens. I want to pound their head with a butt of a rifle like they did to my parents."

"Tim hate will destroy you. It will make you lose your self-control and self-respect. You will do things that you would not do otherwise. It could destroy your life. Pray for them and hope God will punish them. Donít turn into the same type of person they are. Enough of this, I am glad we had this talk. Come on, we have work to do. Honey smile at me, you look so handsome when you smile."

I smiled and hugged Hilda and said, "You are right, look at the time. Those hungry fools will be knocking on the door soon."

When I wanted to pick up something from my hideout I would tell Hilda where I was going and what I was going for. I would get up earlier and help Hilda put the bread in the oven before I sneaked across the street to the alley behind my home. I would carry a couple of loafs of bread with me in case a soldier asked where I was going. I would tell them that I was delivering bread to customers. I would push my way through the bushes to the hatch. Once I was in the cellar, I would lie quietly on an old mattress until Hans and Marie had left for work. I would pick up what I came for and look around the house to see what Hans and Marie had done to it.  Surprisingly, Maria had kept the house immaculate.  The odor from Hansís pipe was all over the house. I could not help from thinking about my parents. I went into their room and prayed to God and asked him to look over them where ever they may be. I didnít steal anything from the Berger, but with the devil in me, I would move things around. At times I would leave a few shillings just to shake them up. When I got ready to return to the Bakery, I would go into the cellar and open up the hatch. If there was no one in the alley, I would quickly close the hatch, push through the weeds into the alley. Every time I lifted the hatch I expected to see someone waiting for me to come out. It was like my earlier fears when I left my hideout. Fortunately, there was no one waiting for me. 

After my visits, I would tell Doc that I had been over to my home to pick up something. I would also mention that I had moved things around in the house to upset Hans and Marie. Doc would listen to Hans and Marie complaining that the other one was playing games again. They would accuse each other of being the culprit. Doc told me that every time I pulled my little tricks. I would cause an explosion between Hans and Marie. This was one of the very few things I had found to laugh about. I felt sorry for what I had put Marie through. Yet, I could not control my desire to shake up Hans.

I wanted to tell Hilda where I had been and what I had done to the Bergers. I was torn between Hildaís kindness and the instruction of my father. I felt if I had to go back into hiding; no one would know where I had gone except Doc and Alfons. I wondered if Hilda would die before she told the Nazis where I was hiding. I felt they would torture her trying to find out where I had gone. With her not knowing, she would not be lying if they asked her where I was. I decided not to tell her.

Most of the items that I retrieved from my hideout were books. In my instruction my mother had made a schedule for what I should learn and the books that I should study. Papa and Mutti had bought and stored the books in the attic before I had the go into hiding. I had stayed a couple of year ahead of Muttiís schedule. I was fifteen and was already studying college subjects.

Hilda secrets:

Hilda had a secret that she had not told Tim. She was delivering more than bread. She and Leo had started an underground group that hid and transported Jew to various secret places around the City and out of the country. They hid the person that they were transporting in the false bottom of the pastry box in the Bakery truck. Leo had cut a hole in the bed of the truck and extended the depth of the pastry box. Hilda was picking up Jews, mostly children and delivered them to a center that transported them to Liechtenstein and then to Switzerland. The Underground Railroad had been going on since 1938. 

Hilda could have helped Tim get to Switzerland; in one respect she was selfish. She had mixed feelings about letting Tim take the trip. Tim had filled the emptiness in her life that had been with her since Karl was killed. Tim had given her a new lease on life. Having him around gave her an emotional high that she did not want to give up. She had accepted Karl and Leoís death. She no longer had the loneliness that she had before Tim came out of hiding. She had the motherly instinct that would not let Tim out of her sight. She had lost one son and she wasnít going to lose another. She had looked at those poor children and adults that she transported wondering if any of them ever got to Switzerland. The reports stated that all of them got out of Austria. What happens afterwards, they did not know. This was one of the reasons she didnít want to take the chance with Tim. She felt that he was safe as long as he was with her and she could see him. The days that he went to his hideout, she feared that he would never return. This was on her mind from the time he walked out of the door until he came back. The same feeling would spread through her body when she made the deliveries to the City. An emotional relief would come over her the moment she saw his smiling face. She didnít want to tell Tim about the underground railway. She felt that Tim might want to take the chance of getting through. As Tim felt about staying with Hilda or returning to his hideout, Hilda felt the same about sending Tim to Switzerland or keeping him with her. Emotionally she was torn between the two. She felt that Tim was safer with her.

She wonders if she or Tim should make the decision. Will Tim want go to Switzerland or stay with her. She decided that since the next trip to Switzerland would not be for another month, she would hold off on asking Tim.

Fear strikes us all:

Things were going too smoothly. I knew that something had to happen soon or later. Emotionally I had prepared for it, or had I. The desire to go back and live with the Berger was always in the back of my mind. I was making my deliveries on Leoís bike when a German officer passed going in the opposite direction. I saluted as I always had. The officer saluted back. The officer stopped his car, turned it around, and followed me on my bread route. Fear flooded my body. It had drained the strength from my body. I felt exhausted. I could hardly peddle the bicycle. I was hoping the officer would stop following me. The bastard continued to follow me. I felt like I did not have the strength to finish my route. When I finally finished my route I headed back to the Bakery. The officer flagged me down. Perspiration was streaming down my face; the officer came over to me and asked to see my identification. I removed my wallet from my pocket and gave the officer the card. Before the officer looked at the identification card he said, "Why arenít you in uniform."

I could barely get the words out of my mouth. "I do not have a uniform, sir."

Arrogantly he said, "You are old enough to be in the army. Why havenít you enlisted?"

My vocal cords did not want to work. The words would not come out, only gargles. Doc was right. There was no guaranteed that I would not lose my voice again. I tried again with the same results. The officer looked at my identification and said, "Oh, you will not have to enlist for another 2 years. You are a big boy for your age."

I nodded my head. I did not want to try to talk.

The officer returned my ID and I opened my wallet and the office saw Leoís brotherís card in my wallet. The officer grabbed my wallet and pulled out Karlís ID and said, "Where did you get this card?"

I tried to speak again. This time with a lot of effort I finally said, "Papa."

He shouts, "Where is your Papa?"

I desperately tried to talk. Slowly the words rolled out of my mouth, "Papa ÖdiedÖ war."

The officer thought that I must be a mute. The officer saw that Karl had been a member of the Nazi party and a SS Colonel. The officer gave me Karlís ID and saluted me then said, "I am sorry to have bothered you. I know your father was a hero."

I saluted the office and continued on my way back to the Bakery. I felt a little better by the time I reached the Bakery. My voice had not returned to normal. The Bakery was locked. I opened the door with my key. I tried to call Hilda; the words would not come out of my mouth. There was a note on Hildaís desk. It read, "Tim, I have gone back to the City to pick up supplies. I will be home soon, Love Mutti."

At first I didnít think too much of it. Then I remembered that I had accompanied Hilda only a week ago. I brushed it off and thought that she must have forgotten something.

I was exhausted from the experience with the officer and losing my voice. I locked up the Bakery and replaced the closed sign. I went to my room and lay down. I had learned in the past, if I relaxed for a few hours, my voice would improve. Within moments I was fast asleep.

An hour had passed; someone was pounding on the door. Thinking of what happened before with the officer, a cold chill ran through my body. I walked down the stairs and peeked around the corner of the stairs to see who was knocking. It was Fritz. Why had he come to the Bakery? I had never seen Fritz at the Bakery. I walked to the door and opened it. Before I could say anything Fritz said, "Someone has been checking up on you. What did you tell the SS officer this afternoon?"

I had difficulty getting the word out, "Nothing."

"He came to the Tavern and had lunch. He wanted to eat in the back room. He questioned me about you and your father for over an hour. He told me that you pretended that you were a mute and you should be in the army."

I knew that someday people would start questioning me about my past. I had remembered what Hilda had told me about Karl. I had come up with a story that I had rehearsed over and over until I thought it was the truth. I had pretended that someone else was questioning me. Charlie was the person that questioned me. I wondered if Fritz would believe me. Fritz asked, "Why did you pretend that you were a mute?"

I looked around for something to write on. I picked up an order pad and a pencil. I wrote, "Sometimes I am a mute. It all started when I was six or seven years old. My father came home one night with a young girl. They got into an argument about money. Their shouting woke me up. I went to see what was going on. I saw my father in his SS uniform beating a young girl. I thought he had killed her. She was lying on the floor and wasnít moving. He kicked her very hard, I gasped, and my father turned around, picked me up, carried me to the bedroom, he threw me into the bed and then slapped me. For a few days I could not talk. He would slap me around trying to get me to speak. Nothing worked. He took me to an army hospital and it took a year of treatment to get my speech back to normal. When the officer came up to me on the street, the look in his face was just like my fathers. Memories of my father came back to me. For a moment, I thought it was my father and he was going to beat me. My old problem with my vocal cords came back and I couldnít say a word. The harder I tried the worse it got. I still canít speak. When I sleep for a while and stop thinking about it. My voice slowly comes back."

Fritz had been reading over my shoulder. When I finished Fritz asked, "Where is your mother."

The conversation continued with me answering Fritzís questions by writing the answers on the pad. "I do not know who my mother is. I never had a mother. When I asked about my mother, Papa would curse me and tell me to shut up. He wouldnít say anything else. I think she must be dead. He had so many girl friends and they were not much older than I was. The last woman that was living in my fatherís apartment sent me to Aunt Hildaís after we were notified that my father was dead. They kicked us out of the apartment after the checks stop coming."

"Donít you have a birth certificate?"

"No, my father brought me the identification card right before he went to war."

"Look Karl, I havenít seen your father since he came to visit Hilda and Leo. Leo and Karl had a big fight and he never returned. He wrote to me a couple of times, but he never mentioned anything about having a son."

I started to write again. "I think my mother was one of the many women that lived with my father. She probably dumped me on him and took off. I wouldnít be surprised if I had brother and sisters around the country. Sometimes he would bring home a new woman every night."

Fritz shook his head slightly and said, "I am sorry about your father. I didnít know about that side of him. But on the other hand I kind of expected it of him. He always had an eye for women. Look, if anyone else comes around asking you questions, just send them to me. I will straighten them out."

Fritz walked to the door then looked back and said, "Lock the door and take a nap. I hope you get your voice back soon."

I got up, went to the door, and locked it. I thought, "Thank God that is over with."

To my surprise the words all came out. Unfortunately when I tried to say something else the words didnít come out. When I spoke spontaneously the words flowed from my mouth. I didnít want to wait on customers when I couldnít talk to them. I went back up stairs and tried to go to sleep. I lay quietly wondering where Hilda had gone. It never had taken this long for her to pick up supplies before. Finally she showed up a little after dark. I was half-asleep.  I heard a slight noise and opened my eyes. Hilda was bending over me and gave me a kiss on by forehead. I reached up, kissed her on the cheek, and asked, "Why didnít you take me with you? You shouldnít be lifting those heavy sacks."

I was surprised my voice was almost perfect.

Hilda said, "Iím sorry, I had only a few things to pick up and I net with a couple of my friends. Iím sorry I am late. Forgive me."

I chuckles, "You sound just like my Mutti. When she came home late, she would say the same things that you said. Are all women trained to say the same things?"

My voice was about to give out. Hilda noticed the difficulty in my speech.

"Tim I donít know, maybe, I never thought of about it. Have you eaten anything? What happened to your voice?"

With more stress on my vocal cords, "No, I havenít eaten anything. I had a little excitement today."

 Hilda was obviously shaken. She was thinking the worse. I picked up a pad and wrote about the encounter with the SS officer, Fritz, and losing my voice.

  For a moment this upset Hilda, she felt selfish. Maybe Tim should go back into hiding. This was on her mind for the rest of the evening. What would she do if they found out about Tim? Doc knows. How many more know. She thought that she would kill herself if they took Tim away. Cold chills ran through her body. Goose pimples appeared on her arms. She thought, "God what would I do. My selfishness may cost Tim his life. God, please help me. Please tell me what I should do."

I saw the deep concern in Hildaís face. I knew that Hilda was quite disturbed. I felt that I shouldnít have told her what had happened. I tried to cheer her up. It didnít work. I took her by the arm, lead her into her office, sat her down, and wrote, "Mutti, I know what you are going through. As I said before, I think all women are made the same. The little things worry them. The big things devastate them, I am sorry that I told you what happened today. I want you to forget what I told you and letís think about something happier. What did you do today?"

Tim had asked Hilda the wrong question. What she did today was more frightening than what happened to Tim. Usually she picks up someone and delivers them without any problem. She sees the fear in their faces and tries to calm them down as much as she can. After she delivers them she prays that they make it to freedom. Then she tries to go back to her normal life, which is almost impossible. The strain on Leo had taken his life. He gave his life so that others may have freedom. Now she was under the same pressure that he went through. Hilda was late because the Gestapo was roaming the streets where she was to delivering the young girl. The young girl was crying and Hilda could not keep her quiet. The Gestapo had blocked the streets and no one could get in or out of the area. It went on for more than 3 hours. They were inspecting the building as well as the vehicles on the street. They pulled the drivers out of their cars and slammed them on the ground. If they even slightly moved they would kick them. When they were finished searching them, they would kick them, then yell to them to go. There were six vehicles ahead of Hilda. As the soldiers finished inspecting each vehicle Hildaís fear heightened. The young girl continued to cry. Hilda pleaded with her to stop. She warned her that the soldiers were getting closer. They were not showing any mercy to anyone. It was the same for all the drivers as well as the passengers. The inspection of each vehicle got closer and closer, Hilda grew more intense. There were vehicles in the front and back of her. She couldnít drive off, there were soldier everywhere. They would surely inspect the truck if she tried to leave. She couldnít run away and leave the young girl in the truck. When the car ahead of Hilda pulled away, Hilda warned the young girl that she must keep quiet. Hilda had an impulse to speed away. As the soldier approached her truck, she felt as though she was going to pass out. For some unknown reason the soldier nodded at Hilda and did not inspect the truck. For a moment she was too weak to move. The soldiers came back to the truck and politely told Hilda she could go now. Slowly she pulled away, drove to a deserted spot in a park, and parked the truck. The young girl wanted to go to the bathroom. Hilda had to go also. The pain was killing both of them. Hilda knew the hell the young girl must have been going through. Hilda helped the young girl out of the truck, took the young girls hand, they went into a clump of bushes and relieved themselves.

Later, Hilda drove near the neighborhood where she had to deliver the young girl. The soldiers were still inspecting vehicles. Hilda parked a few block away and waited. It took another hour for the street to clear. When the Gestapo couldnít find whatever they were looking for, they gave up the search.

Hilda headed for the drop-off point. The all-clear sign was a small lamp in a window on the second floor with two Austrian figures dancing around a lamppost. If the dancers were not moving she knew she could drop off the passenger. If the dancers were moving it was a signal for her to keep moving. The dancers were not moving and she pulled into the alley next to the building. She told the young girl to get ready to get out and do not say a word. Two men jumped out of the shadows and removed the young girl within a second or two. Hilda prayed to God that the young girl would have a safe trip to freedom. 

With what had happened to her and Tim was almost enough to push her emotionally over the edge. It took every bet of her strength just to move. As the memory of today was leaving her mind, she took a long deep breath. She stood up, put her arms around Tim, and crushed him against her body. She kissed him and said, "God, thank you for this day. You looked over both of us. But, you scared the piss out of me."

Tim hearing what Hilda said, he laughed and said, "Mutti, what did you say?í

Hilda smiled and said, "You know what I said. Letís eat supper."

For the rest of the evening they laughed and kidded around. Emotionally as well as physically Hilda was getting her strength back. She was almost back to her jolly self. Tim voice had made so improvement. 

Hans and Marie, without me:

Doc kept me informed on what was going on in my home. Hans and Marieís boring routine had not changed too much. Hans felt that he had appeased the spirits of the Williamís. Each night just before he went to bed, Hans would talk to the Williams spirits and thanked them for the use of their home. He felt his prayers had kept the spirits from taking the food and the money. Marie was not sure what had happened. Since no one was eating the food that she prepared, she was afraid that the person may have died. Marie was still talking to the person hiding in the walls without getting a reply. She wanted to know why I had not taken any of the food that she had prepared. Hans had tried to assure her that his praying to the Williams had soothed the spirits. Marie was more superstitious than Hans. Yet she had her doubts. In the back of her mind, she had a feeling that Karl Lipman was Timothy Williams.

  After Hilda told me that Hans had told Fritz about someone entering the house at night and stealing Marieís and his money; was Hans referring to what had happened a couple years ago? I was a little uncertain what was going on. Was Marie stealing money from Hans and he thought that I was still in the house. Had Hans set up a trap to catch me and turn me over to the Nazis? The Nazis were still paying people that turn in Jews that had been hiding.

Hans and Marie still fought and complain as they always did. Hans had not hit or physically abused Marie since I came out of hiding. Marie was happy about that and told him so. She assured him if he ever hit her again she would leave him for good and marry one of the Nazi officers that had been flirting with her. Marie could see the hate boiling over from Hans when she mentioned the officers. He would come back and tell her that they would seduce her then kick her out like they were doing to all the young prostitutes that hung around the barracks. Then he would say, "Who would want an old bag like you."

Marie would reply, "You know, I am 15 years younger than you are, and I have many suitors. Many are rich and I would be better off with them than with you."

This would rev up the tempo of the argument.

Usually when they argued, Hans would be in one room and Marie in another. Hans would yell from his chair in the parlor. If Marie got tired of arguing with Hand, she would tiptoe up the stairs, into the bedroom and shut the door. Hans would be blowing his stack for the next half-hour or more. Marie would put wads of cotton in her ears to deaden the sound. Hans would bellow complaints for a while, thinking Marie was still in the kitchen. Then he would shut up and read for a while. Later Hans would start bellowing again. This would go off and on for a couple of hours of so, without any response from Marie. Of course he did not expect any response. After Hansís bitterness had run down and he didnít hear any replies. He would jump up, run into the kitchen looking for Marie. Then he would run out the front door and look up and down the street thinking she had left him. With frustration, he would grumble for a while complain that Marie was an ungrateful whore. When he finally went to bed Marie was either asleep or still reading her book. If she were awake she would say, "Are you going to bed now darling."

With Hansís surprise and frustration he would let out a puff of air as if he had been holding his breath and leave the room slamming the door shut. Marie would burst out laughing and almost choke herself to keep Hams from hearing her laughing.

Many times Marie would go outside and sit on the front steps or take a walk around the village to get away from the smell of Hans pipe. From my room, I could see her sitting on the front steps. I wanted to join her. The soldiers would flirt with her and invite her to go have a glass of wine with them. She would thank them politely and say that her husband would kill her if she went with them. Seeing Marie sitting alone on the steps brought back memories of watching Marie taking her bath. This would light up an emotional fire within me that would not subside for hours. It was one of the beautiful moments of the four years that I was in hiding.

A crossroad in Tim's life:

It had been a normal day at the Bakery. We had prepared everything for tomorrowís orders. Hilda had made some hot chocolate, and a plate of the leftover pastries. She took them to her office. She told me that she wanted to talk to me before we went to bed. I finished what I had been doing, and went to the office. Hilda looks up at me with a serious look on her face. I wonder what had happened. With a happy voice I asked, "What can I do for you?" 

        Hilda took a sip of her hot chocolate and looked up at me with worried eyes and said, "Honey, sit down I have something to tell you. I have wanted to tell you about this for a long time. I have been very selfish keeping you here with me. You have been the answers to my prayers. I have enjoyed every moment you have been with me. You asked me if all women were built the same. Ha, Ha. Sometimes I think most women are. They have to have someone around them all the time. Whether itís a child, a husband, a pet, or just a friend, we need someone to help us live our lives. It may come from our childhood when we had to have our favorite blanket. We have to have something to hold on to. Men may be the same. I donít know. I could see the twinkle in Leoís eyes when I came home. I knew that he had missed me. Maybe we all have to have someone close to us. Enough of that, what I want to talk to you about is about you. You not only have two choices, you have three. You can go back to your hideout as you call it, you can stay here with me, and you have a third choice."

        I interrupted, "I want to stay here with you."

        "Wait honey, let me finish. You have grandparent in America, donít you?"

        "Yes, I donít remember anything about them. Mutti and Papa took me to America when I was a baby. Their parents wanted to see me. I donít remember Mutti or Papa communicating with them very much. They sent cards on birthdays, Christmas, and wrote to one another now and them. I donít know anything about them. I would rather stay here with you."

        "Please Tim, before you make a decision, let me finish. You asked me a few months ago where I had been. I told you a lie. With the help of a number of our friends, Leo and I started an underground highway to get Jews out of the country. I will not go into detail about the highway, but I will tell you about Leoís and my contribution to the highway. We picked up Jews from different parts of the City and take them to a place where they would be carried to Switzerland. Hopefully, they will live there till the end of the war in peace. The day I had gone back to City and came home so late, I was delivering a young girl. The Gestapo had blocked the street off where I was going to deliver the young girl. They were going through all the building and vehicles on the street. By the grace of God, they didnít inspect my truck. An incident similar to this caused Leo his life. His old heart could not take the strain."

       Politely and concerned I said, "Mutti let me do the deliveries. You have taught me how to drive."

        "No honey, Leo and I are very familiar faces that they have seen running around the City for years. I am always waved through at all of the checkpoints. I give them bread and pastries. I save the left over pastries to give to them. They would not dare stop me. Where would they get their free treats in the morning? I could see the hungry looks on their faces for something to eat. The poor souls have been pushed into the army. They donít get paid and they donít feed them anything but slop."

        Enthusiastically I said, "You could take me along for a while until they get use to seeing me."

"No, do you remember the day that I hid you in the back of the truck and took you outside the City and then brought you back."

"Yes."

"When we left the City I was waved through all of the checkpoints. On the way back, they looked at our identification at every checkpoint. Tim, I never know when they change guards. When a new guard shows up at a checkpoint they check my truck. Fortunately, so far, they have not found the lower section of the pastries box."

I did not know what to say. I wanted to take some of the strain off of Hilda. As I thought about what Hilda had gone through every time she delivered someone, it brought back the fear that ran through me when I first went into hiding. How could she put up with that pressure? I reached across the desk and took Hildaís hand. I thought of the strain she and Leo must have go through and said, "Mutti, I donít want to leave you. I wish there was some way that I could take some of the strain off of you."

With love, Hilda reaches across the desk and took my hand and said, "Tim, when I make my deliveries alone, none of the guards check my ID. They always check my ID when someone is with me. I never know when a new soldier will show up at a checkpoint. If you were driving around the City and they stopped you, they would give the truck a complete inspection. They would look everywhere. They may not find the passenger. If they did, they would kill you and the passenger on the spot. Then they would come out here, kill me, and burn down the building looking for someone else. You may have a chance to get back in your hideout it they catch me. Fritz would kill you himself if he found out. Also, I would be a nervous wreck from the time you left here until you returned. I could not take that strain. I am only excited for the short period of time that I have them in the truck with me. If you delivered them I would be worried from the time you walked out the door until you returned."

After a few moment of thinking, I knew it would be very dangerous for both of us and said, "You are right Mutti. I donít want to put any suspicion on you. But, I would like to help you with the deliveries in the City." 

Hilda said, "Before we talk about you making deliveries in the City. I want you to answer the big question, would you like to go to Switzerland?"

I questioned, "Would I be safer going to Switzerland. What are the chances of me getting caught?"

"From what the drivers tell us, we know that everyone that we have helped get to Switzerland safely. We do not know what happens to them after they are in Switzerland, we lose track of them. We have no way of keeping track of them. We know that earlier in the war some were flown to England and America. Now, no one is leaving Switzerland."

I did not want to take the chance. What would I do in Switzerland? I said, "Mutti, I donít want to go to Switzerland. I would not know what to do once I got there. I want to stay here with you. If things get bad I can always go back into hiding. I donít want to leave you alone. I am staying here. OK?"

Hilda gets up and walks around the desk. I stood up. Hilda hugged me, kissed me on the cheek, and said, "I am so happy. This has been so heavy on my heart. I didnít want you to leave me. Yet, I want to give you the choice of leaving Austria."

"Mutti, you have been a Mutti to me since I came out of hiding. I have enjoyed every moment with you. I do not know what I would have done if you had kicked me back into hiding when you saw me looking in the back window. I believe that I was on the verge of going crazy while I was in hiding. With all the fear that I have been going through since I came out of hiding, being with you has been worth it."

With a smile of happiness on Hilda face she said, "Tim, when I saw you outside in the dark, it was one of the happiest moments of my life, my little adopted son had came home to me. You were not little, but you were my second son that had gone away. You had come home to me. It was a wonderful feeling to see you again after all those years."

I had made my decision to stay put. I was not going to Switzerland or go back into hiding. I loved working with Hilda. I had been out of hiding for a long time. I did not want to hide any more. I told Hilda that the hopes for freedom werenít worth the gamble. I was going to take my life here one day at a time. If I went back into hiding or went to Switzerland, everyone would want to know what had happened to me.

About a week later, Hilda asked, "Tim, are you sure that you donít want a go to Switzerland?"

Without any hesitation, I answered. "Mutti, I am positive. I will take my chances staying with you. It is worth the consequences."

Hilda put her arms around me, looked into my eyes, and said, "Darling, I hope you have made the right choice."

"I know I have. If I ever get caught, I will tell them that I planned the whole scheme. I wrote you a letter telling you that I was your nephew. I had stolen the document out of your home while you were away. Another reason I want to stay, Doc has been tutoring me. We have a lot of fun together. He is quite comical. He comes up with the craziest things and I am constantly laughing when I am with him. He has made my life enjoyable again. That reminds me. I was going over to Docís tonight. If you donít need me, I am going over to see Docís for a while before I go to bed."

"Darling, I do not need you. I can finish everything by myself. Go ahead and give Doc my regards."

I opened the front door, I looked up-and-down the street to see if there were any soldiers patrolling the streets. I donít know why I always did this. It was a force of habit. There was no one in sigh. I made a dash across the street to Docís. There were no lights on in the house. I knew that he never went to bed before 9:30 or 10:00 I knocked on the door and waited for a few minutes. No one came to the door. I knocked again, and waited for a few more minutes. Still no one came to the door. I turned the doorknob, the door opened. I did not want to go in the house alone. I ran back to the Bakery and called Hilda. Hilda was getting ready for bed. I called Hilda and she asked what I wanted. I told her that Doc did not answer the door and the door was open.  I told her that I was afraid that something may have happened to Doc. Hilda through on a bathrobe and we ran across the street. Hilda opened the door and turned on the lights. We called to Doc. There was no answer. I led Hilda to Docís favorite room in the rear of the house. Doc was sitting in his favorite chair. He looked like he was fast asleep. Hilda took his pulse and put her ear on his chest. Hilda said, "He is breathing but his heart is beating very slowly. Tim, go in the kitchen and get a wet towel."

By the time I returned, Doc and Hilda were laughing. Doc said, "Now I know that I have someone looking in on me once and a while, I am thankful. I have always been afraid that I would pass away and no one would find me until I stunk up the whole Village."

Surprised that Doc was awake, I asked Doc, "Were you sleeping."

"Yes Tim, when you get to be my age and you get tired you just go to sleep wherever you are."   

Hilda said, "Your pulse was so weak and you were hardly breathing. I thought that you were in a very serious condition. I was going to call the operator and have them send an ambulance to take you to the hospital. When you opened your eyes and you looked so spry I thought you were playing a joke on us."

With uncertainty, Hilda continued to question Doc, "Are you sure you are okay. If you are, I am going home and take my bath before the water gets cold."

Doc said, "I apologize for scaring you. Go on home and stop worrying about me. Tim will be with me and I donít have any plans for kicking the bucket anytime soon."

Hilda again questioned Doc. Doc reassured Hilda that he was in perfect health and told her not to lose any sleep over him. After Hilda left, Doc and I talked for a couple of hours. There was no specific thing we talked about. We just let the conversation take us where ever it went and it was always very interesting. I could see Doc was getting tired and so was I. I said goodnight to Doc and thanked him for putting up with me. When I walked out of the door I had to look for the soldiers. It was past ten and the curfew was on. 

Fritz with a Nazi ID:

It was a hot July afternoon. The heat of the ovens had made the Bakery unbearable. I had opened all the windows and doors. A slight breeze blowing across the ovens made it hotter. I had been working since four this morning. I was mopping up the floor in the rear of the Bakery when I heard a voice that was familiar, but I could not recall who it was. I called, "Hello, Iím in the rear of the Bakery. I will be right out."

The voice replied, "Donít stop what you doing; I want to talk to you. Iíll come back there. Damn it is hot in here. How in the hell can you stand this heat?"

I looked around Fritz came around the partition, I said, "Hi Fritz, this is cool. You should have been here when the doors were closed. Itís like a steam bath. What can I do for you?"

With a smile on his face, Fritz said, "I have something for you. This is my territory. I donít like those nosy bastards fooling around with my people."

Fritz gave me a large envelope with a swastika in the upper left-hand corner of the envelope.  I said, "What is this?"

Fritz smiled and said, "Open it up; no one will bother you from now on."

The envelope was not sealed. The flap was just tucked in. I lifted the flap and looked inside. There was about half a dozen documents, and an identification card. I looked at the identification card and said, "Fritz, I already a have an identification card. What are all these other documents?"

Fritz laughed and said; "If anyone ever questions your identity, just show them your new identification card and this letter from the Fuehrer. You are an honorary Colonel; youíll receive your fatherís salary for the rest of your life. One of the letters gives you a deferment from the military due to your speech impairment. The Fuehrer personally signed your identification card and your deferment. The other documents are your fatherís citation for bravery and for his contribution to the fatherland."

"Fritz, how did you get the Fuehrer to do this for me?"

"The Fuehrer, your father and I grew up together and we have been friends ever since. There isnít anything that he would not do for me or your father, especially your father. They were very close over the years."

Quite surprised, I said, "Thanks Fritz, it is very nice of you to go through all his trouble for me. I know my father would salute you for what you have done. I will salute you for my father and myself."

I saluted Fritz and Fritz saluted me back and then we shook hands. Fritz put his arms around my shoulder and we headed for the front door. Fritz removed his hand from my shoulder and said, "Dam, you are soaking wet. How in hell has Hilda been able to live in this environment? Hell couldnít be any hotter." 

A thought flashed through my mind, "You bastard, I hope you find out how hot hell is and soon."

As Fritz walked out the front door I thanked him again and waved goodbye and thought, "You bastard, nothing you can do will make up for what you have done to me and my parents. I pray that someday youíll pay for sending my parents and all of our neighbors to concentration camps. One day I will look in his eyes and tell him who I really am. I know in my heart that someday my wishes will come true. God, forgive me for what I am thinking. I would have loved to have hit him over the head with a rolling pin and stuffed his ass in the oven."

As I eroded my soul, Hilda came in the back door. As she walked around the counter, Hilda saw the hate in my face. As usual, expecting the worse, she said, "Honey, what happened?" 

I walked over to the counter, picked up the envelope, and handed it to Hilda. She removed the documents from the envelope and started to read them. Hilda said, "Where did you get these?"

Still with uncertainty about Fritz motive, I said, "Fritz brought them over to me. He just left a few minutes ago. I donít trust him. I donít know if he is trying to set me up or he really thinks that I am Karlís son. Mutti, I know you have told me that hate will destroy me. I cannot help myself. I will always hate him. I will never forget what he said, and the hate that was in his eyes for me and my parents." 

"Honey, in spite of the propaganda, Germany is losing the war. Some people predict that the war will be over in a year or two. It will be a bloody war. It is already is a bloody war. Many young men with their bodies shattered have been coming home. Many more are not coming home. I went to the hospital about a week ago with an old friend of mine to see her son. He had been wounded in Africa. He had lost one of his arms and he said he was lucky. He told his mother that many of his comrades would never come home. Their bodies were disintegrated. There is nothing left for them to ship home. Tim Honey, I hope you never have to go through what these young boys are going through."

I did not know whether I should use the identification that Fritz had given me. I was afraid that someone would challenges the authenticity of the Fuehrer signature. On the other hand I was afraid not to use it. I took the identification card and put it in my wallet. I hid the rest of the documents in Karlís room. 

As Tim had suggested, Hilda was letting him drive her on the delivered to the Village and to the City. After Fritz visit, Hilda was afraid to leave Tim at the bakery alone. Within a short time, Tim had become a familiar part of the landscape. Tim had been driving Hilda to the City for a couple of months. Hilda let Tim hand out the treats to the guards at all of the check points and she introduced him to all of her customers. It didn't take long for the guard to flag him through the check points even when he did not offer them a treat. With Timís devilish antics and a friendly smile, it wasnít long until he had made many new friends. The customers that had daughters were constantly trying to get him to take their daughters out on dates. Hilda did her best to deter the onslaught of young women. She would love for Tim to find a young lady that he loved and someday get married. Hilda felt that Tim was still a little young for marriage and a number of the women were too old and to aggressive. Also, Hilda thought that it would be unsafe for Tim to get involved with a young lady. They may ask too many questions and she did not know the background of any of the women. If one of them was a hard core Nazi, the relationship would be a disaster.

Tim was well aware of his sexuality and had reached puberty before he came out of hiding. He had overheard his parents as well as the Bergers and what the kids at school whispered to each other. Not that Tim didnít want to explore his sexuality, and be intimate with young girls Timís fear of being caught and sent to prison was holding him back from trying to pursue the young ladies. He was afraid his true identity would come out.

There were many young girls his age, younger and older searching for young men. Most of them, if not all of them, wanted to get married or have a personal relation with Tim. They left no doubt of what their intentions were. Most of the young men had gone off to war. Most of the soldiers locally were not interested in getting married. They had plenty of feminine attention in the City. Hilda must have known that Tim was getting to the age when he wanted to prowl the streets looking for attractive young ladies, if he wasnít already there. When the young ladies flocked around Tim, flirted and made sexual suggestions, Hilda would smile, roll her eyes, and pretend to look away, but she never took her eyes off of what was happening. A little of her jealousy would flare up. It wasnít sexual jealousy; it was these impetuous women trying to take her baby away from her. Yet she knew he was growing up like her son Karl had. Soon her adopted son would become a man and she would not be able to cuddle him. These moments with Tim were what made her life worth living.

As the months passed, I was making the deliveries alone. One morning when I was delivering the bread and pastries to the Rathskeller I noticed a beautiful young girl with dark curly hair and beautiful blue eyes. We made eye contact a couple of times. We both were a little shy. I could not stop from taking quick glances at her. I noticed that she was also taking quick glances at me. I started to become embarrassed. I was hoping she did not see me looking at her. But, I could not stop taking quick peeks at her. Who, of all people saw us taking glances at each other, Marie Berger?

After Tim left, Marie walked over and said to the young girl, "I would like to spend a couple of nights in bed with Karl, wouldnít you?"

The young girl blushed and Marie knew that she had said the wrong thing. She tried to back pedal a little and said, "Christi, Karl is too young for me, but I think he is just the man for you."

Christi looked up at Marie and asked, "Do you know him?"

"Yes, he is the nephew of Frau Lipman. Her Bakery is just across the street from where I live. I see him almost every morning."

Marie knowing why Christie asked, but she wanted Christie to tell her and she said, "Why did you ask."

Christie blushed and said, "I think he is very cute. I saw him looking at me, but he didnít say anything to me. I think he is a little bashful."

Marie asked Christie, "Did you say anything to him?"

"No, I was afraid and too embarrassed. I could not take my eyes off of him. I think he likes me and I saw him taking peeks at me."

After leaving the Rathskeller, I could not wait until I got back to the Bakery and tell Hilda. The young girl looked like my Mutti when she was younger. After parking the truck and unloading the old bread and pastries, I told Hilda that I saw the most beautiful girl in the world.

Hilda:

Before Tim could tell me who she was, my heart skipped a beat. Fear of the unknown flashed through my body. I was wondering how I was going to handle this problem. I caught my breath and questioned Tim, "Tell me about her."

"I was delivering the Rathskeller orders. I saw a very beautiful young lady. I caught her taking glances at me when I was carrying in the orders. I havenít seen her there before. She has beautiful blue eyes and curly black hair. She looks a lot like my Mutti when she was young. She is beautiful."

Tim continued to describe the girl to me. I knew who she was. She was the daughter of General Maxwell Bower. He was the Commanding Officer at the Factory where Timís father had worked. The manager of the Rathskeller had told me that General Bower had requested that he give his daughter a job as a waitress.

The Manager said that General Bower had told him that when he and his daughter had eaten at the Rathskeller, she told him that it would be a fun place to work. The General had slightly nudged the Manager to give his daughter a job. Her name was Christie Bower.

Unbeknown to Hilda, Tim and Christie, there were match-makers working in the background. Marie knowing who Christieís father was, she and Hans minds were working overtime trying to think of a way to influence Christieís father. Without Christie or Tim knowing, they planned a dinner party for them. Marie invited Christie to her home for dinner. Hans was going to ask Tim if he would help him move some furniture and Christie would be there waiting. Hans and Marie, especially Hans, wanted to be on a close personal relationship with the highest ranking officer in the community. Hans did not know what it would do for him, but it just might give him a little leverage if he ever needed it. Hans was always buttering up to the Nazi officers. This was his golden opportunity to hit it off with Christieís Papa.

A couple days later Hans and Marie stopped in at the Bakery on their way home from work. For the first time in months, Hans bought a loaf of bread and asked me if I would help him move some furniture later that evening. Hans said that he would call me when he was ready.

I was looking forward to going into my home through the front door with the world looking at me. I had wanted to walk over there and tell Hans to get out of my home. He and his stinking pipe had stunk up the whole house. I have had enough of that stinking pipe. I wanted to go through the front door with the world looking at me.

That evening Mutti and I were preparing orders for tomorrow. The phone rang. It was Hans. He asked Hilda if I could come over and help him. Hilda told me to go over to the Bergers and help Hans. As I walked across the street, I remembered that I had not walked up these steps or been on my front porch in years. I recalled when I was younger; I would race up the steps at three or four steps at a time. I knew my Mutti would be waiting for me to come home. I loved the way Mutti would caress me when I came home. I had hungered for that affecting. That desire arose as I ran up the steps. In my memories, I had turned the calendar back before I went into hiding. I expected to see my Mutti waiting for me in the parlor. I ran up the front steps and started to open the door. Instead, I knocked on the front door. Hans open the door with a broad smile across his face. I had never seen him smile at anyone. It made me a little suspicious. What is he up to? As we entered the foyer, I looked pass him and saw Christie sitting on the couch. With memories of Mutti still fresh in my mind, for a moment I thought it was Mutti sitting there. Christie was sitting in the same spot where Mutti would sit. I stood there with my mouth open. I had an urge to run across the room and jump into Christie lap. She looked so much like what Mutti looked like before she was taken away. Hans crushed my thoughts. He looked over at me with a big smile on his face and then looked at Christie and said, "Isnít she beautiful?"

Hansís words brought me back to reality. I was startled and for a moment I could not say anything. I looked at her beautiful face and with a sincere voice I said, "Yes, she is very beautiful."

I paused for a moment then said, "I saw you at the Rathskeller a few days ago."

Christie blushes and said, "Yes, I remember you. Thank you for the complement. You are quite handsome yourself."

I could not move. I was frozen in my track and I could not say anything else. Marie smiled and came over to me. She took my hand and guided me into the parlor. The beautiful young lady was blushing and so was I. No one said a word. I expected Marie or Hans to introduce us. We were staring into each other eyes. No one said a word. Still expecting Hans or Marie to introduce us, and they didnít. I smiled and got enough courage to say, "Hi, I am Karl. What is your name?"

Still blushing she answered, "Christie. Thank you again for the compliment. Where do you live?"

I knew Marie or Hans must have told her where I lived. Almost whispering, I said, "I live cross the street over the Bakery. I live with my Aunt Hilda."

Marie interrupted the conversation by saying, "Tim, you are just in time for dinner. Please join us."

I would have loved to have stayed. There was a lot more work to be done. I had left Hilda alone. We still had an hour or more work to do. We also had to clean up the Bakery after we had finished. I did not want Hilda to do all of the work by herself. I said, "Thank you, I have eaten already and couldnít possible eat another bite. We have to prepare for tomorrows orders and I left Hilda alone."

Hans immediately said, "Why donít you stay and have a glass of wine with us."

Without thinking, I declined the wine and asked Hans what he wanted me to move. Hans said that he and Marie had already moved the furniture. I was wondering why Hans had called. Again, I thanked the Bergers for the invitation for dinner and told Christie I hoped to see her again.

I thanked Marie for the invitation and reminded Marie that I still had to finish preparing for tomorrows order. I did not want to leave all the chores on Hilda. I saw the disappointment on Marie and Hans face as they followed me to the door. I had only been in the house for a few minutes. I would have loved to have stayed and talked with Christie. I was almost certain that the Bergers had set up the introduction and I didnít want Christie to think I had any part in it. I told Christie that I hope that we could see each other again. She said that she would drop in some time if I didnít mind. I told her that she would be welcomed at any time. As I slowly edged out the door, still looking at Christie, I said, "Goodnight, I hope I will see you soon."

Christie got up and walking into the hall. I turned around and smiled at her and she said, "Me too."

"I skipped down the steps and across the streets. A feeling of excitement rushed through my body. Like a kid that I was, I had never been this excited about meeting anyone in my life. With excitement in my voice, I told Hilda what had happened and said, "When I first walked in, I had a flashback to when I was little. When I came home Mutti would be sitting in the same place where Christie was sitting. She looked so much like Mutti when she was young that I almost walked over and kissed her."

Mutti smiled and said, "Why didnít you?"

"I froze for a moment and Hans said isnít she beautiful and I agree with him."

"Tim, Christie is a very beautiful young Girl. She does resemble your Mutti." 

For the rest of the evening, I could not take my mind off of Christie. I think I was starting to bore Hilda.  We were making the last minute preparations for tomorrowís orders when we heard someone knocking on the door. I said, "One minute, I am coming."

When I turned the corner and saw Christie, a broad smile spread across my face. I ran to the door and invited Christie in. I called Hilda and introduced them. At first, we had difficulty in breaking the ice. But, it didnít take long until we acted as if we had known each other for years. Christie wanted to see what we were doing. I showed Christie around the Bakery and told her what we were doing. It was almost 10 and I offered to take Christie home. Hilda told me that I would not make it back before the curfew. Christie thanked me for the offer and said, "I have a ride. He is waiting for me outside. I donít want to get you into any trouble, maybe some other time."

Christie thanked me for the tour and said she had to go. I picked up one of the leftover pastries and put it in a bag. I gave it Christie and said, "This is a sample of my work. I made it this morning. I hope you like it."

Christie thanked me and said, "I know I will."

We walked out of the Bakery. Her driver was waiting. I walked Christie to the car. I opened the door for Christie; she turned around, kissed me on the cheek, and told me that she would see me at the Rathskeller tomorrow. I stood there and watched the car pull away from the curb. Christie was looking out the back window. With a broad smile across her face she threw me a kiss. I returned the kiss and watch the car drive away. When I turned to go back into the Bakery, I noticed Marie and Hans stepping back from the window. They had been watching us. Now I knew that they had arranged the meeting. But, why? I wanted to thank them for introducing me to Christie.

The feeling that was flowing through me was felt wonderful. The few minutes that I was with Christie it was a wonderful experience. The excitement of seeing Christie again made warm flashes run through my body. I cannot describe the feeling. It wasnít fear, embarrassment, or excitement; it was a very pleasant feeling. If I had gone back into hiding, I would not have met Christie. Meeting Christie made the fear that I had been going through worth it. When I walked back into the Bakery, Hilda had a broad smile on her face. I blushed and said, "Isnít she beautiful?"

"Yes Christie is a very beautiful young lady and she does remind me of your Mutti."

Hilda had never seen Tim so happy. She knew her little man was growing up and there was no way to hold him back. There was something that bothered Hilda and she wanted to discuss it with Tim. She didnít know how she should approach Tim with the problem that she knew would come up. She knew the hate Tim had for the Nazis. Christieís father was a high-ranking officer in the SS. She didnít want to go into the subject with Tim before it was needed and she was afraid that Tim would think she is trying to destroy the relationship. Hilda was afraid that Christie father would want to know the background of anyone that came close to his daughter. He may find out that Karl never had a son and would want to know who Tim was.

For the next month Christie would drop in at the Bakery on her way home from work. She took the trolley with Hans and Marie. Her driver would pick her up at the Bakery. She and Tim would take short casual walks through the Village together. Sunday was the only day that Tim had any free time for Christie. Sunday afternoon Christie driver would drop Christie off at the Bakery. Tim and Christie would spend the afternoon together wandering through the Village. As the days passed they became more affectionate. They would find places where they could love each other without anyone seeing them. Each day their affection became a little more intense. Hilda had noticed their love for each other and had caught them a couple of times being a little too friendly. She was worried that they were getting a little too close for comfort. She wanted to talk to Tim, but she could not bring herself to interfere with their courtship.

        Tim being dedicated to his studies and his duties at the Bakery, he had very little Tim for Christie, yet he wanted to spend more time with here. In the evening he spent most of his time at Docís studying. Like many teenagers he had dreams of his future. Tim was torn between being a chemist like his Father and a psychiatrist like Doc. Surprisingly, Tim was studying both subject and doing well on the test that Doc was giving him. 

        Hilda was still helping to get people out of Austria. Tim had pleaded with Hilda to let him take over her job of delivering the Jews. Tim could tell when Hilda was going to make a delivery. He saw the strain on Hildaís face before she made the deliveries. After she came home she was totally exhausted. Tim felt that the pressure Hilda was under when she delivered those poor souls would eventually kill her as it did to Leo. Hilda refused to let Tim make the deliveries.

Some of Hildaís customerís in the City had lined the sidewalk in front of the shops with tables and chairs. Tim told Hilda that it might draw more customers and they could sale the leftover pastries, pies, and cakes. She had seen the shops for years. The Bakery alone was enough work for her and Leo. Since Tim had suggested it, she purchased six small tables and 24 chairs. She bought some material and made tablecloths for the tables. She also purchased an old coffeemaker from one of her customers. Tim suggestion was paying off. Beside the benches in front of the Tavern and the door step along the street, the table and chairs in front of the Bakery were the only place for the tourist to sit and rest the tired feet. Of course, when someone took a seat, Tim or Hilda would ask them what they wanted. Most if not all of them would order something. This gave Hilda and Tim something to do during the slow part of afternoons and between the regular customers. They did not have to throw away the unsold pastries and bread from the day before.

Hilda and Doc Wills:

It was a warm October afternoon; Hilda and Tim were busy serving the tourist at the tables in front of the Bakery. Doc was sitting at one of the tables drinking a cup of coffee with a little whipped cream floating on the top of the coffee. He called Hilda over and asked her to join him when she had a free moment. Hilda told him that she would love to join him. Her feet were getting tired and she would love an excuse to sit down for a while. She told him that she had only a couple more orders to fill and she would join him. Doc had a large envelope lying on the table. He removed a document from the envelope and was reading it when Hilda returned. She asked, "What do you have their Doc?"

Doc handed Hilda the document. As she read the document she looked at Doc and shook her head. "Doc, you are very generous, may I ask why are you doing this?"

"Hilda, I have no family. The government would take everything that I have and some Nazi would end up getting it all." 

"I want you to witness my signature on my will. I am leaving everything that I have to Timothy Williams."

"On your will it says Karl Lipman."

"Here, read this. When the Allies overrun the country he can go back to his real name."

Hilda read the document. It took a full page to state that the alias Karl Lipman was in fact Timothy William."

Hilda told Doc that she would be glad to sign the Will. Doc had three copies of the documents. He gave Hilda a copy and he told Hilda that he was going to file his Will with the clerk, and he was going to hide the statements that stated that Karl was Tim. He asked her to follow him to his house and he would show her where it would be hidden.

Hilda had been in his home many times, but she had never been in his private office. As they walked into his office she was amazed at the size and the elegance. The whole room was mahogany. The doors, cabinets, desk, walls, and shelving were the most beautiful grains of mahogany that she had ever seen. Doc walked to one of the shelves and removed a few books. He pushed on a spot on the shelf and a mirror slid to one side. Hidden behind the mirror was a very large safe. He turns the dial back and forth a couple of time and the safe door opened. He took a copy of the will and two copies of his statement about Karl being Tim and placed them in the safe. Doc asked Hilda what was Timís real birth date, Tim had told Doc that Hilda had changed his birth date and Doc wasnít sure what she had changed.

Hilda thought for a few moments, "Itís August the ninth, nineteen twenty seven."

Doc said, "The combination will be 8927."

He fiddled around with the back of the dial for a few minutes then said, "Hilda, I want you to open the safe."

Hilda got up with a little uncertainty of what she had to do. Fear spread through her. She asked, "What do I do?"

Doc smiled and said, "Donít be frightened. You will do fine. First turn the dial clockwise 3 or 4 times then stop on 8ÖÖThatís fine, now turn it back counterclockwise all the way around to 9. Thatís wonderfulÖÖ.. Now turn it clockwise to 2Ö. Now turn it counterclockwise to 7."

Hilda took a deep sigh and asked, "What do I do next."

With a big smile on Docís face he said, "Sweetheart, you did fine. Push down on the handle and open the door."

Hilda pushed down on the handle. She pulls on the door. It squeaked as it swung open. Hilda let out another sigh of relief and said, "Thank God, I opened it. I hope that I donít forget how to do this."

Doc laughed and said, "Just tell Tim the combination is his birth date. He will figure it out. He is a very brilliant young man. If you have a moment I want you to read the next to last page. It has all of my possessions listed. I notice that you were a little overcome after you read the first few pages and never finished."

"Doc you are very kind. Are you sure you donít have anyone else in your family to leave your estate to?"

"I want Tim to have everything. I knew where Tim was living for 4 years and I didnít have the courage to help him out. I was so afraid of losing my own life that I could not help him. I am ashamed of myself. God forgive me. He is growing up to be the type of man I wish I could have been. I think Tim was almost caught a couple times. Thank God he wasnít. I was going to take him in. I donít know what I would have done if he were caught. I had so many chances to take him in and I didnít."

Hilda had finished reading the last page of the Will and said, "Doc if I am correct, you own almost everything in the Village. There are only a few places that you donít own. How did you come about owning all these places?" 

"I donít own the homes on the outskirts of the Village. I do own the land. I own all the older homes circling the center of the Village. My father owned almost all the land in the village. He told me that I should never sell the land. Over the years when a house came on the market and he did not own the land, we would buy it. Most of the land had been in our family for almost 3 hundred years. My grandfather built this building and Timís home. My great grandfather built the Tavern, the winery and the vineyard. I leased it to Fritzís father and to Fritz. The lease will be up in about 3 or 4 years. There is no option for him to renew the lease. If I am still living when the lease ends, I will not renew it. All of my brothers and sisters have passed away. For some reason we never had kids. I donít want to change the subject; I want you to know that I found out what you and Leo had started. The least I could do was to help pay the expense."

Hilda interrupted Doc. "What are you talking about."    

"There isnít much that goes on in the City that I donít know about. You know I was practicing until about six years ago. Hilda I am Jewish.  My family and I never went to the synagogue or practiced our religion in public. At family gatherings someone would say a Yiddish prayer. Basically that was the extent of our religious endeavor. Through a friend I found out that you and Leo were helping Jews get out of Austria. Since I did not help Tim, the least I could do was to help my friends and neighbors. I have given my attorney enough money to keep the service going till the end of the war."

"Doc, you are an angle."

"Hilda, please do not tell Tim about my will. I do not think he would accept it. I donít want him to get upset over it. Also, the night that Tim caught me sleeping, I donít believe I was sleeping. If Tim had not come over and you woke me up I believe I would have faded away."

Hilda sat quietly listening to Doc. Tears started to show in her eyes. Doc said, "Please donít cry over me. I have had a full life. Tim has made the past few years the happiest years of my life. I felt young again. My life had been melting away. I no longer felt useless. I was living again. I think I would have died if Tim had not come out of hiding. Tim gave me a burst of new energy. I would have passed away two years ago if it wasnít for Tim coming out of hiding. I no longer cared if I lived or died. I felt ashamed that I did not let Tim stay with me. Thatís enough of my own self pity."

Hilda asked, "Doc, who prepared your Will?"

"Another Jew like me, he is still practicing. Why?"

"I would like to make a new will. I still have the Will that Leo and I had. I have no one else to leave the Bakery to. I want to leave everything to Tim also. When Leo died there was no one left in either of our families except me and Karl. Now Karl is dead. Before Tim came out of hiding I did not know who I would leave it to and it's been a long time since I have even thought about the Will. Since I am thinking about it, I want to have a new Will drawn up and I want to leave everything I have to Tim."

Doc said, "I will call my Attorney and ask him to draw up a will similar to mine. What property do you have besides the Bakery?"

"Just the Bakery and we have a Swiss bank account also. The account that we have in the City is used for the Bakery and our personal needs."

"Call me up and give me the information on the accounts and I will call him tomorrow."

Doc leaned to one side and it looked as if he was going to fall off of his seat. Hilda jumped up to catch him. Doc caught himself. Hilda said, "Are you feeling all right? Doc have you seen a physician lately?"

"Hilda I am a physician. I just felt a little dizzy. I am well aware of my condition. I am getting to damn old."

"Doc you are not old, you are still a spry young chicken."

Doc chuckled and kindly said, "Hilda thanks for the compliment, I love you for that.  Letís face it; Iím just an old coot and I am not getting any younger."

Hilda got up walked over to Doc put her arms around him, kissed him on the cheek and said, "I have always thought you were an angel, now I know you are. The tourists must be driving Tim crazy. What do you think of Timís idea of serving coffee and pastries to the tourists?"

"As I said before, Tim is a very brilliant young man. That is why I am leaving everything to him. He will make good use of my estate."

Hilda could see that Doc was tired, she said as much, and suggested that he take it easy. Doc took her advice and laid down for a nap.

Tim was busy as hell. Hilda hurried; she went up the stairs and hid the documents. She rushed downstairs and saw that the pastries were almost gone. She went over to Tim and told him when everything is sold out to close up. Within the hour, they closed up the Bakery. Hilda had only scanned over the properties that Doc owned. She wanted to study the list of properties, but she had to prepare tomorrowís orders and dinner. She was rushing Tim. Tim asked, "Whatís the hurry? Itís still early."

Hilda could not wait until she could read all of Docís will, she replied, "I am tired and I want to go to bed early tonight."

Tim said, "OK, I will push it a little. You go ahead and go to bed I will finish up."

Hilda said, "No, you were up before me this morning. I will help you."

With both of us hurrying, it only took a little over an hour. I worked on the orders while Hilda made dinner. After I clean up the Bakery, and ate dinner, we were finished for the day. I told Hilda that I was going over to see Doc. Hilda told me that Doc didnít look his usual spry self and for me to keep an eye on him. When I reached Docís home the front door was open. I called Doc. Doc yelled back and told me to come on in. I asked Doc how he felt. I looked at Doc, his eyes were almost closed. I was worried and asked Doc, "Are you all right? You look as if you are about to go to sleep."

"Tim, do you mind if we donít have your lesson tonight? I have had a rough day. I feel as if I am going to fall asleep at any minute."

"No sir. Can I help you or get something for you."

"I am going to take a little nap in my favorite chair. You go on home. I will be all right."

"Doc, I can study here while you are sleeping. If you need something I can go get it for you."

"No son, you go on home. Hilda is alone and she needs you more than I do."

Reluctantly I went back home.

When Hilda heard Tim she hid the will and the other documents under the blanket. Tim told her that he did not like the way Doc looked and before he went to bed he was going back to Docís to check up on him. Tim went into his room and started studying. Hilda pulled out the documents from under the blanket and continued were she had left off.

For the next couple of weeks Hilda and I would check in on Doc every evening. He would assure us that he was fine. Hilda and I did not like the way Doc looked. Doc was not his usual spry self. He did not leave his home to shop for food or go out to eat. He had his meals delivered from the small restaurant where he usually ate. Doc would get sleepy earlier than he usually did. He did not have the pep we were accustomed to seeing. Doc would be talking to me and fall asleep in the middle of a sentence.  This bothered both of us.

Usually Hilda and I are fast asleep by nine. I had been studying in my room and wasnít paying attention to the time. During the last couple of weeks, I had been going over to Docís around nine thirty to check up on him. It was almost twelve oíclock and the curfew had started two hours ago. I turned the lights off in my room and headed for the front door. I looked up and down the streets and there were no soldiers in sight. I ran across the street and up the steps of Docís home. I took a quick look to see if a soldier had been hiding in the shadows. There werenít any. I turned the door knob to see if Doc had locked the door. The door was open and I went in. I turned on the lights and tiptoed down the hall to Docís bedroom. Usually Doc snores a little. There wasnít any sound coming from Docís bedroom. As I approached the bedroom, I did not hear a sound.  I turned on the light. I tried to wake up Doc, but I could not. I grabbed a mirror and held it to Docís mouth. There wasnít any indication that Doc was breathing. A flash of desperation ran through my body, I picked up the fragile little man in my arms. Tears streamed down my face. I carried Doc outside hoping to see a soldier. There were none around. Fritzís Tavern was loaded with soldiers. I ran across the street with Doc in my arms. I kicked the front door open with my foot and yelled Doc has to go to the hospital. No one paid any attention to me. I yelled to the top of my lungs, attention. Every soldier jumped up and stood at attention. I yelled this man has to be taken the barracks hospital. Who is the driver of that car out there? One of the soldiers raised his hand. I yelled to him letís go. The soldier said with a smirk on his face, "Who the hell are you?"

Fritz had heard me shouting and came out of his office. He called to the soldier. The soldier turned around and Fritz said, "You donít want to know. Get your ass moving."

As much as I hated Fritz, I wanted to thank him. We were on the way to the barracks and the soldier apologized to me and asked me who Doc and I were? I pulled my wallet out of my pocket and took out the ID that Fritz had given me. The soldier looked over his shoulder at me and said, "You are kind of young to be a Colonel."

"Look at the bottom of the card and see who signed it. Then tell me that I not old enough to be a Colonel."

I saw the fear in the soldierís face as he read the card. I said, "Do you still think I am too young to be a Colonel?"

Nervously he said "No sir."

The soldier again apologized to me and increased the speed. When we reached the gate to the Army Base the guard on duty asked the driver who he had in the car with him. He said, "SS Colonel Lipman. Call the hospital and tell them we have a patient coming."

The soldier snapped to attention and flagged us through. Tears were streaming down my face. When we got to the hospital there was a crew waiting. One on the men asked, "What had happened to Doc?"

I replied, "Doc is just getting old. I could not get any response out of him."

One of the nurses that had worked with Doc wheeled Doc into the emergency room and they started to work on him. Doc was on the brink of death. Miraculously, the crew brought Doc back. The word had gotten around the hospital that Doc was in the emergency room. A number of people that had worked with Doc came to help out. They had so many tubes and wires running from Doc that it was a wonder he wasnít dead from all the equipment.

I called Hilda and told her where I was. From what everyone had said, they didnít think Doc could survive. I told Hilda that I was going to stay with Doc until the end.

I sat quietly next to Doc for the next four hour then a twinkle of life came over Doc. He opened his eyes and saw me. Doc asked, "Where am I?"

I told Doc that we were at the Army hospital. In a weak voice Doc said, "I swore that I would never come back to this place."

Everyone smiled at him. One of the older nurses said sarcastically, "Doc, I told you to take care of yourself. No wonder you are back in here." 

With a little more liveliness in Doc voice, Doc cocked his head to one side, smiled, and looked at me, then said; "Now you know why I am so old. See what I had to put up with."

One of the nurses took me aside and told me to go on home; they would take good care of Doc. She assured me that if there was any change in Doc condition she would call me. The soldier that brought me to the hospital was still waiting. He was sleeping in the car. I shook him gently and said, "How about a ride home."

"Yes sir. Where do you live?"

"I live six doors down from Fritzís Tavern."

"Are you a really a Colonel Sir?"

"Yes, in a way I am. I get a Colonels pay and a Colonel privileges. My father was a hero and the Fuehrer gave me my fatherís commission and everything that goes with being a Colonel. I am sorry that I was abrupt. Doc is a very good friend of mine and I would hate to see him go."

The conversation ended. We rode in silence until the soldier dropped me off at the Bakery. I thanked him again. The sun had just peeked over the top of the building. Hilda was already working. She asked me how Doc was. I said, "I hope they are all wrong. They did bring him back. He and one of the nurses had a friendly argument. You could see they all loved him and they must have been very good friends. When one of the nurses left the room, I think she could not longer hold back her emotions. I could hear her crying as she went down the hall. I gathered that they donít thing Doc has very much time left."

Hilda hugged me and said, "I know how much you loved him. Some day you will know how much he loved you. Have you slept any?"

"No, I havenít closed my eyes, not for a few minutes. What do you mean? Some day, I will know how much he loves me?"

Hilda said to herself, "Me and my big mouth."

"Doc told me he had a present for you. He told me not to tell you and now I am in trouble. You go to bed I will take care of everything."

"No Mutti, if I know you, you have been up all night. I wonder what he is going to give me."

Hilda did not answer. We stumbled through the day. One of the nurses called and told me that Doc was still holding on and warned me that I shouldnít get my hopes up. Doc was a tuff old guy, but his engines needed a massive overhaul. She said that we could come to see him, but he was sedated and he would not know that we were there. She gave me a phone number that I could call and check up on Docís condition.

 

Doc had been holding on for almost a week. Hilda received a call from an attorney. He told her that Doc wanted to see her and Tim at the hospital and he would pick them up on the way to the hospital.

 

Late that afternoon Attorney Helmut Kuen picked us up at the Bakery and took us with him to the hospital. On the way to the Hospital, very little was said. Since Kuen and Hilda did not say anything, I did not question them. I was wondering why an attorney was going to the Hospital with us. When we got to Docís room, Doc was sitting up in the bed and kibitzing with the nurses. The tubes had been removed from Doc. Surprisingly Doc looked like his usual self. When Doc saw us he stretched his arms out and gave Hilda a long hug. He whispered something to Hilda. Tears started to appear in her eyes. Hilda put her arms around him, and asked, "Do you know you scared Tim and me to death?"

Doc apologetically whispered, "I am sorry, I promise, I will not do it again."

When I heard Docís promise, I prayed that he knew what he was saying. From what they had been telling me, Doc wasnít expected to live much longer. Like Hilda, my eyes started to water. I tried to hold back my emotions. I did not want Doc to see me crying.

The room was filled with Doctors and nurses. They were just standing around not saying or doing anything. I wondered why they were all there. Doc looked over at me and said, "Girls, didnít I tell you he was one handsome young man." 

I blushed and said, "Thank you. I am very happy to see you in such a good spirit. You are going to have to stop hypnotizing yourself. We were quite concerned about you the other day."

"Karl, Iím sorry that I scared you and Hilda. This time it wasnít hypnoses. And, thanks for checking up on me. I wouldnít be here if it wasnít for you. Karl would you go and get this pitcher filled with water."

Doc had sent Tim for the water to get him out of the room. He did not want Tim to know what was taking place. After Tim left the room Doc continued. "This is why I have you all here. I donít know how long I can hold out until God takes me away. Attorney Kuen has some papers for you to sign Hilda."

Attorney Kuen gave the document to Hilda and said, "Since you are Timís guardian I need your signature. Also, here is your Will. I want you to sign it too."

In another two-page document. It stated that she had never encouraged or influenced Dr. Von Gould concerning his Will. Nor, had she encouraged or persuaded Dr. Von Gould to leave his estate to anyone, it was Docís decision to leave his estate to the person of his choice, etc, etc. 

There was in another document in which stated that Dr. Von Gould was in sound mind when he signed his will and he signed it without anyone persuading, intimidating, influencing, threatening or enticing Dr. Von Gould in anyway.  Attorney Kuen stood in front of a group of about ten doctors and nurses, he asked them to swear that they never encouraged or persuaded Dr. Von Gould in any way concerning his Will. Then Kuen had the group of doctors and nurses swear that they had not conspired or threatened Dr. Von Gould in any way relating to his Will. Also, there was a statement that stated the Dr. Von Gould was of sound mind at the time he signed his will.

Kuen had all of the Doctors and Nurses sign the documents. When all the signing and swearing was over it looked like everyone in the hospital had signed the documents. 

Tim did not know why Attorney Kuen was at the hospital nor did he know about the Will. The Doctors and Nurses did not know what was in the Will or who would inherit Dr. Von Gouldís estate. Doc and Tim had become the best of friends. Tim only wanted Dr. Von Gould to live. Timís biggest concern was who was going to tutor him if Doc passed away.

Tim came back with the pitcher filled with water. The signing was still in progress. Doc asked Tim if he had put any ice in the water. Tim told him no. To get Tim out of the room again, he asked Tim to please fill the pitcher half full with ice. He told Tim that the nurses only gave warm water. When Tim came back the signing was complete and the crowd and had dispersed. Tim and Doc had been talking for a while. Hilda and Kuen noticed Doc starting to doze. Politely, Hilda told Tim that Kuen had to leave and Hilda said that they still had to some work to done at the Bakery. Tim did not want to leave Doc, he hugged Doc and told him to hurry up and get well. As they were leaving, Tim turned around and said, "Doc if they kicked you out of the hospital I will take care of you."

As Tim and Hilda were leaving, tears started to appear in their eyes. Part of the group of Doctors and Nurse were standing in the hall as Tim passed, he pleaded with the group to take good care of Doc. They told Tim that they would do everything they could. Tim knew that from what they had been telling him, it was a miracle that Doc held on this long. Dr. Von Gould held out for 2 more days. When a nurse came around to check on him she saw a smile on his face and said, "Donít pretend that you are asleep. I see that smile on your face."

She took his pulse then yelled. All the doctors and nurses on the floor ran into the room. This time in spit of all their efforts, they lost Doc.

Good bye Dr. Von Gould:

In Dr. Von Gouldís Will he wanted to be cremated and his ashes scattered through the Village where his family had lived for 3 hundred years. He was the last of his family. The whole Village attended the funeral. It surprised me, why did they come; none of them had visited Doc since I came out of hiding. Very seldom did I see anyone talking to Doc. They would nod their heads as they passed Doc, but would not say anything to him. It wasnít a fancy funeral and that was what Doc had requested. A friend of Docís in the Village, and a Christian Pastor held the Services.

I wanted to spread the ashes of Doc around the Village. I asked Kuen if I could spread Doc ashes around the Village. He told me that Doc would not want anyone else to spread his ashes. I took the urn with Docís ashes. I road Leo bicycle through the Village, I spread a small amount of the ashes on every block. I could not leave all of Docís remains on the street. I wanted part of him with me. I took the urn and put it on a table next to the chair where Doc relaxed and watch the streets of the Village. I took the stopper off of the urn and looked down into the urn. It was dark inside the urn. I could not see Docís ashes. A cold feeling came across me. I wanted to see Doc and remember the smile that lit up my life when I came to see him. I found a beautiful crystal vase with a stopper on top of it. I transferred the ashes from the urn to the vase. I could hear Doc thanking me for letting him see the world again. I smiled and said, "You are welcome. Now you can see the Village from your home and you can keep an eye on what is going on, as you have always done. I do not feel lonely when you are here with me."

Every time I enter Docís home, I could hear Doc greeting me. I no longer felt alone in Doc home. I knew that he was always there and nothing could harm him.

  About a week after Docís death, Attorney Kuen had the reading of the Will in his office in the City. He had only sent notices to Hilda and Tim. Somehow, everyone in the Village found out about the reading? Everyone that had a lease with Dr. Von Gould was there. Anyone that thought they had shown Dr. Von Gould any kindness or courtesy and felt that they should receive a part of his estate was at the reading. Of course the only people in the Village that cared about Dr. Von Gould were Hilda, Alfons and Tim.

There had never been so many disgruntled people anywhere. When they heard that Karl Lipman inherited everything, the room was in an uproar. Attorney Kuen yelled, "Ladies and gentlemen please be quiet. I havenít finished."

The room and the hall outside his office became deadly quiet. Kuen said, "Ladies and gentlemen, I know none of you received a notice of the reading of Dr. Von Gould Will. There was only two invitations sent out and they were to Hilda and Karl Lipman. They were the only ones mentioned in the Will. Dr. Von Gould did leave a letter he wanted circulated amongst you. Would you like to hear it now or wait until I post it on the Village bulletin board?"

The crowd yelled and screams they wanted to hear it now. Attorney Kuen said to them, "Very well. If I hear any noise from anyone I will stop reading it and you will have to wait to see it on the Village bulletin board."

Attorney Kuen read, "My dear friend and neighbors, almost all of you are living on my property. When you read or hear my words. I will be in a place where none of you can get to me. For all of the humiliation that my family and I have received from you and your families over the last 3 hundred years, I wish you a grand farewell. I could wish that all of you would all go to hell. But, I shall not say that, God may send me there for just thinking about it. I have lived in this Village all of my life. I was picked on because I was smaller than the rest of my generation and you envied my family. I was never invited to any of your gathering and neither was anyone in my family. The days when I was sick and when I tripped and broke my leg the only people that came to my aid were Hilda and Leo Lipman. Tim Williams and his parents fed and cared for me. Tim came to my home and got things for me that I could not reach. When my leg itched he would run his small hand up under the cast and scratch it for me. None of them ever asked for or wanted anything for their help. I know the ones that turned our Jewish neighbors over to the Nazis. I did not forgive you then and I will not forgive you in Heaven or Hell, where ever I should end up. I went to Switzerland and mailed a letter to the allied Commanding Officers in England and America it states the crimes you have committed. I hope you are punished for the crimes you have done against humanity. All of you will remember the days they paraded our Jewish neighbors down the street. I hope you have nightmares of this scene for the rest of your life as I had.  A special message for you Herr Fritz Huber, I hope that you and your Nazi friends will rot in hell. My good neighbors if you loaned him money, donít be surprised that he will tell his Nazi friend that you are Jewish so he does not have to pay off the loan you gave him. He is the one that pointed his finger at his neighbors and friends and said they were Jewish whether they were or not. He did this so he would not have to share the profit he made on the Tavern, Winery and Vineyard. Herr William invested thousands of American dollars into Fritzís Vineyard. Herr William is not a Jew and neither was his son. Fritz, in the letter that I sent to the allies I told them what you and your friends have done to your neighbors."

The crowd started to talk amongst themselves. The Attorney stopped reading and told them they would see the letter on the Village bulletin board and asked them all to leave.

As the crowd slowly exited the office Tim got up and started to leave. The attorney took Timís arm and said, "There is more in Dr. Von Gould letter. When they are all gone I will read the important part to you. You can have it to read all of it at your convenience."

The last person in the crowd exited the door. Tim walked over to the door and shut it and then asked, "Can I read the letter now."

Attorney Kuen said, "You are Tim Williams arenít you."

"Yes sir, I am. Did Dr. Von Gould tell you?"

"No, but over the years he told me enough that I had figured it out. Your secret is safe with me. I know about the underground highway that you and Hilda are involved in. Doc has given me enough money to keep it in operation until the end of the war. Doc requested that you do not renew the lease on the Tavern and the Vineyard. It will be over in about 4 years. If Fritz tries to get you to renew the lease before then, tell him that according to the Will you are not authorized to do anything until you are 21. By then the allies will be here and you should not have any trouble. Do you understand? Doc would come back to life and kill you and Fritz if you renewed the lease to Fritz. If you ever have any trouble with Fritz or anyone else, please call me. Doc and I have been very close over the years. I know how much he loved you, Hilda and your family. He and Alfons were very good friends. Hilda, Doc told me that you and Leo have helped Alfons over the years and he hopes that you will continue."

Tim said, "I have tried to get Alfons to stop drinking. Hilda would give him a job at the Bakery if he would stop drinking. Do I have to wait until I am 21 before I can get any of the estate? Docís library has some books that I need. Can I use them?"

Kuen smiled and said, "No, you do not have to wait until are 21. You can do anything you want with Dr. Von Gouldís property. You can not renew Fritzís lease on the Tavern and the Vineyard. That is the only thing that you are not allowed to do. He hopes that you will never sell any of the land. He wants you to pass it on to your children. Of course Hilda is your guardian until you are 20. She might slap your hand if you start squandering the money. Tim, you are a very fortunate. You will have all the money that you will ever need. Please donít squander it."

Hilda interrupted Kuen and said, "Tim is a very good young man. He will not squander the money." 

Attorney Kuen said, "I know. Doc and I have talked about you Tim. Doc thought very highly of you and your family. He was very ashamed of not helping you after the Nazis took your family away. I want to thank you for coming and I wish you both the very best. Hilda, if you and Tim every need me for anything, donít hesitate to call me. Doc took good care of me and he asked me to help you two whenever you needed it."

We thanked Kuen and opened the door to the hall. There was still a mob outside Kuen office. Tim had parked the truck on the side of the building. Kuen suggest that we leave through the rear of the building. We followed Kuen out the rear of his office to the rear of the building. Kuen walked out to the truck with us and watched as we drove away.

 

As we drove home Hilda asked me, "What are you going to do with all the money? What do you want?"

I did not hesitate, "A new oven for the Bakery, a salesman was in last week and they have one that doesnít heat up as much as the old one. Would you like a new oven?"

Hilda smiled and said, "Of course I would like a new oven. But, it will cost too much."

I insisted, "When we go to the bank we will see how much money is the bank. If we donít have enough money in this bank we will get all we need out of Switzerland."

Hilda asked, "How do you know there is money in a Swiss bank?"

"Dr. Von Gould told me a lot about his finances before he died. I was always wondering why he was telling me about his finances. I thought he was kidding me when he told me about all the property that he owned in the Village. He showed me a map of the Village and he told me that he owned all the properties in the center of Village except for my home, your Bakery, Peter and Heatherís homes and a few houses on the next block. I really thought he was kidding me. He never told me how much money he had in the Swiss bank. But from what he said it must be quite a bit. I think he mentioned that he has some money in the house."

On the way home I tried to convince Hilda to get a new oven. She knew how the old oven worked and I think she was a little afraid that she would no cook the bread and pastries at the right temperature or burn them. By the time we go back to the Village, I thought that I had talked her into buying a new oven. She was still a little unsure about buying a new oven. 

For the next few weeks with the help of a salesman we finally persuaded Hilda that we needed a new oven. It would take up less room and we could bake more loaves of bread at one time. It had two sections; each section had its own controls. We could still use the old oven while they were installing the new one. If we wanted, there was enough room for both ovens. We decided to let them put the new oven in and let us get accustom to it before they took out the old oven.

There was more than enough money in one of Docís account in the Village for the new oven. Hilda held out for a couple more weeks before she consented to having the new oven installed. They had to open up the back wall of the Bakery to get the oven inside. They did not close the opening. They hung a large canvas over the hole. Hilda hated to see the old oven go. It was like saying goodbye to an old friend. She and Leo had bought the oven when they first took over the Bakery from Leo parents. Hilda showed me a picture of the original oven. It was much smaller than the one we were going to give up. It took about a month for Hilda to become accustom to the new controls. Once she was satisfied that she knew how to operate the new oven, reluctantly she let them remove the old oven. Tears came to her eyes as she watched them drive away with the old oven. They assured her that they would not dump it. They were going to install new controls, add new insulation and try to resale it. Hilda felt a little better after they told her that they were not going to scrap the old oven. She hated to see an old friend tossed aside. It had provided her and Leo a comfortable life.

The new oven was much cooler and simpler to operate. There was no guess work in determining when the bread was done. It would buzz when the bread was done. Even with the new oven, I noticed that the strain of our everyday life was still affecting Hilda. Even with me making the deliveries and doing all the heavy lifting, Hilda was quit exhausted at the end of the day. I pleaded with her to get help at the Bakery. She insisted that she was all right. One afternoon Hilda returned from making one of her special deliveries in the City. The emotional strain that she went through when she delivered the poor sole was too much for her. Soon it would kill her like it had killed Leo. It was no question in my mind that she needed to go to see a doctor. But, determined as she was, Hilda insisted that she was fine. All she needed was a few hours of sleep and she would be good as new. She always looked exhausted, even after she had rested all night. It showed when she worked and moved around in the Bakery. She had been going downhill since I came out of hiding. I wondered if it had anything to do with me. Was I a burden on her? Should I have gone back into hiding? Each day, I was getting more concerned about her health. I had to force her to take it easy. In the evening, I would not let her help me prepared for the next dayís orders. I had to physically make her go upstairs and rest.

One evening after work, Christie had been visiting the Bergers. I think she visited Marie so she could stop over and visit me. At least that is what I hoped. Christie came in and heard me talking to Hilda about her being over worked. Immediately, Christie offered to help out at the Bakery. Hilda told Christie she did not know what she was getting herself into. She laid out the facts that we got up at four in the morning and didnít finish until after dark. This did not deter Christie. I told her that she would have to give up the job at the Rathskeller. Nothing we could say could discourage Christie from wanting to work at the Bakery. The biggest problem was Christiís father. Would a man in his position allow his daughter to work in a Bakery? Hilda and I didnít know anything about Christie or her work habits. We wondered how long she would hold out at the Bakery.

Christiís was her fatherís favorite, what Christie wanted Christie got. One evening after she had visited Marie she walked into the Bakery with her father. She introduced Hilda and me to her father. The General was a little on the heavy side and in his mid fifties. His uniform was not form fitted and it was a little wrinkled. His shoes were a little beaten up. He wasnít the normal Nazi officer that strutted up and down the streets in neat well fitted uniform and polished boots.

Hilda and I were in our work clothes and we looked like we had been dragged through the sewer. Flour plus a little bit of everything else was plastered all over our aprons. But the Bakery was neat as a pin.  

The General looked around as to inspect the premises then smiled at me and reached out and shook my hand. Then he said, "Tim I have heard a lot about you. Christie told me that you and Hilda run this Bakery by yourselves. That is quite an accomplishment. She tells me that she would like to help you out. She feels that it is a strain on you and Hilda. She would love to work with you."

Hilda said, "Sir, I donít think she knows what she is getting herself into. We get up at 4 in the morning and we do not finish until after dark. It is very hard work. She is welcome to come and help us, but she may regret it."

Bower said, "Hilda, I have worked hard and came up through the ranks. I would not be where I am today if I shied away from hard labor. I think it is a good idea for Christie to know what hard labor is all about. It is not all fun and games, as soon as she learns this, the better off she will be. Christie, are you sure youíre ready to learn what hard work is really like?"

With an anxious look on Christie face, and looking up at her father, she politely said, "Yes Papa, when do I start working?"

The General smiled at his little angle and looked at Hilda then said, "Christie, they said they start at 4 in the morning. Do you think you could make it?"

Still Anxious, Christie nods her head and said. "Yes Papa."

I said, "We get up at 4. Some days we donít start to work until 5 or 5:30. That depends on how we both feel. We pay for it in the evening. We are working later in the evening for the time we lost in the morning. Itís a vicious cycle that we go through every day. "

Christie asked, "Is 5:30 okay?"

Hilda said, "Honey, you can come any time you want. You do not have to be here that early,"

Christie said, "I want to be here when you start in the morning. What time do you want me here?"

I said, "Christie, things around here start popping around six. We are very busy with making and preparing the pastries and we get interrupted by the customers. Even six would be too early."

The General said, "We will have her here at six. How many schillings a day is she worth?"

Christie said, "I donít want any money. I just want to help them out."

Hilda smiled and said, "We will not let you work for nothing. We will discuss your salary tomorrow. Is that all right with you?"

With a big smile on Christie face she said, "Yes thatís fine with me. Iíll see you tomorrow morning at 6. I am looking forward to working with you. May I call the Rathskeller? I want to resign my position there."

Hilda nods and said, "Of course honey."

Christie picked up the phone and asked the operator to connect her with the Rathskeller. She told the manager that she would not be working tomorrow and she was resigning her position. The General thanked Hilda and me. He assured us that she would be there at 6 tomorrow morning. I walked to the car with Christie and her father. I watched them drive off. I hurried back into the Bakery. I yelled at Hilda. She sensed from the sound of my voice something was wrong. I saw the fear in her face. She asked, "What happened?"

Excitedly I said, "Did you hear what the General called me?"

"No, what did he call you?"

"He called me Tim. I think he knows who I am. How does he know?"

Hilda thought for a moment. A surprised look came across her face and she said, "You are right. He did call you Tim. I am so use to calling you Tim that I did not think anything about it. Maybe Christie heard me calling you Tim and she thought it was your nickname. Donít worry about it."

I did worry about it. Now, I am not sure if I should go back into hiding. I did not want to worry Hilda. She had enough to worry about. We went to bed early. I could not stop thinking about the General calling me Tim. How did he know that my name was Tim? Did he call me Karl and I thought that he called me Tim? No, Hilda heard him call me Tim.  Should I go back into hiding or stay here with Hilda. If I went back into hiding, it may draw a lot of suspicion, and I did not want to go back into hiding. I loved being out here with Hilda. A beautiful young lady would be working with me tomorrow. Charlie kept nagging me to go back into hiding. He told me that I was throwing my life away for a pretty girl. He had almost convinced me. As I lay in bed, I decided to sneak back into my home before the alarm went off at four. I finally fell asleep.

When the alarm went off, I felt that I had not slept at all. I dragged myself out of bed and got dressed. For a moment I had forgotten that Christie would be coming in this morning and I had planned to go back into hiding. A flash of memory popped up, I remember that Christie would be here soon, a shot of adrenaline went through my body. I still had not remembered that I planned to go back into hiding this morning. Later when I did remember, the desire to be with Christie held me back. I decided to wait and see what would happen. I had taken a bath last night before I went to bed. I took another bath, brushed my teeth for a long time. I put on fresh work clothes. I was making sure that everything was in place when Hilda called me and said, "What are you doing in there? You have been in there for forty-five minutes. Christie will be here soon."

I opened the door and Hilda looked me up and down and said, "You look ravishing. Christie will go crazy when she sees you."

Christie goes to Work:

My thoughts had been on Christie and nothing else. I had been doing everything automatically. I could not think of anything but Christie and her father calling me Tim. When I came out of my trance, I had not remembered what I had done. I had to retrace my steps to see what I had done. Fortunately, everything seemed to be in order.  The oven was set correctly, the bread was in the oven, and I had started working on the pastries. The pastries looked normal. For the life me, I could not remember what I had done that morning. I was not sure if I had put in all the ingredients. I tasted what was left in the bowls and it appeared to be alright. It anyone complained about the taste, I would know that I had left out something. I had never had an experience like this before.

So far, Christie and I only had casual strolls through the Village, a lot of kissing, a little touching and a lot of hugging while we did all the other things. When we were not kissing and had time to talk, the topic of the conversation was about her job at the Rathskeller. She also told me little stories about Marie and Hans. She loved Marie, but she thought Hans was a jerk. Marie was easy to talk to and a lot of fun. She always had something cute to say about almost everything. She said that Hans strutted around like a proud peacock at the Rathskeller. I had wanted so much to contribute to the conversation concerning Hans and Marie. Little did Christie know I lived under the Bergerís noses for almost 4 years? I was wondering if Marie knew I was Tim and she had told Christie.

 

Christie had questioned Marie extensively about Tim. She had her father look into his background. Her father could not find any records that Colonel Karl Lipman had a son. They found records of Hildaís son Karl Lipman, his grandfather, and there were records of Leo Lipman. Nothing was found about Hildaís nephew Karl Lipman. Her father told her that many young girls have babies out of wedlock and there is no record that their child was ever born. If their parentís do not register them or they do not register themselves then there is no record of them. His father could have had someone in the Nazi Party issue him an identification card. Sometimes the identification cards are not recorded. 

When no one was around, Hilda would use Tim birth name. A few times she would slip up and call him Tim instead of Karl. If anyone questioned Hilda, she would cover it over by saying that she had said something else.

Most of the time, the morning would run along smoothly. The bread will be baked by 6 and the pastries would be ready for the oven. By preparing the bread for the oven the night before made things run much smoother in the morning.

A few minutes before six, Christie walks in, she was wearing slacks, her hair was tied up in a bun, and a scarf was tied around her head. She smiled and went over and gave Hilda a kiss on the cheek and thanked her for giving her the job. With a cheerful smile she winks at me and said, "Good morning handsome."

Of course I blushed; I could not hold it back. I acknowledge her good morning and said, "Are you ready to go to work?"

Sarcastically she said, "Of course I am. Why do you think I got up at 4:30 so I could be here at 6?"

Hilda chuckled, and thought, "She didnít come to work. You came to be close to Tim."

Christie hooked one arm around me, nestles her head against my chest, looked up into my eyes, licked her lips, and with a sexy look on her face she whispered, "What would you like me to do handsome?"

Again, I blushed; I knew what was on her mind. Nervously, I explained to Christie what had to be done. She was always two steps ahead of me. Christie knew exactly what had to be done.  I thought that she had worked for Hilda before. Christie had seen the pastries at the Rathskeller and knew how to decorate them. I could not keep my eyes off of her. All morning I could not stop looking at her. When Christie caught me looking at her, Christie would glow, a big smile would cover her face and sometimes she would throw me a kiss. My face would turn a bright red and I could feel the warmth in my cheeks. I tried to produce a smirk, as if to say you are annoying me, but I could not. Christie had me so excited that I did not know what I was doing. I was so confused that I was in the same trace that I was in earlier this morning. I could not think of anything but Christie. I was constantly going back over what I had done to see if I had screwed up. I was trying to separate the orders, place them in sequence and load them in the truck so I did not have to do it when I made the deliveries. It saved me a least an hour every day, if not more. I did not have to search through the truck trying to find the items that the customer had ordered. I hoped that I had not mixed up the orders.

Due to Christie antics, Hilda was almost in hysterics from watching Christie tease Tim. She had to hide her face so Tim would not see her laughing at him. At one time it was so amusing that she had to walk out of the Bakery. Her sides were killing her from trying to keep from laughing. She didnít want to interrupt Christie advances. Christie antics brought back memories of her and Leo. She loved to tease Leo during their courtship. She never got the pleasure of seeing her son Karl go through a young courtship. Not only was it comical, it was beautiful to see a young couple getting to know each other.

With Tim being locked away in the attic, he did not have the opportunity to associate with young ladies. All the attention and the flirtatious antics that Christie was throwing at him had caught Tim off guard. Tim tried to be business like and told Christie the prices of all the different pastries. He told her that she could write down the prices if she wanted to. She said that it would not be necessary. She rattled off the prices of all the different pastries as if she had been working there for months. Hilda was surprised that Christie knew just how to decorate the different pastries. Once Christie settled down and stopped pestering Tim, she was a great help. Between customers she helped out with whatever Tim and Hilda was doing. With Christie around, the day passed very rapidly. She kept Tim and Hilda laughing all day. She had brought happiness and excitement to the lives of Hilda and Tim. At the end of the day, Hilda asked her if she wanted to stay for dinner. She wanted to very much, but her father driver was going to pick her up.

Christie said, "I could not eat another bite. I have been nibbling on the crumbs and the broken pastries all day."

Christie took off her apron and gave Hilda a kiss on the cheek. She again thanked Hilda for letting her work with them. Hilda asked Christie what was her salary at the Rathskeller. Christie looked at Hilda and said, "I am doing this because I want to. I have had more fun today than I have had all of my life."

Christie walked over to me, puts her arms around my neck, stands on her tiptoe, and gave me a long sensuous kiss. When she finished she looked me in the eyes and puts a hand on each of my cheeks, pecks me on my nose with her finger and then dashes out the door. I stood motionless for a few moments then dashed to the door and waved at her as they drove away in the darkness.

 

With the excitement of having Christie around and trying to fill all the orders Hilda and I didnít have very much time for ourselves or time to think about the inheritance. The people that had leases were still depositing their payments at the local bank. We did not know if anyone was delinquent with their payments or not. The statements from the bank were being delivered to Docís address. I kept them in a neat stack on Docís desk. Kuen had given Hilda a couple of check books from the local bank. Any checks that I wrote, Hilda had to co-sign the check.

I had made a number of visits to Docís home. I still felt uneasy about being in Docís home without Doc being there. There was a very deep emotional attachment between me and Doc. Some of the most insignificant things that I saw or did would remind me on Doc and tears would come to my eyes. I truly miss the old man. He had become a part of me and someone had taken him away from me. A feeling of loneliness swept through my body when I thought of Doc. As I walked through the house I expected to see Doc stepping out in front of me and asking what was I doing there. I liked to study at Docís. There were hundreds of books lining the walls. There wasnít a subject that wasnít covered. When I would ask Doc a question relating to a particular subject, Doc knew just where to find the book that covered the subject. The books were not for show. They looked as if they had been read from cover to cover a hundred times. Yet they were still in very good condition. 

As the weeks went by Christie antics slacked off. Hilda was surprised at how hard Christie worked. She had taken a load off of Hilda and me. I had become use to the affection that Christie had for me. Our affection was a little more sensual. It was hard for me to keep from taking her upstairs when Hilda wasnít around. We did some very heavy petting between customers. I was only sixteen. I was afraid to have sex with Christie. If Christie became pregnant her father would kill me. I was not sure if Christie was teasing me or she wanted me to make the advances. As much of Christie body that I had touched, there were parts of her that I could not bring myself to touch. With all the desire that I saw in Christie face and the overwhelming desire that flamed my body, it was driving me up the walls. I would daydream of what it would be like to make love with Christie. These daydreams were interfering with my studies and my work, but I did not care.

Hans the Pipeline:

One evening I was studying and I overheard Marie and Hans arguing about something. I went to Docís listing room to listen to Marie and Hans. I put the headset on and turned on the amplifier. I adjusted the volume and I could hear every word they said. They were talking about something Hans had heard at the Rathskeller. It sounded like there had been a shake up at the Factory. Someone said that they replaced General Bower and his research team with a group of scientist from Germany. The top brass in Germany thought that General Bowerís research team was dragging their feet. The officers said that there was a big argument about the chemical they were going to test. The scientist of the old research team said the chemicals that the scientist wanted to use were too unstable to use in the tests. Bower had told them if they used those chemical they would blow up the whole Factory. He had pleaded with them for their own safety, and emphatically told them not to experiment with certain chemicals at the Factoryís test sight. He told them if there was an accident it would flatten the Factory. The head of the new research team was so mad that new Commanding Officer had all of the old research team locked up at the Army barracks. He forbids anyone discussing the encounter. The new Commanding Officer didnít want them interfering with the new team. Hans told Marie that one of the officers said that a Doctor Williams screamed at the new team as they were leaving the Factory. He said that they were going to kill all the workers at the Factory and that would set their research back for many years. The new Commanding Officer told them to gag the loudmouth.

Marie said, "Do you think that is the Williams that lived here. He was a chemist."

It had not quite sunk in that the man they were talking about could be Papa until Marie mentioned his name. Hans thought for a moment then said, "I donít know. It could be. The officer said that Dr. William had been hurt in an accident at the Factory a few years ago and the General sent him to a special hospital in German and he had been going to the hospital at the Army Base, maybe it is Dr. Williams."

I jumped with excitement. I wanted to scream that Papa was alive. I listened to what else Han would say. This was the first time that I wanted Hans to talk; he did not say another word. I sat there for a while hoping Hans would continue with the conversation. I wanted to scream out to Hans, "What else did they say."

The fat slob did not say another word.

I wanted to go out to the Army Base to see if it was my father. Would Christie father know? Then a cold thought came across my mind. I couldnít go to see my father. They would lock me up. Christie knew me as Karl Lipman not as Tim Williams. I felt trapped. I pacing the floor trying to think of a way I could find out if this Dr. Williams was my father. I felt lost and did not know who to talk to. I remembered what my father had told me, stop what you are doing, relax for a while, then go back, and try to resolve your problem with a calm mind. I sat down in Docís chair for a few minutes. I tried to stop thinking about Papa.  I tried to switch my thoughts to Christie.  That did not work either. After a while, I thought Hilda could find out or maybe Christy would know if Dr. William had lived in the Village. Christie may know who is on the old research team or she could ask her father. I turned off the hearing device, turned off all the lights, and ran to the Bakery. The door was locked. I took my key and opened the door. There was only one light on downstairs. I walked upstairs to Hildaís room she was laying across the bed face down. She hadnít put on her nightgown. The first thing she usually does when she gets ready for bed was to remove her soiled clothes and put on a housecoat while she was getting ready for bed.

I shook Hilda lightly. There was no response. I shook her again, still no response. I turn her over. When I saw her face, I knew something terrible was wrong. A cold chill ran through my body. Tears flooded my face. I shouted to Hilda to wake up. Charlie yelled at me, "Call for an ambulance."

I ran to my room and looked for the telephone number that they had given me when I wanted to inquire about Doc. I went down stairs to the telephone in Hildaís office. I picked up the phone. Usually the operator answers immediately. When she finally answered, I told her to connect me with the hospital at the Army Base and gave her the number. It was the closes hospital. When someone answered the telephone I said, "This is Colonel Lipman. Please send an ambulance to the Lipman Bakery in the Village. My aunt is unconscious. I am not sure what has happened to her. Please hurry."

The person that answered the phone knew that I had brought Doc to the hospital. I told her that I would leave the front door of the Bakery open and I would be with my Aunt on the second floor.

I opened the front door and ran back up the stair to Hilda. She had not moved. She was breathing and her heart was beating. I took a damp cloth and wiped her face with it. I prayed that she would open her eyes. There was no response.

Sooner than I expected, I heard the corpsmen call to me from downstairs. I yelled to them to come up stairs. Within minutes they were at Hildaís side and preparing her for the trip to the hospital. The corpsmen let me ride in the rear of the ambulance with Hilda. Her condition had not changed.

I prayed to God, I asked God why he had taken all the people that I loved and cared for. In my silent prayer I told God, you have taken my parents away from me, you took my best friend Peter, my other neighbors, and you took Doc. Please leave Hilda with me. I know I promised my parents that I would kill the Nazis that took them from me. If you give Hilda back to me I will not kill the Nazis."

In contempt, I asked God if he was he going to take Christie away just because I was in love with her. Then I remembered what Hans had said about Dr. Williams. I had forgotten about my father. I had wanted some way to get on the Army Base. Maybe God had put Hilda to sleep so I could get on the Army Base. 

The corpsman was friendly, he told me her vital signs were not too bad. They could be better. I didnít want to come right out and ask about my father. I looked around as if I didnít want anyone to hear me and I whispered to the Corpsman, "I heard in the Village that you got a few new guests that worked at the Factory."

The corpsman didnít say anything for a few moments then whispered, "You know that we are not allowed to talk about the Factory, it is a top secret. We have orders not to talk to anyone about the Factory. Today the Gestapo brought in a busload of men that worked at the Factory. They have them housed next door to hospital."

I asked, "Do you know the names of any of the scientist that worked at the Factory. Some of them lived in the Village before they started housing them at the Factory."

"Not really, I have seen some of the scientists that were injured at the Factory. They were being treated at the hospital. I donít know their names. Some of them were very seriously injured."

I had completely forgotten about Hilda lying there with her life drifting away. The corpsman saw the tears in my eyes and said, "Frau Lipman will be fine. She is holding on. The doctors at the hospital are the best in the country."

I was thinking about my parents. When the corpsman mentioned Frau Lipman it brought me out of the trance. I looked down at Hilda and said, "Mutti donít leave me now, I need you more than ever."

The corpsman asked, "Is this your mother?"

"No, she is my aunt. She has been like a mother to me. She lost a son, and she needed someone to take his place and keep her mind off of her lost. One day I called her Mutti by mistake and she wanted me to continue calling her Mutti. It has become a habit. I call her Mutti without thinking. "

I looked out the window and we were turning into the emergency entrance. They wheeled Hilda away. A nurse that I had seen in Docís room saw the tears in my eyes and tried to console me. She got me a cup of coffee and told me that I could wait in the waiting room. She told me if anything came up she would let me know.

I had been waiting for almost an hour when a Doctor came over to me and said, "Your Aunt Hilda is doing fine, she had a mild stroke. She is under sedation and she will not be able to talk to you for a couple of days. Itís best that you go home and if there is any change we will call you." 

The doctor arranged for transportation back to the Village. The driver seemed a little annoyed. He looked as if he was still sleeping. I asked the driver if he would like me to drive. The driver pulled to the side of the road and let me drive. The driver was asleep before I could get the car moving. I had hoped that I could question the driver, but it was a lost cause. When I reached the Bakery, the noise of the cobblestone streets woke the driver. I thanked him and went upstairs to bed.

I was emotionally exhausted. My fear that Hilda would die and the possibility that my parents were still alive had twisted my brain into a knot. One moment I was thanking God for looking over my father. If Papa was alive, maybe Mutti was still alive. When I thought of Hilda, I wanted to curse God.

If my parents are still alive, would they recognize me? Would I recognize them?  Is the Gestapo still looking for me? Would the Gestapo arrest me when I approached my parents? Are they still prisoners? Who can I talk to, Doc is dead and Hilda is in a coma? What can I do?  I felt trapped.

Alone at the Bakery:

Finely I fell asleep. The alarm went off, like every morning, I felt like I had only been asleep for a few minutes. I had been asleep for a couple of hours. I dragged myself out of bed and turned the oven on as usual. Without Hilda helping me, I had to work twice as fast. A thought flashed through my mind, how in the world did Hilda managed the Bakery by herself. She must have worked around the clock. When did she sleep? I needed ten hands and twenty bodies to manage the Bakery by myself.

At 6 on the nose Christie walked in the door. With a happy flirtatious smile she sang out good morning everyone. I yelled, "Come over here. I am alone."

Christie dashed over to me and said, "You are alone."

Before I could say a word she gave me one of those hot Christie kisses. Then she said, "Where is Hilda?"

"She is in the hospital."

"Which one?"

"The hospital at the Army Base, she had a mild stroke. I canít go see her for a few days. They have her on IV and she will be sedated for a few days. I was studying over at Docs and when I came home she had passed out on her bed up stairs."

"I knew that Doc had died. What were you doing over at Docís house?"

I was surprised that Christie did not know that Doc left his estate to me. I said, "Doc left everything to me, including his home."

With a surprised look on her face Christie said, "You are not serious are you? What about his family? Didnít he leave something for his family?"

"Doc was the last of his family. No children, no living relatives."

Curiously she questioned me, "Why did he give everything to you?"

I almost let it slip out who I really was. I stopped in the middle of a word and didnít say another word. I could not believe that Christie had not heard about me inheriting Docís estate. Everyone in the Village knew that I inherited Docís estate. Why hasnít she heard about it? I knew that I had not mentioned it to her. Christie asked, "What did you say?"

"I donít know why he left everything to me. Maybe he likes Hilda. For years, Hilda was the only one around that even talked to him. She would send me over with some of the left over pastries. He had been tutoring me. Doc and I enjoyed being together. Doc and I had a lot in common, but not in the brain department though."

Christie said, "Honey, most kids at your age are not taking college courses."

A chill flashed through me. I turned away so Christie would not see the look of fear that must be on my face. I asked myself, how did Christie know how old I was and how does she know that I am taking college courses. Did Hilda tell her? Hans and Marie donít know. How did she find out? Still looking away from Christie, I said, "I had a good tutor. Doc made subject interesting. It was more fun than going to school. Regardless of the subject, Doc had a vast knowledge of everything. He never gave me a written test. They were always verbal.  We would just talk about things as we are doing now and everything would stay in my brain. I have to take a test at school every 6 months. The last time I took the test I asked the lady to give me a test for a higher class. For some unknown reason, she does not like me. She has never been friendly to me. I felt like she wanted to flunk me so that I would have to go to school. She gave me the tests that they gave teachers that had 4 to 6 years of college. I answered all of the questions correctly except for 3. I left them blank. With a cocky look on her face she said, "See you are not that smart, you didnít answer three questions."

"Doc had prepared me for this type of test. He told me that they would always put in a few questions that had no answers. He said that if I ever came across any, leave the question blank or say that the questions cannot be answered. I told the examiner that there wasnít a logical answer for any of the three questions. She took the answer sheet and looked up one of the answers. From the look on her face, I knew that she had opened her mouth too soon. She hurried through the answer sheet for the other two answers. I knew she was in trouble. I told her goodbye and that I would see her in 6 months. I didnít want to get into an argument with her, so I left."

Christie did not say anything more about me receiving the inheritance or about my studying. From the look on Christiís face she knew that she had said something she should not have said. How much more does she know about me. Had Christieís father looked into my background? How did she know I was taking college level subjects? Did she know about the inheritance before I told her? I am sure that Marie and Hans must have said something about it. Christie was more interested in why I was in Docís house than how Hilda was doing. Her father had called me Tim. Why? As much as I liked Christie, this bothered me. My suspicions had come alive. Charlie was making it worse. He told me not to trust her. Mutti had warned me that Christieís father was a high ranking Nazi officer. Oh God, help me. Had my true identity surfaced? Do I have to go back into hiding? Please God, donít make me go back into hiding. Inside of me was being torn apart. Love and hate was twisting my brain apart. I was afraid that my life was coming apart. I did not know who to trust. I tried to forget what was spinning around in my mind and get back to work.

Now it was up to Christie and me to run the Bakery. Christie pitched in. She was a great help. As the day past, my suspicions about Christie were fading away. Between customers, Christieís affections for Hilda and me were starting to show. Her love and warmth intensified. My suspicions about Christie were melting away.

Christie kept the Bakery open while I made all the deliveries.  Surprisingly none of the customers asked how Hilda was doing or about the inheritance. They all looked at me with hate or were they jealous. I had no idea of the power and wealth that came with the inheritance. Almost everyone in the Village leased their homes from Doc. How much was he worth. After Hoffman picked Christie up I closed the Bakery. I called the hospital and asked about Hilda. The nurse told me that Hilda was doing fine, but they were not allowing her to have visitors. She was still sedated.

I went over to Docís to study. For a while I listen to Hans and Marie hoping he knew more about my father. The change of the Factory personnel did not came up again. For the next week Hilda was under medication. They would not let her have visitors until they were sure that she was on the way to recovering from the stroke. Christie and I were working our butts off. We were so busy that we didnít have much time to mess around. My suspicions of what Christie knew about me and her father calling me Tim, they kept popping up. I tried to get the thoughts out of my mind, but I could not.

As usual, I studied at Docís. Every night before I went back to the Bakery I would listen in on what Hans and Marie for a few minutes. Most of the time, Hans and Marie were quiet. Even though I owned everything in Docís home I still felt that I was intruding on Docís personal life. I felt embarrassed about snooping around in Docís home. I was running a little short of cash at the Bakery and bills were coming in. I couldnít get any money out of the bank because Hilda had to co-sign the checks. Hilda had taken care of all the purchases and bills. I wondered if Doc had any cash lying around. He had hinted that there was money in the house. But, the house was not lined with gold.

Was Doc managing the properties or was someone else. I started looking for records of Docís estate. A bankbook, checks, deeds anything that would tell me who had been managing Doc finances? On top of Doc desk was Attorney Kuenís business card. I gave the number to the operator. The phone rang three of four times before Attorney Kuen answered. I apologized for bothering him so late. I asked if he had heard what had happened with Hilda. Kuen blurted out, "What happened to Hilda?"

I told him that Hilda had a stroke. He said that he had not heard about Hilda and asked me to keep him up to date on her condition. I asked him who Docís accountant was. Kuen said that Doc didnít trust accountants. He did all of his books himself. I asked Kuen if he knew where Doc kept his books. Kuen ask, "Have you searched through the house?"

"No. I feel uneasy going through Docís things."

"Tim, it is no longer Docís house. Everything that he had is yours. You will be going through your things. They have to be someplace in the house. That is where he keeps all his records. Doc was a cagey old coot. He probably has a secret place somewhere in the house. Look for secret panels and doors. That house was built before Doc was born. There is no telling what you will find. There was a rumor that there were millions in gold coins in the house. Doc told me that he looked and said that he never found anything. His grandfather wasnít the nicest man. He was more like the most hated man in the Village. He was the tax collector and some people thought that he was taking most of the money for himself. I think the government gave him a percentage of the taxes that he collected. He was a mean old bastard. When Doc grandfather was growing up people didnít trust banks and Doc didnít trust them either. Especially since the Naziís took over. IĎm sorry to hear about Hilda, I hope she gets well soon. Good luck if you need me for something, donít hesitate to call me."

I said, "I am running out of supplies and I need some money to pay for the supplies. I have to have Hilda co-sign the checks. Will the bank except the check with only my signature?"

"Tin I will call the bank and tell them to accept your checks without Hilda signature until she is able. Donít worry about going through Doc home. Tim it is your home now and everything in it is yours. Doc wanted you to have everything he has and I am sure he wanted you to enjoy the things that he has left you. When you see Hilda, give her my regards. Let me know how she is getting along. Good night and donít worry about the checks. The bank will accept them."

Searching Doc's Home:

Thankful, I didnít have to worry about money, but where are Doc books. I did not know where to start looking. Would Doc do his accounting in his office? I looked around the large room. The mahogany walls and cabinet were beautiful. All of the woodwork looked like it was new. There wasnít a scratch or dent that was noticeable. It must have cost a fortune to build. Kuen said the house was a couple hundred years old if not older. The office looked like it had never been used.

I decided to start at the door and work around the office. Since I was sitting at the desk I thought I would look there first. I went through every drawer. There wasnít anything of significance in the desk. There were a number of keys, but no marking or identification on them. There was a desk cover covering the working area of the desk. I rocked back in the big leather chair then lifted the cover. There were a couple of scraps of paper under the cover. On the first scrap of paper was a note that said. "See Samuel tomorrow at 9." The next one had, "8927 combination."  I said to myself, "I found the combination, where is the safe?"

After a few minutes it hit me, I said, "Thatís my birth date!"

I got up from the table started examining the shelves that were next to the door. The books were neatly aliened to the front of the shelf. I could run my hand behind the books. Nothing was there except dust that had accumulated. I fiddled with the scrollwork. I tried to see if the panels behind the books could be moved. I examined the room for over an hour and found nothing. I wondered if there was a secret room behind one of the cabinets or shelves. Maybe there was a space between the walls like my hideout. I paced off the distance between the walls behind the desk to the door. I went into the hall and paced the distance to the next door down the hall. I had never seen the inside of this room. I turned the knob, the door was locked. I had seen a ring of keys in Doc desk. I ran to the office to retrieve the keys.

I tried all the keys in the door, none of them worked. I went back into Docís office to return the keys. As I walked towards the desk I saw a half round wooden knob that was not centered on the bookcase frame. I looked around the room at all the other knobs, they were all centered. I noticed that there was a circular scratch next to the knob. I turned the knob; a keyhole was under the knob. I tried the keys from Docís desk. The first three keys didnít work. The fourth key fit into keyhole. I started to turn the key then paused for a moment, then turned the key; a loud noise came from the other side of the wall. It scared the hell out of me. A flash of fear ran through my body. I jumped back from the wall. I started to run out of the house. For a moment I thought I had caused an explosion. In my mind I could see soldiers running toward the house. I had only taken a few steps toward the front door. Then I stopped and laughed at myself. Why am I running? I own the house.

The noise sounded like someone was trying to punch a hole through the wall. I went to the room next to Docís office; I turned the doorknob, and the door slowly opened. What a surprise. I reached in and searches for a light switch. I found the switch, and pushed the button and the overhead light turned on. The walls were lined with file cabinets. Some of the cabinets were 5 drawers high. In the middle of the room was and old oak desk. The desk faced the door. On the desk was a desk light with a green reflector. A large leather chair with armrests was on the far side of the desk. I looked at the far side of the door. There were 3 large steel bars attached to a metal plate on the back of the door. The rods were spring-loaded, when I turned the key it released the catch that had held the bars in place and it allowed the door to be opened.

I turned around, walked over to the desk, sat in the chair, and turned on the desk light. I looked under the desk cover. There wasnít anything under the desk cover. I tried to open the desk drawers, they were all locked. I tried the keys that I had found in Docís office. One of them worked. It released all the drawers. I opened the center drawer. Everything was neatly arranged. I remembered by fatherís desk. Things were just thrown in the drawer. On the right side were 6 fountain pens. On the left there were a few checkbooks to local banks? I looked at the balance. There was very little money in some of the accounts. The others accounts had more money in them than I had ever dreamed of.  In the back of the drawer there was a ring of keys. They were tagged with different numbers. I looked at the cabinets they were all numbered. There was a steel bar that ran through all the handles with a padlock attaching the bar to the cabinet. I looked for key number 1. I opened the padlock, removed the steel bar, and opened the top drawer. The drawer was full of ledgers. The ledger were labeled and in alphabetical order. Each ledger was for a particular piece of property. It gave the street address and the present tenants or leaseholder. It showed all the payment made on the property.

I went through a number of the ledgers. I knew where all the properties were located. The question that bothered me, did Doc have any cash in the house? For the next few hours I opened all the file cabinet and rummaged through the drawers. A group of the cabinets were files of Docís patients. Another group had all the deeds and maps of all of his properties. Where was Docís money? He must have had some money around the house.

I had given up trying to find Docís money in the file cabinets. I locked everything up. I looked around to see if I put everything back in its place. I still had two keys to the file cabinets in my hand. I returned them to the desk drawer and took the check books with me and locked the desk. I took one more look around the room and shut the door. I was wondering how to set the catch for the steel rods. I turned the door handle and I heard a click, a motor on the opposite side of the door start running. When the motor stopped, I tried to open the door. It would not open. I returned to Docís office. I knew if a safe was hidden between the rooms, there had to be a larger space between the office wall and the parlor wall. The outside wall was too narrow, and so was the wall between Docís office and the room with the file cabinets. I paced off the distance between the office and the parlor, and then I paced off the distance between the doors and the walls in the office and the parlor. From what I estimated the thickness of the wall between the parlor and Docís office had to be at least a meter thick. I examined the wall in the parlor. I could not find where a safe could be hidden. I lifted up all the pictures, looked behind all the furniture, and tapped on the wall. A slight smile lit up my face when the sound of the tapping went from a hollow sound to a dead thud. I continued tapping until I located the area on the wall where I thought the safe would be. Then I went into Docís office and I tapped on the panels behind the books on the shelf until I came to a spot where the sound changed. I removed all of the books in that area.  I tried to lift the panel, it didnít move. I tried to slide the panel to the left, it did not move either. I tried to slide the panel to the right, it did not move. There was a large mirror next to the book shelf. I tried to move the mirror, it would not move. From the way it sounded when I tapped the wall, this area sounded solid. Frustrated, I started replacing the books. In the back corner of the upper shelf was a round spot. It looked like a knot in the wood. I took a chair and climbed up and looked at the knot. It did not look like a knot, if was a perfect circle. I reached up and touched the knot. The knot was slightly recessed. I pressed on it. It did not move. I pressed much harder, I heard a snap like a wall switch and then I heard a motor turning. The wood panel was vibrating. The motor stopped. I looked to see what had moved. I did not see anything different. I stepped down from the chair and noticed that the mirror was gone. A larger safe had taken its place. I reached up and pushed the knot. I watched the mirror slid across the front of the safe. I pushed the button again and the mirror slid behind the book shelves.

I tried the combination 8927 and it didnít work. I tried 9827 that did not work. I tried 8927 again and again, and it still didnít work. In disgust, I spun the knob around a couple of time and tried it again. I turned the lever on the safe door and it move. A chill of excitement ran through my body. I pulled on the lever and the safeís door opened slightly. I wanted to scream with joy. I let out a sigh of relief. A strange feeling ran through my body. I was afraid to look inside. Fear struck me, I was afraid someone would see where the safe was hidden. I ran to the front door and locked it. I pulled all the shades and locked all the windows. I looked around the first floor to see if anyone was in any of the rooms. I returned to the office and locked the door from the inside. I walked over to the safe and opened it. I could not believe what I was seeing. A mixed feeling of fear and joy flooded my body.  The safe was quite tall. I pulled a chair over to see what was on the top shelf. There were rows of tall stacks of large denomination bills on the upper shelves of the safe. They were packaged in bundles. I picked up one of the bundles. I could not believe how much money was in one bundle, there were hundreds of bundles. I replaced the bundle of bills. There were two large leather bags at the bottom of the safe. I opened one of them. I gasped; I could not believe my eyes. The bag was filled with diamonds. I was in a state of shock. I could not believe what I was looking at. I took a hand full of the diamonds and let them trickle back into the bag. I reached down in the bag and picked up one of the diamonds. I held it up to the light. It was beautiful. Again, I stuck my hand deep into the diamonds and lifted a handful. I let them roll out of my hand. The diamonds reflected the light from the overhead fixture. The reflections were magical. I put the diamond back into the bag and pulled the leather laces and closed the bag. I reached for the other bag it was very heavy. I could not budge it. It was about the same size as a larger sack of flower, but it felt much heavier. I could not lift it. I untied the laces and opened the bag. The bag was filled with gold coins. Attorney Kuen wasnít kidding, Doc had a lot of gold. Doc had said that he never found the gold. I looked up and said, "Doc, you lied to me. You found the gold."

I examined the coins. They were beautiful. They also reflected the light. I pulled the leather laces and close the bag of coins. I looked at the stack of bills. On one of the lower shelves, I found a stack of smaller denominations bills. I counted out what I thought I needed, plus a little extra and put it in my pocket. There was a ledger, a stack of Swiss bankbooks, Docís passport, and a sealed letter with my name written on the envelope.

I wondered if I should open the letter. It was quite heavy. My curiosity was getting the best of me. I took out my pocketknife and cut an opening in the end of the envelope. I removed the letter. The top page was a letter to me apologizing for not taking me into his home for the four years I had spent alone. Doc pleaded with me to forgive him. As I read the letter I could feel the anguish Doc must have been going through over the years. Doc had felt deeply ashamed of himself for not doing more for me since my parents and I had been very kind to him over the years.

On a couple of the pages in the letter it gave the location of the ledgers that would describe all of Docís properties and the different banks were he had accounts. It also told how to unlock the room next door. Another couple of pages listed all of the rentals and leases, with the amount the tenants owed and the date they were due. I took these pages and put them in my pocket with the money. I locked the safe and put everything back in its place. I locked the door to Docís office from the outside before I left and took the key with me.

 

I call the Hospital everyday to see how Hilda was doing. They still had her sedated. In the evening after Christie left, I prepare the orders for the following day. When I was finished, I would go over to Docís to study and listen to Hans and Marie fight. I was hoping I would hear more about Papa. When I got ready to go home, I would go to the front door and see if I could cross the street without being caught. For the last few days I did not have a problem. Today I saw a couple of soldiers walking in my direction. It was after ten and I did not want to be caught on the streets. I could probable use my Nazi ID card and get away without any trouble. I did not want to take the chance. I shut the door. I went to listing room to wait until the soldiers had gone. I wondered what the Bergers were doing. I put on the headset, and turned on the amplifier. There was silence. I knew they were home. I turned off the light, opened the shade and window. I looked up and down the narrow walkway between the two houses. The microphone for the listening device was on the outside of the house. When I closed the window, I thought that my ears were going to explode. The amplifier was set at full volume. My ears rang for a few minutes. I had noticed that a number of lights were on at the Bergers. After my ears stopped ringing, I put the headset back on, and lay back in Docís leather chair, and relaxed. I had almost fallen asleep when I heard Hans say, "Has he come out of Docís house yet."

Marie replied, "I donít know, all of the lights over there are out, why."

"Itís none of your business. Just keep watching for him. Tell me when he goes back to the Bakery."

This woke me up, "What the hell was Hans up to? He wants to know if Iím still here."

I thought that I would play along with them. I walked to the front door and peaked out. The soldiers had gone. I walked out the door and left it unlocked and hurried down the street. I saw Marie looking out the window on the second floor; I waved to her. As soon as I passed the house, Marie dashed to the rear of the house. I ran back to Docís and went into the listening-room. I put on the headset. Marie was telling Hans that she had seen me leave the house. Hans told Marie to go to bed. As usual when Hans orders Marie, an argument usually breaks out. She wanted to know what Hans was up to. I heard Hans screaming at Marie and then a loud crack. I had heard that sound before. Hans had slapped her. I could hear her crying. Hans usher her to the bedroom and told her to stay there.

I had a feeling that Hans was planning to break into Docís home. How right I was. I tried to think of some way that I could frighten Hans when he tries to break in. I remember what Doc had done when the two men tried to break in. I had seen the flash camera in the parlor. I felt my way through the dark house and found the camera case. I carried it to the window overlooking the streets where there was some light. I put a flash bulb in the camera. I returned to the listening device. I could hear Hans walking around in the house. I heard Marie yelling, "It you try to break into Docís house I am going to leave you. I donít want to spend the rest of my life in jail."

Hans yelled back at Marie, "Shut up and go to sleep. If I come back here with a fortune I will kick your ass out of the house."

I was frightened. Was he coming with a gun? I had seen a small gun in Docís desk and it was loaded. I went to Docís office and got the gun. Should I shoot Hans? Like Doc, I decided that I would fire off the flash on the camera and if that didnít scare him away. I would shoot the gun in the air.

I could no longer hear Hans rumbling around. Marie was still fussing. I walked to the back door, it was locked. Then I remembered that I had left the front door unlocked. I dashes to the front door. I looked up and down the street and it was empty. I locked the door and ran to the back door. I saw Hans walking toward the back door. I jumped back from the door. Hans tries the door and fools around with it for a few minutes then he leaves. He goes to the side of the house and was checking each window as he passes it. I remembered that I had not lock the window in Docís listening room. I had locked all the windows earlier. I had opened the window in the listening room. I ran into the listening room. I could see Hans approaching the window. I aimed the camera at the window. Hans slides something under the window and pries open the window a little. He pushes the window up and I clicked the flash, an alarm goes off. In a panic and blinded from the flash, Hans runs down the dark path colliding with the sides of the buildings. I shut the window and the alarm bell stopped ringing. I locked the window. I wondered why the alarm didnít go off before when I opened the window. I remembered what Doc had told me. He said that if the front door was locked, the alarm would go off. It the front door wasnít locked the alarm would not go off. I recalled that I had run to the front of the house and locked the front door.

There was a knock on the front door. I did not answer it. The knocking continued for a few more minutes before it stopped.

I put on the listening device and I heard Hans scrambling through the house and calling Marie. Marie answers, "What do you want."

"If someone comes to the door and asks about the bell ringing. We donít know anything about it. We have been here all night together."

Marie lashes out, "I am not going to lie for you. You tried to break into Docís house. Didnít you? You set off an alarm. I heard the bells ringing. Donít lie to me. What were you trying to do?"

Hans didnít say anything for a few moments. Then Marie yelled, "Answer me, what were you doing?"

"Honey, I heard some men from the bank saying that Docís had been changing his money for gold and other valuables before he died. They said that he is extremely wealthy and doesnít keep very much money in the banks. Docís Will didnít specify how much money he had. It only said all of his legal possessions were to go to Karl. Why in hell did he leave all his money to that brat?"

Marie said, "Since Karl came to the Village he has spent a lot of time with Doc. Maybe they are related. I have seen Hilda going in and out of Docís home. Maybe Hilda was being friendly with Doc and that is what killed him. You are going to get the both of us locked up. I am not going to jail for something that you were stupid enough to do."

There was a knock on the door; both of them must have pissed in their pants, "Oh, my god they have come to pick you up," Marie yelled.

"Marie, please go answer the door. I will do anything for you. Please."

"I am not going to the door. You started this mess. You answer the door. I told you if you ever hit me again I would leave you. If you ever hit me again I will tell them you tried to break into Docís house."

The knocking continued. Marie slipped on her housecoat and went to the door. She asked the soldiers what they wanted. They asked her if she knew why the alarm at Docís house went off. Marie said, "I donít think it came for the Doctorís house. It sounded like it came from the opposite direction. Down by the Bakery."

They asked where Hans was. She told them that he was asleep in bed. They thanked her and walked on down the street. She went back up stairs and continued to blast Hans. She asked him if there was anything else she should know. Hans said, "All I did was pry up the window and the alarm went off, and I ran back over here."

"What did you do to make it stop ringing?"

"Nothing, I think the window dropped down and the alarm stopped."

Marie insisted, "Is that everything?"

From the look on Hansís face Marie knew that something else had happened. Hans looked around the room as to look for help then said, "I think someone took my picture."

Marie shouted, "What?"

With the mildest tone of voice that I had ever heard coming from Hansís mouth, he said, "A flash went off. I think Doc has the house setup with cameras to take pictures of anyone that tries to get in."

Vary seriously Marie said, "Karl will know that you tried to get in his house. What are you going to tell him? You were trying to steal his money?"

With beads of perspiration streaming down his fat face he whispered, "I donít know. With all of that little bastardís influence he could have me executed. I heard someone say that he is a Nazi Colonel. He could send me to a concentration camp."

Hans was extremely worried. He and Marie continued to discuss the problem for another hour. I was starting to fall to sleep. I climbed out of the chair; checked again to see if all the windows and doors were locked. I dashed across the street hoping no one saw me. It was almost midnight. I flopped on the bed and was asleep in a second.

As usual, the alarm went off as soon as my eyes were closed. I had not cleaned up the Bakery last night it was a mess. I hoped to have the bread baking before Christie arrived, no such luck. Christie arrived promptly at 6. The place was a mess. Christie walked in, looked around, and said, "What happen? This place looks terrible."

I lied and said, "I fell asleep last night and I didnít prepare everything. Help me get the bread in the oven. The pastries can wait. Everyone will be complaining as usual and I donít care."

Christie was a big help, together we almost got back on schedule.

I had made Alfonsí package and it was sitting on the table in the back of Bakery were Hilda and I usually ate. I had set the table for three people. When Alfons came in, I asked him to set down and eat with Christie and me. Alfons was a little embarrassed. To put it lightly, he was filthy from living on the streets. Seeing Alfonsí problem, I told Alfons that he could use the bathroom upstairs to clean up, it he wished. Alfons went upstairs. Christie curiously watched as he walked to the stairs. She had not seen Alfons eating with us. Usually he gulps his food down and leaves before Christie comes in. I think she wanted to question me, but she did not say anything.

When Alfons came back, he had washed most of dirt from his face and hands and he had combed his hair. I had set up a very nice breakfast for him. Alfons ate with gusto, and when he had finished and he started to leave, I asked, "Where are living Alfons?"

"Where ever I can lie down."

"Where do you go when the weather is bad?"

"No particular place, why are you asking all of these question?"

"You have been over at Docís house many times havenít you?í

"Yes, many times."

I asked, "Have you ever stayed at Docís overnight?"

"No, why are all the questions?"

"You knew that Doc was going to leave his estate to me, didnít you?"

"Yes, he hinted that he might leave you something."

"Did he ever suggest that you keep an eye out for me and if it looked as if I was going to get in to any trouble to let me know?"

"He hinted something to that effect."

"Have you ever been on the third floor of Docís house?"

"No, I never went upstairs, why."

I had a feeling that Alfons was not telling me the truth. From the conversations with Doc Alfons hand spent many nights at Docís.

I waited for a few moments then said, "There is an apartment on the third floor with an exit out the side of the house. Did you know that?"

"I have seen the stairs on the outside of the building. I thought it was a fire escape."

          "It is and it can be a private entrance. How would you like to live in the apartment?"

"Tim, I could not afford to live in the apartment."

"I think you could. You are an accountant arenít you?"

"Yes but I havenít worked in years; I donít plan to go back to work."

"Since Doc left me his estate I have not been able to keep up with the bookkeeping. I need your help. You can live in the apartment. I wonít charge you anything and if you keep my books, I will pay you for your time."

This took Alfons by surprise. He did not know what to say. I could see that he was getting tired of living on the streets and no one would give him a part time job. His drinking habits had slackened somewhat because he could not get enough money begging to buy a bottle. Economics had started to dry out Alfons. He wanted to say yes, but his pride would not let him.

I could see that Alfons was perplexed, so I gave Alfons the key to Docís house and told him to go to the house and look around. He could live on the third floor whether he decided to keep my books or no. I asked him to think about keeping my books. It would make his life a little easier.

Alfons took the key from me and thanked me. I put my arm around Alfons and said, "I know Doc would love to have you living in his home. I hate to see you being harassed and humiliated by the soldiers. Go over and look around. There are many suits of Docís on the second floor. They would probably fit you. You will have to let out the cuffs in the pants. I think they are a little short for you. There is a bath on the third floor. Use it whenever you want."

Tears were starting to glisten in Alfons eyes. He put his hand on my arm and slightly shook it and said, "Thanks Tim, I will go over and look around."

Christie had not said a word. After Alfons walked out the door, Christie said, "Do you trust him. He will steal something from the house to get a bottle."

I shook my head and said, "I donít think so. Doc told me a lot of things about Alfons. One of the most important things that Doc told me about Alfons, he is extremely honest. He would never steal anything from anyone. Also, I want him to know that I trust him. Alfons has a brilliant mind and I hate to see it wasted. "

We went back to work. Christie was still concerned about what Alfons would do. Christie looked over at me a number of times and it appeared as she was going to say something, but she stopped before she said anything. I thought she was still worried about Alfons. Alfons had called me Tim, did she hear him? She was half way across the room. Was that why she gave me that strange look?

Later that day when I had returned from making all the deliveries, again Christie started to say something. I put up the closed sign, walked over to Christie, took her hand, and led her into the rear of the Bakery. I genteelly caressed her cheeks and kissed her on her forehead. I smiled and said, "I have been wondering all day what you were going to say to me.  Has working at the Bakery been too much for you? Are you worried about Alfons?"

"No darling nothing, nothing is wrong.  I love worked at the Bakery with you."

"Are you having problems with your parents?"

"No."

"Are you tired of me?"

Christie reaches up and put her arms around my neck and kisses me then said, "I will never get tired of you. I am afraid you will get tired of me. I called you last night and there was no answer. I thought you may be down at Fritzís and when I came in this morning the place was a mess. I was jealous I thought you were out with someone else last night."

I took Christie cheeks in my hands and lifted her sorrowful face and said, "Christie, I have never dated another girl in my life. The nightís that you came over after you had been at Marieís and we took walks were the only times that I have ever been out with a girl. You are the only girl that I have kissed."

I put my arm around Christie and kissed her. Christie jumped up with a cheerful look on her face and wraps her legs around my waist and plants kisses all over my face.  I looked around between the kisses to see if anyone was watching. I put Christie down because I became sexually aroused and felt embarrassed. Christie glanced down then looked up at me. My face felt like it was on fire, I quickly turned away to hide my embarrassment. Christie grabs my hand, turns me around, put her arms around me, and pulled me tightly against her body.  She looks up at me and said, "Darling, I never want you to be embarrassed about what just happening. I am excited as you are. Letís get back to work, we will continue where we left off later on."

Again I blushed and said, "Iím sorry that happened, please forgive me."

With a sexy smile on her face, she winks and with a sultry voice said, "Iím glad it happened and I hope it happens again soon and often."

For the rest of the day we caught up with all the chores. Every time Christie had a free moment she flirted and teased me. Like always I pretended to be a little annoyed, but I loved every moment of it. When I made the deliveries this morning I was a little late and the customers were a little peeved. The afternoon was quiet. It gave Christie and me a little more time together. Christie helped me prepare for tomorrowís orders. It was getting close to the time Christiís driver would be picking her up. She called to me and said, "I didnít know if I should mention this to you but Marie stopped me this morning and asked me to tell her if you were annoyed with anything that went on last night. Why would she ask me a question like that? Were you over at Hans and Marieís last night? I was jealous. I thought you and Marie were sneaking behind Hansís back last night. You know she is a flirt. I wouldnít put it passed her to flirt with you. She isnít much older than we are."

I laughed and said, "No, thereís nothing going on between me and Marie. I was over at Docís house last night, when I passed their house I saw Marie in the upstairs window in her nightgown, I waved at her. I donít know if she was embarrassed about me seeing her in her nightgown. She ran away from the window after I waved to her. I have no idea why she would ask you if I was annoyed. Maybe they were fighting or something and they knew I was at Docís and they think I heard them. Why donít you ask her why she asked?"

Christie cocks her head to one side and said, "I think I will. She shook me up by asking me to find out if you were annoyed, without telling me why. I wonder why she thought you would be annoyed. Yep, I am going to ask her."

I asked, "How old is she? She looks like she is in her late twenties."

"She is only nineteen or twenty. Hans makes her dress like an old woman. She ran away from home when she was fourteen. Her mother died and her father started to mess around with her. She had been working in a restaurant. She planned to take off the day she was paid. She carried a suitcase to work with her and when the boss came around with her pay envelope she said goodbye and caught a ride to the City. She applied for a job at the Rathskeller. The manager thought she was too young. Hans took an interest in her and persuaded the manager to hire her. She didnít have a place to live and Hans told her she could stay with him. He had to tell his landlord that they were married and they are still together."

With surprise I asked, "Arenít they married?"

"No. Marie doesnít want to marry him. She plans to leave him as soon as she gets a little money saved up."

The door swung open, Sgt. Hoffmann stuck his head through the door and said to Christie, "General Bower has to go to Berlin tonight and they asked me to take Karl to the Hospital. A doctor wants to talk to Karl."

I ripped off my apron and quickly locked up. On the way to the hospital Christie and I thought the worst and prayed for the best. We held each otherís hands. A few tears started to roll down my cheeks. Christie took her finger and wiped the tears away. She told Hoffmann that she was getting off at the hospital with me. Hoffmann said that her father wanted to talk to her before he left for Berlin. Christie told Hoffmann that she would call her father from the hospital. If he wanted to see her they could pick her up on the way to the airbase. They would be passing the Hospital. General Bower had ordered Hoffmann to bring Christie home with him and he tried to get Christie to go with him. Christie assured Hoffmann that she would explain it to her father before Hoffmann saw him.

I asked Hoffmann how the Doctor knew Christie was at the Bakery and he was going to pick Christie up. Hoffmann said, "Col. Lipman every one at the base knows what everyone else is doing. Congratulation Colonel, on your inheritance, everyone at the base wishes that they were in your shoes. I hope you donít mind if I ask, are you related to Doc?"

"No, I am not related to Doc. I have no idea why Doc was so generous to me. For the last few years he has been tutoring me and we became very good friends. Other than friendship, your guess is good as mine."

Hoffmann pulled up in front of the hospital. Christie and I thanked Hoffmann and headed for Hildaís room. One of the nurses saw me and said, "We have a very pleasant surprise for you. I will call the Doctor and tell him that you are here and you can meet him in Hildaís room."

When we got off of the elevator we saw Hilda walking down the hall. I called out, "Mutti, what are you doing out of bed. Arenít you supposed to be in bed?"

Hilda recovered:

Hilda turned around and spread her arms out and pulls us both against her body then whispered, "My babies, oh, I am so glad you are here. Come look at my room. I have so many flowers in there. There is not enough room for me. What have you two been doing?"

Before I could say a word Christie said, "Making love while the bread is baking."

Hilda stopped, stood up straight, dropped her chin to her chest, and looked over the top of her glasses at us. I was red as an apple; Christie had a big smile that stretched across her face. Christie still with that big smile whispered to Hilda, "I am teaching him the facts of life. I will be right back I have to call Papa."

Hildaís eyes followed Christie walking down the hall. Christie looked over her shoulder and threw Hilda a kiss. Then Hilda looked at my blushing face with a big smile and said, "Isnít she a doll. Tim you will be very happy with her. I love her. She reminds me of myself when I was her age."

I interrupted Hilda, "Mutti, we havenít done anything. We have only been hugging and kissing."

Hilda teases me, "Yes, and what else?"

"Nothing, honest."

As we continued down the hall to Hildaís room, one of the nurses called, "Frau Lipman the Doctor is ready for you. Col. Lipman the doctor may be with her for about an hour. You can wait in her room if you wish."

I thanked her and started looking for Christie. The floor supervisor called me and said that someone wants to talk to me on the telephone. I picked up the phone. It was Christie. Christie told me that her father was going to be away for while and he wanted her to go to the air base with him and she wouldnít be gone for a couple hours if not longer. We gave each other kisses over the phone until we heard a horn blowing, then she said, "Sweetheart I love you, I will see you tomorrow morning at 6, bye." 

I strolled down the hall. My mind was on Hilda and Christie. I had paced up and down the hall a dozen times. When I got to end of the hall again I turned around and I saw a woman walking toward me. She looked like a mummy. She had gauze wrapped around her head. There were only two places where there was no gauze. One of the openings was over her eyes and another over her lips. As we passed each other, we both smiled. I continued for a few more steps then I heard someone say, "Timothy."

I wheeled around, I knew the voice, and had longed to hear it again. I wanted to shout out Mutti, but my voice froze. I hurried back to the lady and whispered, "Mutti."

The woman dropped to the floor. I grabbed her before she hit the floor. I lifted her and carrying her to her room.  I had seen her out of the corner of my eye staring at me as I had passed her room. I carried her to her room. I laid her in her bed. She whispers, "Timothy, you are Timothy Williams?"

"Yes Mutti."

Mutti is alive!"

Mutti put her arms around by neck and pulls me down. She kissed me over and over. We were alone for only a few minutes when a nurse walked by and saw Mutti with her arms around me and kissing me on the cheek, the nurse said, "Col. Lipman, what are you doing in this room. Frau Lipmanís room is at the end of the hall."

Holding my temper I said, "This lady was walking down the hall she fainted and fell to the floor. I picked her up and brought her back to her room. She was simply expressing her gratitude."

The nurse reprimanded Mutti, "Frau Williams you know that the doctor does not want you wandering the halls."

My eyeís cut through the nurse for a few moments, I said, "You have said enough. Leave the room."

From the tone of my voice, she cowered and said, "I sorry Sir, please forgive me."

She backed out of the door and closed it. I looked at Mutti; tears were flowing down her cheeks. I looked at the teary eyes of my mother and said, "Mutti, Frau Lipman took me in. She has been my other Mutti. I donít want to start an investigation. I am afraid to discuss anything here. I will try to visit with you when I come to visit Hilda. The Nazis are everywhere. I have fooled them this long and I donít want them to catch me now. The war will be over soon. If Hilda isnít back in her room I will come back to see you. Do you know where Papa is? If you see him, tell him I am fine."

Sobbing Mutti said, "Honey, your father is working and living at the Factory. The Gestapo only lets us see each other when they feel like it. They keep us apart to force your father to continue his research.  I came out of a coma about 6 months after they came to our home. When I woke up they had been operating on my head trying to put it back together. They have kept a guard watching over me ever since. That is why the nurse grumbled at me. I am not allowed to leave the room or associate with anyone. I donít know if they are trying to put me back together or they are practicing on me. They have kept me here on the grounds, not too far from the hospital. They have a guard that follows me everywhere I go.  I am not allowed to talk to anyone.  I hope I havenít gotten you into any trouble."

"Mutti donít worry about it. I do not think anyone in the hospital will give me any trouble. I have heard that there was a Doctor Williams working at the Factor. I didnít know if it was Papa or not. I was hoping that it was Papa. They are housing some of the workers from the Factory here on the Army Base. One of the soldiers told me that they have replaced the research team and they are living near the hospital."

Mutti said, "I will ask one of my guards if they know where they are housing the men that were working at the Factory. They let me take strolls around the base. If your father is living on the base, maybe they will let us live together."

I felt that I should go before I caused more conflicts in the hospital. Mutti told me that she loved me and she would not do anything to cause suspicion. I through Mutti a kiss and walked out into the hall. I saw Hilda talking to the nurse that came into my motherís room. I approached them and smiled at Hilda, "Mutti I want you to meet a very nice lady down the hall. You said that you have a lot of flowers in your room can we take a few to her."

"Of course Karl, take all you want."

I could see the nurse was still boiling inside. I asked her if she would help me select some of the flowers. The nurse said that she would get the flowers and headed down the hall to Hildaís room. When she went into Hildaís room I told Hilda that my mother was in a room down the hall and gave Hilda the room number. I could see the excitement in Hilda face she hurried down the hall to my motherís room; she went in and closed the door behind her. I went to help the nurse with the flowers and tried to delay her. The nurse had selected a couple of arrangement and she gave them to me. I fiddled around with the arrangements for a few minutes. I wanted to keep the nurse busy changing the arrangements to delay her. I wanted Hilda to have a little time with my mother. I could see that the nurse was getting a little peeved. I settled on a couple of the arrangement and smiled at the nurse. I kissed her on the cheek, and thanked her. She giggled, the hate appeared to drain from the nurseís face, and she smiled, and then said, "If there is anything else you want, just call me. My name is Jean."

I looked up and down the nurseís body then said, "Not at this very moment. Maybe some time in the near future."

Jean smiled with a slight blush and said, "I am looking forward toÖhelping you."  

I thanked her again and went down the hall. I knocked on the door before I entered. I waited for a few moments, Hilda opened the door. I saw the smiles on their faces and the tears in their eyes. I shut the door behind me and said, "Hi Mutti, both of my Muttiís."

I gave the flowers to Mutti.  She said that they were beautiful and asked me to put them on the table.  I went over to the bed, put my arm around Hilda and took my motherís hand. Just holding my motherís hand gave me a wonderful feeling. I had yearned to hold my Muttiís for over five years. Just holding her warm loving hand, it made me feel alive again. I tried to hold back the tears of joy, but I could not.  Mutti reached across to the table next to her bed.  She pulled out a handful of tissues and blotted the tears that were running down my face.  She pulled me down and kisses my cheek and whispered, "I have heard rumors that the war will soon come to an end.  Please do not jeopardize our lives.  Darling, we have made it this far, please donít do anything foolish."

"Mutti, I have constantly been afraid that I would do something foolish that would give me away. Thankful, I have made it this far without the Nazis knowing who I really am, thanks to Hilda."

In the few minutes we had together, Hilda assured Mutti that she had nothing to worry about. Hilda had explained to Mutti why they changed my name to Karl Lipman. Hilda assured Mutti that she would take good care of me until condition had changed for the better. Mutti told Hilda she had done a wonderful job. Hilda said, "Donít you think he is the most handsome man that you have ever seen?"

Mutti said, "Yes he is. Hilda I donít know how to thank you. You have done an excellent job. When I saw him walking down the hall I knew that had to be my son. I had pictured him in my mind many times. I knew what Timothy would look like and prayed that I would recognize him when I saw him. The doctor has been working on my head as you have noticed and he told the nurses not to let me out of the bed for a few days.  I could not hold myself back. I knew it had to be my son walking down the hall."

We talked for another half-hour before a knock on the door interrupted our conversation. A doctor stuck his head through the door and said, "I hope I am not intruding on your conversation. I think I know who your friends are. You are Hilda and Karl Lipman you live across the street from Doctor Von Gould. Karl you are the talk of the hospital. All the nurses are talking about you. Doc was very generous to you. Are you related to Doc?"

"No sir, we were just very good friends. He had been tutoring me since I came to live with Aunt Hilda. To answer your next question, that I think youíre going to ask, I have no idea why Doc left me his estate."

"I am sorry. I did not mean to interrogate you. Everyone is wondering why he chose you to be his heir."

Hilda interrupted and says, "Doctor, the answer is very simple. I think you can answer that question yourself. How many of you at the hospital have visited Doc since he retired? How many of you have called to find out how he was getting along? If I am correct, since Doc left the hospital about six years ago, none of you have never invited him out to dinner or just came around to say hello. Karl has spent more social time with Doc for the short time they have known each other than everyone in this hospital spent with him in his whole life. Does that answer your question?"

Somewhat embarrassed the doctor said, "Forgive me Frau Lipman. I know I was a little too nosy. No one at the hospital could find time or cared to look in on Doc. We all should be ashamed of ourselves. Now to get back to why I am here, Frau Williams would you like for me remove the bandages?"

"Yes I would. Karl, Hilda, I donít want you to look at me until I have had a chance to see how much damage they have done to me this time. I think the Doctor has been practicing on me."

"Now, now Frau Williams you know what we had to work with."

"How well I know, I just hope you didnít undo all the good work that you have accomplished. I donít want to start all over."

"I promise you, you will look better than the last time."

Hilda and I said goodbye to Mutti, we walked outside, and went to Hildaís room, and shut the door. We hugged each other and just stood there trying to absorb everything. Jean opened the door and said, "Iím sorry. It seems I am constantly butting in on your private moments."

I replied, "I havenít had a moment to tell Aunt Hilda how much I missed her and how wonderful it is to see her looking so good. What can we do for you?"

"The doctor wants to talk to both of you. If you have a few moments I will call him."

Hilda said, "Please call him I want to hear the bad news."

Jean left, I looked at Hilda and said, "Iím not a Doctor, but you look a lot better than you did the night I brought you here."

The Doctor walked in and heard what I had said. He smiles and said, "You are correct. She is coming along fine. I have a couple of prescriptions for you and I want you to come back here in a month for a check-up. Karl make sure that she takes the medication and for her to take it easy for the next couple of months. Another thing, Hilda, stop eating your left over pastries, send them to me."

I said, "Doctor, I will do all of the above including bringing the pastries over here on my way to the City. I want to warn you they are addictive."

Hilda packed her things and asked the nurse if she would please distribute the flowers to the other patients. On our way down the hall, we stopped in to see Mutti.  The nurses were still cleaning up her face.  Tears came to my eyes.  I had the same wonderful feeling that I had when I held Muttiís hand. One of the nurses turned around and saw us. With arrogance, she said, "You are not allowed in here."

I wanted to strangle her.  The other nurse turned around, they looked at me.  I think they saw the anger in my face. My eyes were burning holes through them. The other nurse whispered something to the nurse that gave me hell and then said, "Colonel Lipman we will be finished in a few minutes would you mind waiting out in the hall."

I took a deep breath to exhaust my anger and said, "Certainly, please do not rush on our account.  We will wait outside."

Hilda and I walked outside.  Hilda said, "I think you scared the pee out of them.  Did you see the looks on their faces?"

Trying to quit the anger that was flowing through my mind, I said, "Yes, I could not control myself."

A strange feeling had gone through my mind and my body.  I was not going to let anyone put a barrier between me and my mother.  The power and wealth that I had came into, by inheriting Docís estate and my identity as a Nazi Colonel, had shown it ugly head. I never wanted this to happen to me. I apologize to Hilda for showing such anger. She understood how I must have felt. I had cooled off a little when the nurses came out. As they passed us, I apologized to the nurses for being abrupt. They did not say anything and kept walking.

Mutti looked beautiful. There were still a few swollen spots on her face. The love and affections that glowed from Muttiís face sent an emotional aurora of excitement through my body, it was similar to the feeling that I had when I was a kid and had not seen Mutti for a while. I wanted to jump into her arms and feel her holding me tightly in her arms. Fear held me back from having an emotional outburst. I wanted to shout to the world that my mother was alive. With restraint I casually walk around the bed, took my motherís hands, gently kissed her on her cheeks and whispered, "Mutti, you are beautiful. I have never felt this wonderful in my life.  I cannot explain the feeling that rushed through my body when you call me Timothy.  There is no feeling that could have been any greater than the jubilance that went through my body when I heard your voice.  I will always cherish that moment in my life. I donít want to leave you.  I am so afraid that I will lose you again."

Mutti put her hands on my cheeks and looked into my eyes and said, "Patients my darling, we will be together again soon.  Letís not let anything interfere with us being reunited.  I am going to ask some of my guards about your father. Some of them are very nice.  Theyíre just doing their duty.  Like us, they have no other choice. Again, be patient darling.  I love you."

The nurses in the hall were becoming restless.  Hilda and Mutti both thought that we had better leave.  It was hard for me to walk out the door leaving my mother behind.  I was afraid that I would never see her again.  I wanted to take her back to the Village with me.  I would kick Hans and Marie out the house and once again be able to sleep in my own bed and have my mother with me.

As we left, I thanked the nurses for waiting and again apologized to them. They did not respond. It bothered me; I wondered if I had caused a problem that would keep me from seeing my Mutti again. We went to the pharmacy to have the prescriptions filled. There was a driver waiting to take us home. There was a glow of happiness in the back seat. I took Hildaís hand and kissed her on the cheek and said, "I have been so lonely without you around. I hadnít been this happy since Mutti and Papa were taken away."

Hilda smiled and said, "With Christie there, you were lonely?"

"Yes, a different kind of loneliness. Even before you went to the hospital, when you werenít around, I did not feel secure. I have always felt secure when you were around. "

"Tim, I know what you mean. Since you came to live with me, whenever you are not around, I have the same feeling; I want to have you near me. Just knowing you are there relieves that desire."

We sat quietly thinking about what had happened at the hospital. Hilda had asked my mother about my father. Mutti told Hilda that they let them get together at times.  She told Hilda that the Nazi were using her to force Papa to continue his research on rocket fuel and a new rocket design. I said, "I think Papa is at the base also. They have replaced the group of scientist at the Factory with a group from Germany. One of the corpsman that took you to the hospital told me that they are housing them in buildings near the hospital. From the conversation I think he has seen Mutti and Papa at the hospital."

Hilda asked, "Why have they brought people for Germany to work at the Factory?"

I hadnít told Hilda that Doc had a device that I could listen to the Bergers conversation. I said, "The corpsman that took you to the hospital told me that they felt that the old research team was dragging their feet and delaying the development of the rocket. The Generals in Germany sent in a new research team. They have replaced Christiís father with a new General. They have ordered General Bower to Germany. Christie called me back before she left the hospital and told me that her father had to go to Germany. The way she sounded, I think Christie was a little upset when she heard that her father had to go to Germany."

"I hope the General is not in any trouble. He seemed like a very nice man."

"Mutti, I wanted so much to ask Christie about Papa. I wondered what she will think when she finds out that I am part Jewish."

With surprise Hilda said, "I didnít know your parents were Jewish."

"My mother has a little Jewish blood in her family. Out of respect for her mother and grandmother, she worshiped on the high Jewish holidays. She would go to the synagogue to pray. Fritz saw her going into the synagogue and assumed that she was Jewish."

The driver let us off in front of the Bakery. Hilda thought that the Bakery would be a mess. Surprisingly, Christie and I kept the Bakery very neat. We did not want Hilda to come back to the Bakery and have to clean it up. I helped Hilda upstairs to her bedroom. I told Hilda that I didnít want to see her up a 4:30 in the morning. If she did get up, I did not want her working in the Bakery. Of course Hilda gave me a little flack.

The following morning Christie came in at 6 as usual, but she wasnít her usual self. She tried to put on a cheerful face. I knew something was wrong. I asked her what was bothering her. She didnít want to discuss her problem. Hilda came down and was trying to help out, but Christie and I wouldnít let her. We made her sit down and watch from the sidelines. Fortunately, it was a little cooler and the warmth from the oven felt good. Hilda had heard me asking Christie what was bothering her. It was very obvious that something was on her mind. Hilda asked Christie if the coffee was ready. Christie said yes and asked Hilda if she would like one of the chocolate covered muffins without the chocolate. Hilda told her that she would love one. When Christie brought it over to Hilda, Hilda told Christie to sit down and join her. Christie got a cup of coffee and sat down. Hilda reached across the table, put her hands on Christiís, and said, "Honey, we are a family here. If one of us has a problem we all have a problem. We donít let the one with the problem carry all the burden. We share the pleasures and the misfortunes together. Please, tell me what is bothering you."

Christie was looking down at the cup of coffee, she hesitated for a few minutes and tears emerged from her beautiful face. She looked up at Hilda and said, "Karl may have told you that my father had to go to Berlin. Papa is afraid the damn Nazis are going to strip him of his commission. Dr. William and his team have been making excellent advances in their research. They have come up with a fuel that will send a missile into outer space. Those bastards have sent a bunch of idiots that are going to blow up the whole area. It will set the research back for many years."

My ears perked up and Hilda took a glance at me. Tears flowed down my face and I let out a slight sound of excitement. Christie thought that I was laughing at her and she looked around and yelled, "What so funny? Those idiots may put my father in prison."

"Christie, Karl is not laughing at you. Dr. Williams and his family were very good friends of ours; he owns the house that the Bergers are living in. We thought the Nazi had killed him when they took him and his wife away. This is the first time we have heard anything about Dr. William."

Christie apologized and said, "I didnít know that Dr. Williams was married. Where is his family?"

"We have hoped that they were with Dr. Williams. He had invested a lot of money in Fritzís Tavern and vineyard. Fritz told the Nazis that they were Jewish so he would not have to pay Dr. Williams back any of the money that he had invested. Fritz did the same thing with others. They all were taken away."

Christie shook her head in disgust then said, "Why do people have to be so cruel? Some of my best friends were taken away. Those idiots will probably take my family away now."

I said, "Donít worry, it you feel that you are in any danger come live with us. We will take care of you."

Hilda thought that I was going to tell Christie about the Underground Highway to Switzerland, she looked at me and slightly shook her head and said to Christie, "Honey, no one is going to harm you or your family. I am sure your father will not let them harm you." 

Even though Mutti told me Papa was alive. Hearing it again made me want to shout it out. I was listening to every word. I wanted to jump up and down scream to the top or my voice. I could not hold it in any longer. I excused myself and ran up the stairs to my room. Knowing both of my parents were still alive, I buried my face in a pillow and cried profusely. Since Mutti told me Papa was alive, every time I thought about them, I would cry for the joy of knowing they both were alive.

Christie noticed the change in my facial expression as I left to go upstairs. She asked Hilda if I was ill. At the moment Hilda could not hold back her emotions that both of my parents were still alive. Desperately she tried to hold back her emotions and Christie noticed the change in Hilda expression.  She said to Hilda, "Are you alright? I think you should go back to bed."

"No honey, it is bothering us very much that your father may be relieved of his duties.  He is a very decent man.  I know that he is not like the savages that took over his position. Karl is a very kind and emotional young man.  I think that he was going to cry and he could not hold it back any longer.  He was embarrassed and he did not want you to see him crying."

A passionate look came across Christie face and she said, "When I see men cry I know that they have a heart. I love men that cry. I have seen my father cry many times.  This war has torn him apart. He has tried to get us out of the country a number of times.  Since he was appointed to head the missile project they would not let us leave the area. If the war continues much longer I think my mother will go crazy. I have done everything I could to keep from thinking about it. Every night at dinner we pray for those that have been taken away from us.  I know that many on them will never return.  When I let myself think about it, I become very depressed and it is very difficult for me to get over my depression."

My emotions had subsided. I washed my face and was standing at the top of the stairs listening to Christie. I started to cry again.  I walked down the stairs and Christie saw me, she ran to me with tears in her eyes.  We embraced and we cried together. Hilda with tears streaming down her face walked over and embraced both of us. We held each other for a long time. I pulled away and said, "If your mother is afraid that they will take your family away. We can hide you in Doctor Vís home. No one will know you are there. If you want, you can stay there until we see what happens with your father."

Hilda again tried to reassure us that nothing would happen to Christieís family. Then she reminded us that we had chores to do, time was flying bye. We hurried and got back on schedule. I left the Bakery and made all the deliveries. Now that I knew that both of my parents were alive and with a new Commanding Officer at the Factory, new fears had arisen. What will happen to my parents?  Papa had not made a good impression on the new Commanding Officer. With a new Commanding Officer, what would happen to my parents?  He will probably send Papa to prison.

When I returned to the Bakery, Christie and Hilda looked very depressed. I think that all of our thoughts were along the same line. I did not know what the future would bring. Hoffmann came to pick up Christie and I could see that he was not in a very good mood either. I waved goodbye as they drove away.  I did not feel like studying. I was concerned about Christieís and my parents. Hilda went to bed early.  Even though it was cool this morning, during the day it became beastly hot.  The new oven had not cooled off. I turned on the exhaust fan with hopes that it would cool down the Bakery. For the next week it became hotter each day. It felt like the air that was coming in the windows and doors was hotter than the air going out.

Christie did not want to leave her mother alone. Christie and her mother were very depressed. Christie had been going home early to be with her mother. It was so hot that we closed the Bakery earlier than usual. We stopped making the pastries. The chocolate and icing was melting and running down the sides of the pastries. Christie father had been in Germany for more than a week. Each day Christie became more depressed. Christieís beautiful smile that had brightened our day had faded. Nothing that I could do would cheer her up."

The Gestapo:

I had just returned to the Village from making my deliveries. As I approached the Bakery I saw a group of people standing in front of Doc home. There were six men, two were in uniform and the other four were dressed in civilian clothes. Instead of turning the corner and parking the truck in back of the Bakery, I continued to Docís home and parked at the curb. All the men were facing Doc home, when I drove up, they are turned around. I asked them if I could help them. One of the men in uniformed walk over to the truck and said, "This does not concern you."

He ordered me to leave at once. I cranked up the truck, eased away from the curb slowly, and watched to see what they would do. The Officer that ordered me to leave motioned to the group. They all turned around and headed back up the front steps of Doc Home. I drove to the rear of the Bakery and hurried inside. Hilda smiled and asked the usual question when she sees me rushing, "Do you have an emergency."

I returned the smile and said, "No Mutti, I donít have to go to the bathroom. There are a bunch of men over at Docís house. A Nazi officer ordered me to leave. I wonder what they are doing over there."

She took a glance out the front window. Without saying anything to me or answering me, Hilda picked up the phone and called Kuen. She had recalled that some of the same men that came around when Leo died were over at Docís. The vultures wanted to take over the Bakery and leave Hilda without anything. Surprisingly, she fought them in court and won. She had to pay a larger sum of money to the Nazis.

I was still watching from the front door. Hilda came out of her office and said, "Let go over and see what they want."

As we approached Docís home, one of the men noticed us walking toward them and told the Nazi officer to tell us to leave. The officer hurries down the steps and again ordered us to leave. I pulled out the identification card that Fritz had given me and handed the card to the officer. He looks at the card and snaps to attention and salutes me. I returned the salute and asked, "Why are you gathered on my front steps?"

The officer demeanor had changed. He politely told us there had been a discrepancy in the transfer of the estate. Hilda said, "I think that you should call Attorney Kuen. He handled the transfer of the estate."

One of the men in civilian clothes had been listening and said, "There has been a major discrepancy in the value of the estate. Doctor Van Gould had much more money than the amount Attorney Kuen listed. We have a search warrant to go through Doc Van Gould books.

Hilda looked as if she was going to faint. I politely said to the man that he was welcomed to look through Doc books if he wished. Hilda slightly held me back as I headed up the steps. I unlocked the door and invited them all in. They huddled for a moment and dispersed. They all went in different directions in the house. Hilda whispered, "Tim, you should not have let them in. They will find Doc records."

I looked over at Hilda and said, "If I refused to let them look, it would create more suspicion. I donít think they are going find anything."

Hilda again whispers, "They will find all of the Swiss bank accounts and any money that Doc had in the house."

I whispered, "All of the Swiss bank books and cash are in the safe. They will spend a week looking for it. I donít think they will ever find it."

Hilda and I went into the parlor and listen to the men roam through the house. Hilda remembered that she had not locked the Bakery. I ran across the street, put up the closed sign, locked up the Bakery and ran back to Docís. As I entered one of the men in civilian clothes was questing Hilda about the locked room. From what I gathered, Hilda did not know about the locked room. With frustration on the faces of all six men, one of them said, "Do you know how to get into the locked room?"

I wasnít sure if they had found another room that was locked. I asked, "What locked room."

The man told me to follow him. We headed in the direction of Docís office. He passed Doc office and continued. He passed the door where Doc kept all of his files. A flash of fear shot through my body. They must have found another room that I did not find. When we reached Docís downstairs bedroom, he stops and turns around. He looks up and down the hall then points back up the hall. I let him pass me. He stops in front of the room where Doc kept all of his records. A feeling of relief came across me. I told the man to wait and I would unlock the door. I eased pass the six men and went into Docís office and closed the door behind me. I quickly got the key, turned the knob on the wall, put the key into the lock and turned it. An explosive sound rang out. Even though I had heard the noise a few times, I jumped again. I quickly return the key to the drawer. When I open the office door, I saw the frightened faces. I again eased past them and opened the door, turned on the lights and stepped aside and let them all enter the office. Broad smiles came across their faces. I could almost hear them thinking, "We have them."

I pointed at the files and told them what was in the different file cabinets. I retrieved the keys from the desk and told them that the number on the keys matched the number on the locks. I told them that they were welcomed to look as long as they wanted, but donít mess up the files. Doc had kept the records in order and they would make their work harder if they did not keep the records in order.

I walked out of the room and headed for the foyer. The strain was getting to Hilda. I tried to assure her that they would not find anything and not to worry. I hated to see this come up so soon after her stroke. I told her to go back to the Bakery and relax and everything would be fine.

For the remainder of the day in frustration they could not find what they were looking for. Just as they were leaving, Attorney Kuen arrived. He introduced himself and inquired why they were there. An argument about Docís wealth between Kuen and one the men broke out. Another man spoke up and said that Doctor Von Gould had much more money than was listed on the documents. Kuen said, "We would be very happy if you found more money. Doctor Von Gould was a very generous man. Over the years he gave away huge amounts of his money. Before he passed away the value of his estate had dwindled. The amount that I filed is the total sum of Doctor Von Gouldís estate. Before Karl came to the Village he did not have anyone in his family to leave the money to. He wanted to distribute the money to his friends and associates while he was still alive. When Karl came to the Village and they became friends, Doc had me change his Will. If Karl agrees, you are welcome to look as long as you wish."

I said, "You can spend the rest of the night looking. If you want to come back tomorrow, you are welcomed. I hope you do find some more money somewhere. Hilda needs a new truck and I would love to buy it for her."

In a fit of frustration, the group left. One of the men said that they would be back tomorrow.

I had noticed that one of the men was curious about the listening room. I had noticed him looking around the room a number of times. There was a switch that would switch between the outside of the house and to radio stations. The switch was set to listen to Han and Marie. I switch the device to a local radio station in the City that played classical music.

The following day they showed up as expected. As the men walked through the house one of them called me and said, "What is this room for?"

I tied to smile and walked over to the listening room. I opened the cabinet took out the headset, flipped the switch and handed the headset to the man. I turned down the volume and turned on the radio. I told the man to put on the headset. Reluctantly, he put it on. Slowly I turned up the volume and said, "Doctor Van Gould loved to listen to classical music. He would come in here and listen for hours."

I lied. Doc very seldom listened to classical music. The man listened for a few minutes and took the headset off. He handed me the headset and walked away without saying anything. I turned off the listening device and went back to the Bakery and made the deliveries in the City. When I returned they were still over at Docís. I went inside. They wanted me to open the room where all of Doc records were. They wanted to know how I unlocked the door. I told them that I would not tell them. They got a little annoyed. I told them I would keep the door unlocked until they had finished their search. I would not tell them how to open the door. I did not want people barging in whenever they wanted and disturbing Doc records. They were in order and I did not want them messed up. They tried to pull rank on me. I showed them my Karl Lipman ID that Fritz had given me. They took a long look at the ID and backed off and never asked again. I think the signature at the bottom of the card scared them off.

They returned every day for a week. I was there to welcome them each day. When I was making the deliveries, I let them roam the house alone. On the last day that they were there, like the other days, I prayed they would not find the safe. During the week I brought coffee and pastries for them. I turned around their demeanor a little. They were apologizing to me that they had not found any more money. Each day I would let out a sigh of relief knowing that they had not found the safe. As they left on the final day, they all thanked me for my assistance. I asked them why they thought that Doc Von Gould had more money in the house. Someone had told them that the house was lined with gold. I laughed and said, "Doc told me that he had heard the house was filled with gold coins. He had looked all his life and never found them."

One of the nicer men in the group said that they all had been victims of a rumor that had been going on for generations. Again they thanked me as they climbed into a car and headed back to the City. I was suspicious, they were too nice. Somehow I knew that the one that tried to be nice was lying. I did not know what he was up to. I wanted to check the safe to see if they had emptied it. I was afraid that they would come back and catch me looking into the safe. I waited for about fifteen minutes just in case they decide to come back. I headed for Docís office. Through the front window, I saw headlights from a car shinning through the windows. A jolt of fear ran through me. I went back to the door. A car parked in front of the building, six men rushed up the steps. I quickly sat down in Docís chair in the parlor. They pushed through the front door. I jumped up and asked, "Did you forget something?"

Two of the men rushed down the hall. I watched them as they went into Doc office. The one that acted so nice, said, "They wanted to check Doctor Von Gouldís desk again."

I smiled and said, "I ran out of money when Hilda was in the hospital. I looked all through the Desk for some money. I did not find any. I was running out of supplies and did not have the money to pay for them. I have to have Hilda co-sign all the checks that I wrote. I think they are wasting their time."

I walked down the hall and stood at the door and said, "Good luck, I have looked everyplace for money. I hope you find some."

The nice guy motioned to the two men. They all walked down the hall and out the door. I watched them make the U-turn again and head in the direction of the City. I waited a little longer, and turned off all the lights. I look out the front window. I did not see anyone. I locked the front door and hurried into Docís office, locked the office door from inside the office and turned on the lights. With a mixed feeling of excitement and fear, I had to look in the safe. I quickly removed a few books, pushed the button and watched the mirror slide behind the bookcase. I quickly dialed the combination and it failed. In frustrations, I took a deep breath, tried to relax and tried again. The safe door opened. I lifted the sacks. They felt the same as they did they last time I looked at them. I had placed gold coins over corners of the stacks of bill. The coins did not look like they had been disturbed. After a sigh of relief, I quickly shut the safe and put everything back into place. I went back to the Bakery and told Hilda that they had gone and did not find the safe. I could see how relieved Hilda was. She hugged me and said, "Doc said that you were a very brilliant young man. I am glad that I listened to you. They would probably still be looking if I refused to let them look."

The heat wave:

Hilda progress was slowly improving. The heat did not help. It was another one of those nights that no one could sleep. It was so hot that it felt like the oven was still on. Hilda and I could not sleep. Our bodies were soaked with perspiration. I felt sorry for Hilda. I was worried about the high temperature and how it would affect her. I went down stairs and opened all the windows and doors with hopes that a light breeze may cool us off. I stepped outside. The outside was not any cooler than it was inside. It was an unusually hot night. I got a fan from the Bakery and set it up in Hilda room. I was hoping that would help Hilda.

Everyone had been suffering for about two weeks. One evening when I could not sleep, I went down stair to see if it was any cooler downstairs. It was hotter on the first floor. I went outside expecting it to be cooler. If felt hotter outside than it did inside. The sun had warmed the cobblestone and the sidewalk. There was no one on the streets. Usually there are at least one or two soldiers sitting on the benches in front of the Tavern and a couple of soldiers patrolling the streets. This was unusual. It was the only place they could sit down without sitting on the ground or someone doorsteps. I always took the table and chairs inside at night and stacked them next to the front door. I brushed it off, thinking it must be the heat. The soldiers were probably sitting inside the Tavern with the big overhead fan blowing on them.

I had brought a blanket to spread on the floor next to the front door. It was so quiet that I could hear a train coming into a distant station miles away. It must have been coming in at the train station in the City. I could barely hear the sound of the engine. I thought about the many nights the Nazi marched the Jews to the station in the Village. My thoughts of the past had cleared all the cobwebs from my brain. I was wide awake. All the windows in all the homes were open. I could hear someone in the Village snoring. I noticed that the sound of the train was getting a little louder. Then I did not hear the engine. The train must have stopped. Since there were no soldiers in the Village, I assumed that the soldiers were escorting a large number of people to the train station in the City to be shipped to concentration camps. Anger swept through my body. The pain in my heart for those poor souls was so bad that I yelled to the top of my voice. My vocal cords froze; only a rush of air came from my mouth.  As tears streamed down my face a cool breeze blew across my wet face. It cooled my pain slightly. About an hour later, I heard the train engine again. The sound faded as it left the station. I said to myself that the train is leaving. Again my thoughts returned to the poor souls that were being taken away. The hate that was building within me fired up my whole body. I donít know what came over me. I went out the front door of the Bakery and marched down the middle of the street. When I reached the Tavern, the lights were on, but it was empty. I tried the door. It was locked. I was wondering where everyone had gone. I headed back to the Bakery and lied down for a few moment thinking about what may have happened. I tried to go back to sleep. I couldnít, my mind was glued on the thought on the train leaving with hundred of poor people. Since I could not sleep, I got up and started preparing the bread dough for the oven. I had been working for about an hour when Hilda came down the stairs. She asked, "What are you doing up so early? Itís not four Oíclock yet."

I looked over at Hilda and said, "I came down and opened all the windows and doors hoping it might be cooler. It may be cooler when I turn on the oven. I couldnít sleep; I think they took away more Jews last night. There are no soldiers on the street and I heard a train leaving from the City."

Hilda said, "Oh God no, they must have been hiding all these years. How did they find out where they were hiding?"

A sinking feeling ran through me. I asked myself why I had told her about the train. I didnít say anything more, but I thought if they found these people, they would probably find me. Hilda was wondering if they had found out about the Underground Highway to Switzerland. Were they picking up all of her friends? Should she tell Tim to go back into hiding? We both were frightened and we could see it in each otherís faces.

Hilda started prepare breakfast. We had been relaxing for a while. It was just starting to lighten up outside. Hilda looked down at her body; she had not taken off her night gown. She headed back up the stairs, when she was halfway up the stair the whole building shook, followed by a very loud explosion. We had heard about the bombing across Europe. I thought that they must be bombing the Army Base. The warning signal did not go off. An explosion of fear ran through my body, I yelled, "They are going to kill Mutti and Papa."

The explosion:

Together, we ran out into the streets. Everyone come out of their homes. Rumors were flying. Everyone had a different idea of what had happened. I ran back into the Bakery and called the hospital. When a girl answered the telephone a sigh of relief flowed through my body. I asked her if they were being bombed. She told me no, the explosion sounded like it had came from the Factory. I gave the girl my name and asked her if she found out what had happened to please call me. She assured me that she would call me back when she found out what had happened. She said that an emergency crew had been sent out to the Factory.

I went back outside. Hilda asked me where I had been.  I said, "I was worried about Mutti and Papa. I called the hospital. The nurse said that the explosion wasnít at the Army Base. She thinks it was at the Factory. We have never been out that far have we?"

"No honey, there are soldiers all around the Factory. You couldnít get within a mile of the Factory. They have had explosions before, but none like this one."

"Thank God Papa and Mutti are at the Army Base."

The crowd on the streets slowly disbursed. Hilda and I went on with our chores. An hour had passed and the phone rang. The nurse told me that the explosion had flattened the Factory and had left a large crater in the middle of the area where the Factory was located. The few soldiers that were still at the base went out to the Factory to look for survivors. The soldiers and the medical personnel that came back from the Factory said that there was not anyone there. If there had been anyone at the Factory, they had been vaporized.

I looked up and thanked God for protecting my parents. I saw Hilda watching me; she knew that I was praying for the safety of my parents. She asked me, "What did the caller want?"

"Mutti, it was the nurse from the hospital. She said that the Factory had been flattened and the explosion had left a large crater in the ground.  She said that there werenít any survivors at the Factory. They all had been vaporized. She said that nothing was left. No building, no trees, only remnants of vehicles and the remains of the building were scattered thousands of meters from the explosion. There was not any sign of anyone dead or alive."

I walked over to Hilda and said, "Thank God Mutti and Papa are safe at the Army Base. Papa said they would blow up the Factory and they did. I am going to call Christie."

Hilda asked, "Do you know her phone number?"    

"Christie gave me her home number. She told me that the operators were not authorized to give out the phone numbers of the officers at the base."

The phone rang; I listened for a few minutes until a young boy answered the phone. I asked to speak to Christie. He said that she is outside with Mutti. I asked him to please go outside and ask her to come to the phone and tell her that it is Karl. As expected, he hung up the phone. With hopes Christie would call me back, I hung up the phone. After about five minutes, Christie called. When I picked up the phone, I didnít say hello. I asked Christie if her father knew about the explosion at the Factory. She said, "No, he is still in Germany."

"Do you know how to get in contact with him?"

"Yes, he called us last night. It looks like they as going to strip him of his commission. God only know what they will do to him now that the Factory is blown up."

"Why donít you call him? He probably doesnít know about the explosion. His associates predicted that the new scientist would blow up the Factory. He was not involved with the explosion. They cannot blame him for the accident. Give him a call. If he does not know about it, it may help him. The official in Germany may not tell him about the accident. They made the choice of changing the research team. They will be the ones that will be in trouble."

With excitement in her voice Christie said, "Tim you are wonderful, why didnít I think of calling him. I may be a little late. I love you. Hang up and I will call him now."

I told Christie that I loved her and hung up the phone. Hilda was listening to the conversation and said, "Tim you are brilliant. Those idiots would never tell the General. They would send him to the Russian Front before they would admit that they had made a mistake. I am sure he has friends in Germany that he can confide in."

Something besides the explosion had made me feel a little uneasy. Christie had called me Tim. I was not quite sure what I should do. Why had she called me Tim? Does she know that I was Tim Williams? Her father called me Tim the first time he saw me. Did she hear Alfons call me Tim?

We went on about our business as usual. I waited to hear from Christie. Time seemed to drag. About eight Christie walked in the door with a big Christie smile on her face. She walked over to me without saying a word and hugged me then said, "My father had not heard about the explosion. He called his Commanding Officer and told him about the explosion. No one had heard about the explosion. At least that is what his adversaries had said. Papa said that everyone knew they were lying. He said that they could see the guilt in their faces. They were all locked up and Papaís commanding officer is sending Papa home to see if anything can be salvaged. Papaís adversaries had already started to cover their rear ends. Papa and Doctor Williams had warned them not to ship a large quantity of the chemical when the weather was so warm. Papa had told them the chemicals were too unstable and the heat would worsen the problem. I waited for Papa to call me back. He called from his Commanding Officerís office. Papa and his Commanding Officer thought that it was my idea to call Papa. When I told them that it was your idea to call him, they wanted me to tell you how much they appreciated what you had done. If I hadnít called Papa their adversaries had already had a scheme that would put the blame on Papa and his associates for the accident. They had not had enough time to put their plan into operation. Papa said that when he gets back he will give you anything that is within his power. What do you want? Me?"

Timís face lit up with a big smile and he said, "Of course I want you. Do you want me?"

"Yes I do."

With a seductive look on her face she asked, "What else do you want?"

I looked at Hilda. She was listening to every word; she said, "I know something that would make Karl and me very happy. Where are Dr. Williams living now?"

Christie said, "I am not sure. I think everyone that was working at the Factory is living at the Army Base now."

Hilda said, "Karl played with Tim Williamís when they both were young. The Williams were our closest friends. It would be nice to see them living in their home again." 

Still smiling, I said, "I donít remember to much about Tim but I certainty do remember the Williams. They were the nicest people that I have ever known. I liked them almost as much as I love you Mutti."

Christie had a slight smirk on her face. It looked as if she knew more about the William than she let on. Christie started to say something, but she caught herself before she said anything. Hilda caught the look and was wondering what was going on in Christieís mind. From our reaction, I think Christie sensed that Hilda and I were up to something. Suspiciously, she looked at us and said, "Pop is flying back today. When I see him I will tell him what you want. I donít know if they will let anyone that worked at the Factory live among the local residents. They are afraid they will leak some of the secrets of their research. But, I will tell him that is what you want."

I smiled and said, "Donít forget to tell him that I want you also."

With a smug look on her face Christie said, "I have already told him that."

Hilda spoke up and said, "We do not want your father to do anything that would get him into any trouble. You told us about Dr. Williams and we thought that it would be nice to see him and his wife again. Donít put your Papa on the spot where he cannot deliver his promise to Karl. Giving you to Karl would be a much better idea."

The rest of the day was as normal as we could expect. It was still quite hot. Hilda said that if they ran out of anything, we were not going to turn on the oven again.

Hilda and I could not wait until we could talk alone. I could tell that Christie was a little suspicious of what we wanted and we wondered if we had opened up a door that might draw attention to ourselves. There were still many Nazis around. What would Fritz do when he saw my parents returning to our home?  What would the Bergers think or do when they had to move out of the house they had lived in for the last six years. I wondered what my father would do to Fritz. Would he want to kill him for what he had done? I could not blame my father. I still had a desire for revenge.

Now that the Factory was no longer in existence, would they still need the all of the soldier in the Village. The Allies and the Russians are closing in on Germany and Austria from all sides. They could not rebuild the Factory before the war is over. It spit of the propaganda, everyone knew it wouldnít be long before Germany would surrendered.

We could not stand the heat any longer. We closed up the Bakery early. Christie called for a ride home. Christie wanted to get home and talk to her father. The heat and the lack of sleep were getting to me. I walked Christie to her car. I kissed and hugged her. I told her the only thing that I really wanted was her. I waved goodbye as they drove away. When the car was out of sight, I ran back into the Bakery and called, "Mutti, do you think that Christieís Papa will let Mutti and Papa move back to our home?"

"Tim, I really do not know.  It would be much better if the war was over. It is hard to imagine what the people in the Village would say or do. Tim, I wish I had an answer for you. God only knows what would happen.  They would be much safer if they lived together on the Army Base. I wish I could give you the answers that you want. I wish I had not mentioned it to Christie. Me and my big mouth."

"Do you think Alfons would know who would give Mutti and Papa trouble?"

"Honey, I can tell you there are a number of people in the Village that hate the Jews. Fritz is at the top of the list. Go down to the Tavern tonight and have a couple glasses of wine.  It will not take long before you will know who would give your parents trouble."

"I canít stand that place. I know when the lease is over I will own it. I think I will burn it down or tear it down and put a park in its place."

"Tim, I know the place is yours. You have the right to do whatever you want with it.  I know Doc did not want you to sell any of the property. But, I am sure Doc would be happy if you remodeled the rear rooms and got rid of all of the Nazi posters and swastikas."

"Maybe in time I will lose all the hate I have for Fritz and his comrades. I was so anxious to see my parents living across the street. I did not think of the problems it would cause them. I think you are right, it is better for them to live together at the Army Base until the war is over."

Passionately, Hilda said, "I donít know if your parents would want to live in your home again or live in Austria now or after the war is over. From what they have gone through, I would leave here and never return. Tim, I know how you must feel. It would be so nice to have your parents across the street again. Every time you parents came in, it would brighten the day for Leo and me. They were so pleasant.  I can see a number of problems that they would have living in the Village. I wish I hadnít mentioned it. There must be many bad memories still lingering in their minds.  I think itís best to ask them what they would want to do.  I think Christieís father would have a better idea on what is best for your parents.  I think we are a little ahead of ourselves. There are too many unanswered questions.  If Christieís father allows your parents to choose where they want to live, then I think it is up to your parents to make the decision. Letís close up and sleep on our problem.  Maybe tomorrow our minds will be less confused."

As Hilda was walking toward the stairs, I said, "Something else came up today. I did not want to bother you with it."

Nervously she wheeled around and asked, "What happened?"

Hilda had enough on her mind. I should not have said anything. For a moment I did not say anything. Hilda quickly asked again, "What happened?"

Now I had to tell her. "Christie called me Tim when I called this morning. Do they know that I am Dr, Williamís son?"

Hilda smiled and said, "I think they have known since Christie came to work here. The General is no fool. From what you have been telling me, I think Christie knows. I would not lose any sleep over it. He has been taking good care of your Mutti and Papa. Your Papa must have confided with the General. They have been working together for a long time. It must have come up a number of times."

During the night, neither Hilda nor I could sleep. Not only was it still hot, we both were torn between having my parents living in the Village or living someplace else. It was another blistering hot night. I took a blanket and went down stairs. I opened both the front and back doors as I had the nights before. I finally went to sleep. Soldiers leaving Fritzís Tavern interrupted my sleep. They were discussing the explosion at the Factory and from what I could make out, Fritz was involved and he was afraid that the Generals in Berlin would find out about his involvement. One of the soldiers had seen Fritz carrying a suitcase out to his car. With this new incident concerning Fritz, the explosion and the finding my Mother and my Father I was wide-awake. I wanted to know where Fritz was going or if he had already left." 

Fritz is on the move:

I ran up stairs and put on a pair of pants. I locked the front door and went out the back door and down the alley. I stayed in the shadows. A light was on in the back room of the Tavern. I slowly crept up to the window and looked in. It looked like Fritz was packing everything he had. Fritz picked up one of the boxes stacked in his office and headed for the front of the Tavern. I peeked around the corner of the Tavern. Fritzís car was parked on the side of the building. I watched Fritz load the box. There was a rack on top of the car. The rack was full and covered with canvas. Fritz headed back into the Tavern. I was in a mischievous mood. When Fritz went back into the Tavern I ran over to the car, lifted the hood and removed all the ignition wires and lowered the hood quietly. I ran to the rear of the Tavern and watched Fritz. Fritz only had a few more boxes to load. I watched Fritz caring the next load to the car. I was going to wait and watch Fritz trying to start the car. I was going to take some of the boxes out of the car while Fritz was inside the Tavern. I headed toward the car. I stopped in my tracks. Someone was letting the air out of the tires.  It was Alfons. I glanced back into the Tavern and saw Fritz heading for the front of the Tavern.  I ran over and grabbed Alfons. We ran to the rear of the Tavern. Alfons told me that he had seen what I had done and he wanted to add to Fritzís misery. Alfons told me that Fritz had gotten a call from Berlin and his comrades told him that he was in a lot of trouble. They advised him to get out of the country. Fritz and Kreegon are going to Switzerland. I told Alfons that we had better get out of their before Fritz tried to start the car. He will be madder than hell and would start looking for the one that tampered with his car. I wanted Alfons to hide in the Bakery. Alfons declined my invitation. He told me that he had a better place to hide than the Bakery. I did not want to pry, but I was curious where Alfons would hide. I asked, "Where?"

Alfons said, "In your cellar, under Hans and Marie noses. You left the hatchway unlocked and it is nice and warm in the cellar in the winter and cool in the summer."

With surprise, I asked, "How did you know the hatch was unlocked?"

Alfons let out a slight chuck and said, "I was sleeping it off between the houses and you woke me up when you opened the hatch cover. The squeak of the hinges scared the hell out of me. I peeked around the corner and watch you for the few minutes you stood there. You went back into the cellar. I was hoping you did not lock the hatch. I had tried the hatch before. I was very disappointed that you locked it. After you made your grand entrance into the Village, I went back and tried the hatch again. Thankful the hatch was open. I have been sleeping there ever since."

Alfons walked me to the Bakery and told me to lock up the Bakery. When Fritz starts looking, I would not want him barging in on Hilda and me. I stood there watching Alfons fade away in the darkness. Surprisingly, Alfons looked sober. I locked the doors. I open all of the windows in the front of the baker and lay down on the blanket. I waited and listened for the explosion at the Tavern. I was dozing off when I heard Fritz yelling profanities. I heard someone running down the street. I slowly lifted my head and peeked out the window. I saw Fritz searching the doorways and basement patios along the street. Somehow Fritz knew it was Alfons. Fritz yelled, "Alfons, come here you drunken bastard. I am going to kill you."

Lights started turning on along the street. Herr Kuntz stuck his head out his upstairs window and asked Fritz, "What is going on down there. Stop making so much noise. It is hard enough to sleep in this heat without you yelling."

Fritz yelled back, "Shut up and go back to bed."

A few more threatening remarks were tossed back and forth until Frau Kuntz yelled at her husband to shut up and go to bed. I heard Fritz talking with someone. Again I peeked out the window. At first I did not recognize the other person. That voice, I will never forget. It was that Gestapo Captain Kreegon. He was in civilian clothes. I had never seen him out of his uniform. Kreegon was giving Fritz hell. He said that they had to confiscate a car.

Fear ran through me. I knew that there wasnít a car in the Village that could carry all the boxes that Fritzís had on his car. I felt my way through the dark Bakery; I unlocked the back door and looked around. The alley was clear. I quickly removed the ignition wires from the truck and ran back into the Bakery. I hid the wires and lied down and waited for Fritz to bang on the door.

It wasnít long. Fritz was knocking on the back door of the Bakery. I turned on the lights and walked around the counter to the rear of the Bakery. Fritz and Captain Kreegon were standing outside. Fritz said, "We want to borrow your truck."

I said, "Sure, can I take you somewhere?"

Fritz shook his head and said, "No, I will need it for a couple days."

I knew the bastard was lying. If he is fleeing the country, we would never see the truck again. Hilda heard me talking to Fritz and put on her housecoat and walking down the stairs. I said, "Aunt Hilda has the keys. We have delivers to make every day. I donít think she will let you use it that long."

Hilda shook her head and said, "I am sorry I canít let you have the truck. I have deliveries to make."

Captain Kreegon said, "We are confiscating the truck. We have official business to attend to and we need your truck. Give me the keys."

Hilda said, "If you need a truck, go out to the Army Base. They have dozens of trucks sitting around doing nothing. I saw them when I was in the hospital. No one is using them. They didnít move during my stay at the hospital."

Captain Kreegon yelled, "Give me the keys to the damn truck. Thatís an order."

It looked like Captain Kreegon wanted Hilda to snap to attention. Hilda swung her hand as to tell him to leave and turned away. The Captain lunged at Hilda. I caught Kreegon by the shoulder. Kreegonís feet went up into the air. He fell to the floor on his back. Fritz yelled, "Now you are in trouble. Give me the keys; I am going to have you both locked up."

I looked at Hilda, winked and said, "I think we better lend them the truck."

Hilda went upstairs to get the keys. She throws them down to me. I handed them to Fritz. I apologized to the Kreegon, it didnít do much good. He said that if he wasnít busy that he would have us locked up. Fritz and Kreegon walked out the back door. I looked at Hilda. I put a finger across my lips and said. "Shuuuu" then smiled.

Fritz climbs in the truck and tried to start it. The engine went around and around until the battery was dead. Fritz got out of the truck and through the keys at the back door. Fritz and Kreegon walked down the dark alley. I called Hilda over and whispered, "I took the ignition wires out of his car. I knew he would be coming down here to borrow the truck. So I took the ignition wires out of your truck so it wouldnít start. I heard that he and Kreegon are in a lot of trouble, and are running off to Switzerland. His car is loaded down with boxes."

Hilda asked, "What does he have in the boxes?"

"I donít know what he has in them. The rack on top the car is full, the back seat and a rack on the back of the car were almost full. After I removed the ignition wires, I was going to remove the boxes and throw them in the river. I saw Alfons letting air out of the tires. If I hadnít grabbed him and dragged him in the rear of the Tavern, Fritz would have caught him."

Hilda locked up the rear door and told me to go back to bed. It was only one oíclock.

I didnít get much sleep. The alarm went off to soon. I crawled out of bed went down to the Bakery and started my daily chores. Hilda didnít get up until later. She prepares our breakfast and Alfons package. We were eating and there was a gentle rap on the back door. It was still dark outside. Chills ran through our bodies. We looked at each other. I started to get up. Hilda grabbed my arm and said, "Stay here."

She walked over to the door. She could not see anyone outside. She opened the door and Alfons ran in and asked, "Please hide me. There are a number of soldiers roaming the streets looking for me."

Hilda hustled Alfons up the stairs and into the attic. She told him to lie quietly in the attic and donít move or look out the windows. I got up and locked the door. Hilda came back downstairs. I asked, "Why are they looking for Alfons?"

Hilda said, "I didnít ask. They will be coming here soon. Everyone knows Alfons comes here for his package every morning."

We continued our breakfast, within a few minutes someone was banging on the front door. I got up and went to see who was at the door. It was a little lighter and there was Captain Kreegon and a couple of soldiers. I opened the door and asked, "Can I help you?"

Kreegon yelled, "Get out of our way."

The soldiers rushed through the door with their gun drawn. They headed to the rear of the Bakery passing Hilda. Hilda yelled, "Halt."

The soldiers stopped and looked at Hilda and she said, "What are you doing running around in my Bakery with your guns drawn. Who are you looking for?"

One of the young soldiers stopped while the other one opened the back door. There was a group of soldiers in the back of the Bakery. One of them said, "No one came out this way."

Again, Hilda said, "Who are you looking for?"

The young soldier said, "The Village Drunk, Alfons."

"Why are you looking for Alfons?"

"I donít know. Herr Fritz Gruber and Captain Kreegon want him."

"What did he do?"

"I do know."

Kreegon had been talking with me and he overheard the conversation and said, "He is a thief."

Hilda asked, "What did he steal?"

Kreegon snapped back, "Classified information."

Hilda said, "Why would he steal classified information. I can understand if it was a bottle of wine. He hasnít been here. His lunch is sitting on the table. Why did you think he would be here?"

"Fritz said that he always stops in here every morning."

I picked up Alfons lunch bag and said, "If you catch him, ask him if he wants his lunch."

Kreegon with his same sarcastic tone ordered the soldier out of the Bakery. Hilda and I watched Kreegon and the soldiers. They headed in the direction of the Tavern. Hilda asked me, "What did Alfons take from them?"

"I donít know, letís ask Alfons."

We climbed the stairs to the attic. I opened the attic door. We didnít see Alfons. We were wondering how he got out of the attic. I walked to the far end of the attic and removed a blanket that was lying next to a stack of boxes. Alfons was cuddled up next to the boxes. He was sound asleep. Hilda pulled my arm and said, "Let him sleep it off. We will talk to him when he wakes up."

We went back to the Bakery and continued our chores. Less than half an hour had passed, a convoy of army truck passed the Bakery at a high rate of speed. Hilda and I stepped outside to see where they were heading. They stopped in front of the Tavern. All of the shopkeepers and residents came running out to see what was happening. Hilda and I went back in the Bakery. Someone passing the Bakery said that they have arrested Fritz and Captain Kreegon. Before we could get out in the streets one of the trucks was driving away with Fritz and Kreegon. I saluted them as the truck drove away. I saw the same fear in their faces that I had seen in many faces before. These were the two men that I hated with a passion. An unusual feeling ran through my body. I felt sorry for them. I felt the same way that I had felt when they took Peter, his father and all the other away.

I wondered what was going to happen to them. Would they kill them?  Where are they taking them?  Fritz and Kreegon appeared to be very frightened. I had seen the same look on the faces of most of the people in the Village. Were they all afraid that they would be marched down the street at gunpoint?  I believe everyone in the Village was afraid that they would be the next person to be picked up and shipped to a concentration camp. I heard Hilda calling me.  I jumped, and so did all the Villagers on the street. The Villagers were all excited.  They wanted to know what had happened and why, so did I. Why were they taking Fritz and Kreegon away?  What had they done? Slowly I walked back inside, I listened and observing the frighten Villagers. I wondered what was going on in their minds.

When I walked in the door, Hilda said, "I saw the truck passing with Fritz and Kreegon.  They did not look too happy. If they lock them up, the Nazis will set them free."

After I had finished my chores, I told Hilda that I was going down the street to see what was going on. I took off my apron and hung it up.  As I walked out the door, Hilda warned me, "Be careful, you donít want them to take you away."

I smiled and said, "If they lock me up, Christie will be close by and you can visit us."

"They will not let you have any visitors."

As I walked in the direction of the Tavern, the groups of spectators stop talking when I approached them.  I was wondering what little secrets they were spreading?  What were they saying that they did not want me to hear?  They all stared at me.  A weird feeling ran through my body. Now, suspicions in me raised its ugly head, chills started running through my body.  As I approached the Tavern, I noticed that soldiers were stationed around the Tavern.  One of the soldiers that I had seen a number of times in the Village was stationed at the entrance to the Tavern.  I approached him and ask, "What happened?  Why did they take Fritz and Kreegon away?"

He looked around to see if anyone was listening, then said, "They were caught stealing classified documents from the Factory.  Someone called General Bower and told him about it."

I heard an automobile coming up the street. The soldier told me to move away from the Tavern. They donít want anyone close to the Tavern. 

I backed away from the Tavern and watched the car as it pulled up.  In the rear seat was a civilian and a military officer.  As the civilian stepped out of the car, he took a long look at me.  I couldnít believe what my mind was telling me.  My whole body started to shake.  I wanted to run through the line of soldiers to my father.  I just stood there frozen. He smiled at me and I smiled back. My father and the officer walked over to Fritzís car. Papa took a stack of the Document and looked at them.

Papa returns home:

I wanted to shout with joy. The feeling that was running through my body was the same as the day my Mother called me in the Hospital, if not more so. Papa did not say a thing. I caught him taking glances in my direction. I could not take my eyes off of him. I had urges to walk over to him. I would have to walk through the ring of soldiers surrounding the Tavern. I stood there patiently waiting for Papa to come to me. I was afraid that he did not recognize me and he was wondering why I kept staring at him.  

Papa had been examining the documents for about fifteen minutes. He turned and looked at the officer. He said something to the officer. They both nodded at each other. My father put the documents down and spoke to the officer again, then looked at me. I was about to burst with excitement. Had Papa recognized me, or was he going to have the soldiers chase me away. It had been six years since we saw each other. The officer looked over at me and nodded to my father. My father turned around and headed in my direction. I looked around to see if anyone was watching. The individuals were more interested in what their small groups were talking about than me and my father. Papa held his hand out to me and smiled, then said, "Tim, you are almost as tall as I am. I would love to hug you. We must not let anyone know that you are Tim. I would love to talk to you all day, but I will be working all day on these documents to see what is missing. I told the officer that I had lived in the Village and you were the only person that looked familiar. I had known you and your father, and I wanted to know how your father was."

"Papa, I want to know how my father is also. I saw all the blood in the foyer and I had heard rumors that you and Mutti were both dead. I almost let out a scream when I saw you. I saw Mutti and she told me that she had seen you occasionally."

We stood there talking like old friends, shaking hands. He told me that Mutti had seen me at the Hospital and told him about our short visit. He wanted to thank Hilda for taking me in and spend some time with me, but he was afraid that he would be busy all day going over the documents. I told him that I understood. Papa said, "I donít know how long I will be here. I will stop at the Bakery for a few minutes after I finish. I want to thank Hilda personally." 

"Papa, I saw Mutti at the Hospital. They have been operating on her face. She looked wonderful. I saw her there when Hilda was in the hospital."

"I have known about your mother. General Bower has kept me up to date on her progress. When the Nazis are not around, he lets me visit her."

Papa glanced in the direction of the Officer then said, "I have to go now. He looks like he is getting impatient. I will see you later."

Papa took my hand. He wrapped both hands over mine. I could see the happiness and excitement in his eyes. Tears came to my eyes. I could not hold them back. Papa put his arm across my shoulder, turns me away from the Nazi officer and whispered, "Tim, try to hold back your emotions. We have made it this far. They have been holding your mother hostage and forcing me to work for them. I donít want them to use you as a hostage."

I did my best to stop the tears. The more I tried, the more they flowed down my cheek. I told Papa that I could not hold the tears back. He patted me on my back, pushed me away from him and said, "I am having a hard time holding them back also. I will see you at the Bakery as soon as I can."

I headed back to the Bakery. When I saw someone looking at me, I turned my head in the opposite direction. I did not want them to see me crying. They may think that I was crying because Fritz and Kreegon were arrested. I hurried back to the Bakery. I could not wait to tell Hilda. As soon as I entered the Bakery, I yelled, "Mutti, Papa is alive and well. He is down the street going over the documents that Fritz and Kreegon had stole. He is coming to the Bakery when he is finished going over the Documents."

"Tim, go upstairs and change your clothes and wash your face. I want your father to be as proud of you as I am. Do you want me to be here with you when he comes in?"

"Yes Mutti, he wants to thank you for taking me in. I know how much he liked you and Leo. I donít know what would have happen to me if I had to spend another two years hiding. I would have gone crazy. I think I was on the verge of going crazy when I came out. I almost did not care if I lived or died. I just wanted to get out into the streets and live again."

Hilda put her arms around me and whispered, "I am glad you came out of hiding. You gave me a good reason to live again."

After I made myself presentable, I ran back down the stairs and looked down the street. I could see Papa examining the documents. I was pacing the floor. It was starting to irritate Hilda. We had finished the pastries and prepared the orders for deliveries. I did not want to make the deliveries until I saw my father. I was afraid that he would come to the Bakery when I was making the deliveries. I put the ignition wires back into the truck. Thank God, the battery was still dead. I could not make the deliveries in the City. I went back into the Bakery and told Hilda. She said that she did not care. It was more important for me to be with my father than delivering the bread. She went to the phone and started calling all of her customers. She told them we had a problem with the truck and I would not be able to deliver their orders today. They were quite irritated. She told them that they were welcome to come to the Bakery and pick up their orders. 

I was still pacing the floor.  Hilda told me to make a batch of nut bread for my father and the time would go by much faster. I hurried and prepared the ingredients for about a dozen loafs of bread and put them in the oven.

About thirty of Hildaís customers in the city came in to pick up their orders. That was better than we expected. Hans had come by to pick up the order for the Rathskeller. I was wondering where he got the car. If was quite small and we just had enough room to load the bread and pastries.

Papa was still working on the Documents. Hilda told me to make the local delivers and if Papa showed up, she would try to keep Papa at the Bakery until I returned.  I make the local delivers on Leoís bike. I had never made the deliveries so fast. I was sure that I would miss Papa. On the way back to the Bakery I passed the Tavern. Thank God Papa was still there. 

Time was sliding by. I had gone outside dozens of times and looked down the street. The car was still there. It was starting to get dark. I felt that he would not have enough time to see me. I went back inside and was trying to console myself to the fact that I would not see Papa again today.

I heard a truck race by. I dashed to the door. The truck stopped at the Tavern. Soldiers got out of the truck and started loading the documents into the truck. When they were finished loading the documents, the truck took off. Papa and the officer were talking. Papa pointed in the direction of the Bakery. The officer nodding and they got into the waiting car. I yelled to Hilda that Papa was coming and went to the rear of the Bakery and started to put the loaves of bread into bags. I heard the bell on the door ring. A wave of excitement ran through my body. Hilda told Papa that I was in the back of the Bakery. I peeked around the corner and saw Papa embracing Hilda. Tears came to their eyes. Papa thanked Hilda for taking care of me. He promised her that someday he would return the favor. Hilda said that she would never accept anything from Papa for taking me in. I had made her life worth living and I had been a great help in the Bakery. I was starting to feel a little embarrassed by all the complements. Hilda put her hand of Papa shoulder and nudged him in my directions. I backed up behind the partition so we could not be seen from the street. As soon as Papa was behind the partition, I through my arms around Papa and held him tightly. We both cried and patted each other on the back. Papa pushed me at armís length and said, "Tim, Hilda has done a wonderful job of bringing you up. You look wonderful. Your mother is very proud of you. She also thinks Hilda did a wonderful job of raising you."

Hilda interrupted by saying, "Tim did it by himself. When he came out of hiding, he was already a bright, handsome young man. He did it all by himself. I did help to put on a few extra pounds on him. Have you seen Christine? She looked wonderful."

"Yes, she told me about your visit. General Bower told me that as soon as the Gestapo leaves, Christine and I would be able to live on the base together. He has already furnished a small home for us. I have a feeling that he knows that Tim is my son. He has been looking for Tim since they took us away. He has been looking into the background of Karl Lipman. I think he didnít want to get my hopes up. He hinted that Karl may be my son Tim. When he came to the Bakery with Christie he hinted that he may have a lead to where my son may be. There are still a number of undercover agents roaming the streets. The documents are very valuable. If they canít get the documents they will go to any length to get me. Tim you must not let anyone know that you are my son. If they find out, your life will be in danger."

Papa was interrupted by the bell on the front door. Hilda looked around the partition and a soldier said, "Please tell Doctor Williams that the Captain is waiting."

I quickly gave Papa another hug and picked up the bags of bread. He asked, "What is this?"

Hilda said, "Tim has learned how to bake your favorite bread. I hope you enjoy it."

I followed Papa to the door and out to the car. After he sat down, I handed Papa the bread. Papa said, "The bread smells wonderful. It brings back old memories."

I said, "I hope you enjoy it as much as you enjoyed Hildaís."

"I know I will. Thank you for baking it for me and thank Hilda."

I stood there for a few minutes and watched the car turn the corner. I let out a sigh of relief. I looked up and thanked God for taking care of Papa and the few moments I had with him. I cried with joy. I did not know that Hilda had followed us. I turned around and saw Hilda. I hugged her and said, "Both of my parents are alive. My prayers have been answered."

"Yes Tim, both of our prayers was answered."

We turned around and saw Alfons peeking out the windows. We hurried back into the Bakery. Alfons said, "Hilda, I am dying for a drink. Get me something."

"Alfons, I will fix you something to eat. That will hold you for a while. Go back upstairs and take a bath. How long has it been since you have bathed?"

"I donít remember."

"You smell like you havenít bathed in a year. Take a bath, after dinner I will look around for something for you to drink. In the room across the hall from my bedroom are some of Leo clothes. Take whatever you want and through the one you have on in the trash. There are sock and underwear in the dresser. Try on the shoes that are on the floor of the closet, they may not fit you, but they are better than the ones you have on and you will have to turn up the cuffs on the pants a couple of turns. They will be too long."

While Hilda prepared dinner, I cleaned up the Bakery. We both wondered what would happen to Fritz and Kreegon. Hilda was certain that the Nazis would let them go. I wasnít sure what they would do.

Hilda had finished preparing dinner and Alfons had not come down for dinner. I closed all the blinds and took another look at the streets. There were soldiers patrolling the streets, a lot more than usual. I shut the door and looked around. Alfons was standing on the bottom step of the stairs. If I did not know it was Alfons, I would not have recognized him. He had shaved off his shaggy beard. He looked like a different person. The pants were a little too long and he had turned up the cuffs. I could not believe my eyes. I called Hilda and said, "Alfons is ready for dinner."

She came out of the rear of the Bakery. When she saw Alfons, I thought she was going to faint. Her mouth flew open and she just stood there with her mouth open for a few minutes. Alfons smiled and said, "Well, do I still stink?"

It took a few second before Hilda could reply. She slowly closed her mouth and tidied up her hair and dress. I think she was embarrassed for the way she looked. She looked like she was trying to think of something to say. Finally she said, "Alfons you look wonderful. It has been years since I seen you look like this. Come sit down and have dinner."

During dinner Hilda could not stop looking at Alfons. I had never seen her look at any man the way she was looking at Alfons. I thought that she was just surprised at Alfons transformation. I was wrong. There was something else going on inside of Hilda. I could see it in her face. Alfons was a very nice looking man. It was quite a transformation. I would not have recognized him.

While Alfons was still eating I asked him why Fritz and Kreegon were looking for him. I told him that he would not have to worry about them for a while, they have been locked up. Alfons said, "I know, I saw them being carried away."

Again I asked, "What did you steal from them?"

"I did not steal anything from them. They caught me calling General Bower on Fritzís phone. They came in when I was telling a Captain to tell General Bower that Fritz and Kreegon had documents that they had stolen from the Factory. I had crawled through the back window of Fritzís office. Fritz came in and saw me on the phone. I dropped the phone and dived out of the window. I crouched next to the wall. They looked out the window and did not see me. The Captain that I was talking to must have heard Fritz and Kreegon talking for a few minutes before they notice the phone on the floor. Fritz picked up the phone and asked, "Who is this?"

"Fritz slammed down the phone and told Kreegon that I had called someone at the Army Base. I quickly ran down the alley and knocked on the back door and here I am." 

I could see the craving for a drink on Alfons face. Hilda noticed it also. She went to the supply cabinet and brought back a glass full of brandy flavoring. She said to Alfons, "Donít drink it all at once. Just sip a little now and then. I donít have very much left and I donít know when we will be able to get to the City. The Tavern will be closed for a while. Take it with you. Tim, go upstairs with Alfons and help him put a bed frame together. There is one in the corner where Alfons was sleeping."

I stuffed the last few bites into my mouth and followed Alfons up the stairs. His hand was shaking. I took the flavoring out of his hand and said, "I will carry it. We donít want to spill it."

I pulled the blinds in the attic windows. We found the bed and assembled it, added the springs and mattress. Hilda brought up a clean set of linen and a blanket. He would not need the blanket tonight. The attic was as hot as it was in the Bakery. I headed for the stairs. I turned and said to Alfons, "Do not drink all the brandy. One of the soldiers told me that the Village would be under a curfew for about a month or until they recovered all the documents. I donít know where we will get anything for you to drink."

I lied to him. Hilda had a variety for alcoholic beverages stored in the supply room. She used it to spice up some of the pastries. I wondered if Alfons knew that Hilda had given him a non alcoholic drink. When I got downstairs, I asked Hilda if she thought that Alfons would know the difference between the flavoring and brandy. She said, "I am sure he does. He is no fool. I am not going to contribute to his habit; it may help to pacify his desire for a drink."

Hilda climbed the stairs to the second floor. I turned off the lights and appliances. I checked to see if the doors were locked. I noticed that there were more soldiers on the street than there were before. I did not think too much about it at the time. I climbed the stairs and went to bed.

The alarm went off a four Oíclock. As usual, the nights were passing by too fast. I slipped my work clothes on and looked down on the streets below. The streets were still filled with soldiers. I tiptoe down the stairs hoping that I would not wake Hilda. She was already down stairs fixing our breakfast. I went outside to see if the truck would start. The battery was worse today than it was yesterday. I went back into the Bakery. I told Hilda that the truck would not start. She told me to hold off on turning on the oven, we would sell the bread and pastries that we had made yesterday. She was not going to through it away. Alfons had just come down. Hilda told us to take a seat. Breakfast was ready. We had just finished breakfast; someone was knocking on the door. I went to the door. We usually open at six when Christie arrives. I looked up at the clock and it was six-thirty. It was Frau Burton. I told her that I did not realize that it was this late. I invited her in. She asked me if I knew that the Army had blocked off the Village. She told me that no one was allowed to enter or leave the Village. They are searching for some of the documents that Fritz and Kreegon had stolen. They are going through all the houses in the Village. I called Hilda and told her we would not be able to make the deliveries even if the truck would run. Frau Burton went over to Hilda and discussed the closing of the Village. In a way, I think Hilda was glad that I did not have to make the deliveries. It would give us a whole day together.

More soldiers arrived to replace the one that had been on duty during the night. I asked the driver if they had a jumper cable. He said, "No, I donít have jumper cables. I will have the soldiers give the truck a push. About twenty soldiers gathered around the Bakery truck. The driver got in the driverís seat and told the soldiers to push. They pushed the truck for about a half a block and it started. He drove the truck around the block and parked it in the rear of the Bakery. He told me to let it run for about an hour and it should have enough charge to start it again. With the Village being blocked off, I could not use the truck anyway.

Later Christie called and said that her father would not let her or anyone enter or leave the Village, it was too dangerous. They had blocked off all of the road entering the Village. She said that it had something to do with documents stolen from the Factory. I told her that we had an extra pair of hands if we needed them, we would put Alfons to work if we had to.

Surprisingly, we were busier than usual. Customer that had only bought bread, were buying pastries. Instead of one loaf of bread they were buying two or three loafs. We almost sold out all the bread that we could not deliver yesterday. We had to bake some more loaves before noon, I thought it was because of the curfew, and they could not go into the City. At dinner that night, I mentioned it to Hilda. It was puzzling to her also. Alfons said, "Everyone in the Village got a twenty percent raise in their salary."

Hilda asked, "What are you talking about?"

Alfons smiled and said, "They do not have to pay their insurance premiums this month. They can afford a few delicacies this month."

Hilda and I were still confused and Alfons saw it on our faces. He said, "Didnít you know that everyone in the Village was paying Fritz twenty percent of their salary to keep from being turned over to the Nazis?"

Hilda and I both were still confused. Hilda said, "Stop playing around with us. Tell us what you are talking about."

Alfons shook his head in disbelief; he could not believe that we did not know that Fritz was swindling everyone in the Village.  He said, "I thought you knew that Fritz was extorting money from everyone in the Village except for you, Doc and the Nazis."

Hilda said, "I did not know that. Why didnít he try to extort money from Doc and me?"

"Doc was too well known and he knew too many influential people."

"Why didnít he bother Leo and me?"

"I overhear him and Karl talking about the scam right after Karl and Leo had the argument about the Nazis. Karl told Fritz that if he messed around with you and Leo, he would personally come back here and kill him. Fritz was scared to death of Karl. He knew that Karl would do it and had more political pull with the members of the Nazi party than he had. Even though you and Leo did not like the Nazis, the Nazis in the Village worshiped Karl and they respected you and Leo. Fritz knew this and he felt that if he gave you and Leo any trouble, someone would tell Karl. Even though Fritz was a long time friend of Karl, Karl and a few of the Villagers kept in contact with each other. I think Karl wanted to know what was going on in the Village. As much of a bastard as he was, he cared for you and Leo."

Hilda could not believe what Alfons was saying. She said, "You are making this up, arenít you?"

Alfons answered, "No, I am not. Do you remember Herr Sterner?"

"Yes, he would come in here and talk to Leo. I thought that Herr Sterner had moved out of the Village, or he had died. Leo and I had wondered what had happened to him."

Alfons explained, "Herr Sterner was the first Villager that Fritz approached. Fritz knew that Herr Sterner would never give him any money. Fritz and Kreegon used him as a wedge to get everyone else in the Village to purchase Fritzís insurance policy. He told the Villages that the Nazis thought that everyone in the Village was a Jew and the Nazis were going to send everyone in the Village to a concentration camp. For a fee he would tell the Nazis that they were not Jewish. If they still refused, he would tell them that Herr Sterner refused to pay the Nazis and they sent him to a concentration camp. He assured the Villagers that he would keep the Nazis from sending them to a concentration camp if they gave Fritz twenty percent of their income to pay off the Nazis. Since Sterner had disappeared, they bought Fritzís insurance policy and gave him twenty percent of their salary."

The hatred that I had for Fritz and Kreegon raised its ugly head again. I wanted to go out to the Army Base and kill both of them. I remembered that I had promised God that I would not hurt anyone if he gave Mutti and Papa back to me. I tried to get the hate out of my system. If was very difficult. At times, I could not think of anything else. I felt that the hate would never go away. Once it started it would go on for hours. Sometimes it would keep me awake all night. To get the hate out of my system, I would go into the supply room and pound the sacks of flour until my knuckles were bleeding. The day Hilda told me she and Leo watched the parade of the dead in the City, I went into the supply room and started to pound the sacks of flower. Hilda came in and saw me pounding the sacks. She saw the anger in my face. She put her loving hand on my shoulder. I stopped pounding the sacks and looked at her. She placed her hands on my cheeks and said, "Tim, donít let their hate drive you into doing the same things that they are doing. Pray to God to punish them. Let God judge them."

Alfons interrupted my thoughts, I heard him say that wasnít the only extortion scheme that Fritz and Kreegon were pulling. Hilda asked Alfons to tell us about it. Alfons pulled a little extortion himself. He told Hilda that he needs a drink, his mouth was dry. Hilda gave Alfons a stern look and said, "Only half a glass and make sure you just sip it."

Alfons nodded and waited until Hilda returned. Then he said, "We all know what he did to Timís parents and a few other that were not Jews. They all had lent him money to develop the winery and extend the vineyard. He turned them over to the Nazis so that he did not have to pay back the loans that they had given him. There was another scam that he and Kreegon pulled. Fritz would pay some of his bar patrons a few shillings for names of people who did not have any close friends or relatives, whether they were Jew or not. Kreegon would visit these people and tell them that they were on a list of Jews and they would be sent to concentration camp. Kreegon would pretend to be a nice guy and tell them that he did not want to turn them over to the Nazis and their best solution to their problem would be to sell everything and leave the country. Even though they were not Jews, they had seen others that were not Jews being paraded down the street and sent to concentration camps. They went along with Kreegon suggestion. Kreegon would tell them that he knew someone that would give them more money for their property than it was worth. Kreegon would ask them how much they wanted for their property. Kreegon would tell Fritz the price. Kreegon would introduce them to Fritz. Fritz would offer them almost double the price they wanted for their property. They would be foolish not to take the offer. They would accept Fritzís offer. Fritz would give them a check for their property. The victims would sign over their property to Fritz. The Nazis would pick them up and send them to a concentration camp before they had a chance to cash the check and move their belongings. Without any close friend or relatives, no one would be inquiring about them."

Alfons paused and lowered his head. Slowly he raised his head with tears in his eyes and said, "If I live to the end of the war, I will go through the land records of all the surrounding Villages and the Cities to see how many properties Fritz and Kreegon have stolen. Someone in this world may be looking for these poor innocent soles. I want a list of the names of the people that they personally sent to the gas chambers. After the war I will publish the list in all the papers and tell the world what they did."

I closed my eyes and prayed to God that the hate that was in Kreegon and Fritz would not find its way into my sole. What had caused these two men to be so cruel? Was it greed, or was it hate?

I wondered how Alfons knew so much about Fritz and Kreegon. I did not want to offend him by asking him how he knew so much about their activities. Alfons continued to tell us stories about our neighbors. I remembered that Doc told me to sit down and have a long talk with Alfons. Doc said that Alfons could give me the heart beat of the Village. Without thinking, I asked, "How do you know all of this?"

"Tim, I have to admit that I am a drunk. I had given up my life. I no longer wanted to live in a world that was so corrupt. I could not kill myself. I tried to drink myself to death. I gave everything that I had away and drank what I had left. I wallowed in my own self-pity.  I tried to stop drinking many times.  Fortunately, my brain was not pickled nor did I lose my hearing. I learned that most people consider drunks as pieces of trash that was scattered throughout the City. The Nazis had passed a law that would send all alcoholics, beggars, homeless and the unemployed to concentration camps. I expected that they would someday haul me off to a concentration camp and kill me. I could not do it to myself. Every time a Nazi came up to me, I thought that this would be the day. It never happened. I will never know why they did not send me to a concentration camp. I think someone in a high position kept Fritz and Kreegon from taking me away. The only person in the Village that had that much influence was Doc. I am sure that he had something to do with it. To the people around me, I did not exist. I was just another piece of garbage on the street. During the daytime hours I would sleep it off.  By the time it got dark I had sobered up.  I would scrape up a few shillings for a bottle and pick a spot where I could listen to the heartbeat of the Village. My favorite spot was on the roof of the Tavern.  I would climb up the fire ladder to the peak of the building. I would walk along the peak of the buildings until I reached the ladder down to the roof of the Tavern.  I was safe there."  

Tim asked, "How do you keep from sliding off the roof?"

Alfons smiled, "The peak of the roof has a flat section about a meter wide. Sometimes I would crawl along the flat section to the ladder down to the roof of the tavern. The roof of the Tavern is also flat and I didnít have to worry about rolling off. No one ever came around to chase me away. There were ventilation pipes that came up from Fritzís office to the roof. A few other vent pipes came up from different areas of the Tavern. The voices echoed through the pipes. I believe it even amplified the sound of their voices. I could hear every word that was said in the Tavern. Before a lied down for a nap I would listen to the different conversations coming through the various pipes. The pipe from the office was the clearest of all the Pipes. I could listen in on the conversation between Fritz and his comrades. That is how I knew that they were going to blew up the Factory and steal all of the documents. I slept on the roof when the weather wasnít too bad.  In the wintertime I would put a cardboard box over the vent pipe. The warm air from the vent pipe would flow through the box and warm it.  When it rained, I would find a porch or doorway to snuggle up in. The Widow, Frau Hellmann would let me sleep on her porch if one of her boy friends were not coming over. If I heard her telephone ring, I knew that one of her boy friends would be coming over and I would have to leave."

Hilda said, "I never knew that she had boyfriends. I have never seen her with anyone. Her husband must have left her well off. She always dresses nicely. She never seemed to have a shortage of money like most of the Widows in the Village."

Alfons chuckled and said, "You want see her with any of her boyfriends on the streets. Their wives or girl friends would kill them if they saw them with Frau Hellmann."

Hilda mouth open slowly as her eyes slowly rolled up as if she was looking at the ceiling and she said, "AhhhhhhhÖ"

After a few moments, she looked over at me. Her face flushed. Then she said, "You should not talk about things like that in front of Tim."

Alfons shrugged his shoulders, shifted his head side to side and said, "I am sure Tim knows about these things."

They both looked at me. I blushed, shrugged my shoulders, shifted my head side to side like Alfons and did not say anything. I got up from the table, went out front. I opened the blinds on the front door and peeked out onto the streets. The same soldiers that were on duty this morning were still on duty. Hilda and Alfons headed up the stairs. I grabbed one of my books and went into Hildaís office to study. I wasnít going across the street tonight. They were arresting everyone that came out on the streets.

I had been studying for a while and my eyes were getting tired. I laid the book down. I headed for the stairs. I had forgotten if I had lock up. I checked the back door. It was locked. I turned off the lights and walked over to the front door. I had forgotten to lock it. I stepped outside and looked up and down the street. The soldiers were still on duty. I knew most of the soldiers. I wondered if they had eaten since this morning. I saw Felix standing in front of the store next door. I call Felix and asked if he was hungry. He told me that he was starving. They had not eaten since this morning. I had some of the bread that I had baked for Papa left over and some that was a day or two old. I gathered all the loaves that I could carry and headed out the door. Felix came over to help me. Felix called the soldier that was in front of Docís house and told him that I was giving out loafs of bread. He asked if he wanted some. The poor guy was starved. He met me in the middle of the street and said that he would pass out the loaves. He said, "If the officer on duty sees you, he would give me hell, not you. Please go back inside. I will pass the bread down the street."

I watched him running down the street handing out the bread. I went back into the Bakery to get some more bread. As I was coming out of the Bakery, I thought I saw a soldier in the opposite direction. I told Felix that I was going to give them so bread also. I was half way across the street. A shot rang out and it knocked the bread out of my hands. I hit the ground. Bullets were cracking the air above my head. The shooting stopped for a few moments. I made a dash for the Bakery. Thank God the door was open. I dove through the door. The shooting started again. Shots shattered glass all around me. Miraculously, I was not hit. I crawled through the broken glass to the stairs. I ran up the stairs to the second floor. Hilda asked me what was happening. I told her and asked, "Where is Leo gun."

"Itís in the closet in his room."

I grabbed the gun and a box of shells and ran to the attic. Alfons was standing at the window. He pointed at a house across the street and said, "There is about a half dozen of them. They are in the basement patio of the houses a couple of doors down the street."

The shooting had stopped. Alfons said, "The guy that fired at you is lying on the steps of the basement patio of the house next door to the Kuntzís house. The others are lying on the floor of the basement patio in the house where the Beauty Parlor is."

I saw a dark silhouette lying on the basement patio steps. He fired his gun and the shooting started again. I took aim at his head. I could not pull the trigger. The firing continued. I aimed at the lower part of his body and pulled the trigger. I could hear the bullet hit his body. I heard him scream. A cold chill ran through my body. I felt ashamed of myself and lowered the rifle to my waist. A bright floodlight lit up the street. Machine gun fire ricocheted off of the cobblestone streets. I hear a loud voice coming from a speaker yelling, "Throw your gun into the street and come out with your hands over your head."

Slowly the men lying in basement patio stood up and pushed their rifles into street. One at a time they climbed the steps to the sidewalk. A voice yelled again, "Tell the man on the steps to get up."

The man yelled out, "I have been shot I have a bullet in my leg."

A voice rang out, "Two of you pick him up and take him out into the center of the street."

I could hear the poor guy moaning from the pain in his leg. I wasnít proud of what I had done and I told Alfons. Alfons said, "Tim, you stopped the shooting. If you did not shoot him, one of the soldiers may be lying dead on the street. He will get over his wound and live. The soldier you gave the bread to may not have lived."

"How did you know that I was out there?"

"I am a night person. I have been sleeping all day and I could not go to sleep. I was waiting for you and Hilda to go to sleep. The brandy flavoring only wetted my appetite. I would have been laying down there on the street if you had not gone out to feed the soldiers."

I told Alfons to stay off the streets. From what had just happened they all may be trigger happy and shoot without thinking. I said goodnight to Alfons and headed down the stairs. Hilda was waiting for me. She had been downstairs and had seen the damage the bullets had made. She turned on a light and examined me. She wanted to make sure I had not been wounded.  She saw blood running down my arm. Hilda thought that I had been shot. I told her it was just a scratch. I had cut my elbow from the glass on the floor. I told her to go back to bed and I would lock the front door. I tiptoed across the glass and examined the damage. The windows adjacent to the door and the window in the door were shattered. There were a few bullet holes in the wall and the door. Felix came over and asked if I had gotten hit. He knew that I had shot the man in his leg. He had seen a flash from my gun from the attic window. He told me not to tell anyone. It may get him and me into trouble. I should not have been on the street. I promised him that I would not tell anyone. He thanked me again for the bread and said, "If you had not come out of the Bakery when you did, I know they would have killed me. I was about to fall asleep on my feet when you came out of the Bakery. I did not see them coming up the street. I was leaning against the building with my eyes closes. I think I dozed off a couple of time. That bastard that you shot had a knife in his hand when I ran over to them. I think he was planning to cut my throat."

I again promised Felix that I would not tell anyone and I was glad I had came out when I did. I walked inside and locked the door and went up stairs. I washed the blood from my arm and went to bed.

The following morning, there were more soldiers on the street. I cleaned up the glass. I got some old boards and nailed them across the windows. The soldiers told me that the streets were off limits for everyone and they did not know when the curfew would be lifted. Soldiers were going through the Village house to house. I took a tour of the Bakery. The phone lines were out and no one could call in or out. Beside the broken windows and the bullet holes in the walls everything looked fine. The soldiers spent the next week searching the houses in the Village.

Alfons had been off the bottle for a week. He had been going through hell. I felt sorry for him. I was attempted a number of time to give him a drink. This morning at breakfast I noticed that his hands were much steadier than they had been.

Surprisingly, for the next few weeks, he ate all day and nursed the brandy flavoring to satisfy his hunger for a drink. His weight increased, the texture of the skin on his face looked younger. I had noticed that Hilda had shown Alfons a little more affection. Alfons was also giving Hilda a little more attention. A couple of times I saw them holding hands. Hilda had spent more time getting dress in the morning. Her hair was neater and she wore her nicer dresses. I looked back a month ago. I recalled what Alfons looked like when he came in to pick up his package. He was a completely different person.

They finally lifted the curfew. The Villages could leave their home roam the streets. No one could leave or enter the Village. When the Villages came in and saw Alfons they did not know it was Alfons, and we did not tell them. We felt that some of the local Nazi party members were still looking for Alfons. From the rumors, I think that they knew or felt that Alfons was the cause of Fritz and Kreegon being arrested. They knew that Kreegon had a dozen soldiers searching the Village looking for Alfons before Fritz and Kreegon were taken away.

Six weeks had passed and the curfew was lifted some. The Villages were allowed to come and go. If you did not live in the Village they would not let you in. If you worked in the City, you were allowed to go to work. I was permitted to deliver the bread and pastries in the City. The soldiers inspected the truck when I left and when I returned.

Finally the curfew was lifted. It did not help business any. The tourists were not coming to the Village.  Fritzís Tavern was still closed. If you were an alcoholic you had to go into the City to get a drink. All the other taverns had shut their doors months ago. Many companies had lain off their employees. Everything was scarce. Hilda as well as everyone else could not get their supplies. We had to cut down on everything. If Hilda did not have the ingredients she would improvise.  Frankly, I could not tell the difference between the old recipe and new one.  If we had used her new recipe, we would have saved a lot of money and the pastries would have had fewer calories.  I told Hilda she should have come up with the recipe years ago and she may not have had the stroke."

Hilda turned around, gave me a sarcastic look, shook her head side to side and said, "Why didnít you think of it. You are the brains in the family."

Over the last couple of years, Hilda and I have had these friendly little engagements.  They always seem to lighten up the day. I do not believe the customer noticed the difference in the pastries and the bread. There was less sugar, butter, eggs and flavorings in the bread and pastries.  Hilda was still on her diet. She had lost some weight and had gotten back her girlish figure. Since Hilda had the stroke, she had weaned herself from the pastries and the rich breads. Some of the plumpness had melted away.  I could tell that she was quite pleased with the way she looked and so was Alfons. Alfons and I were still stuffing food down like pigs. 

One evening I had been studying in my room. I turned off the light to rest my eyes for a few minutes. I was dozing off. I heard the stairs to the attic squeaking. I thought that Alfons was sneaking downstairs to get a drink. The footsteps were going up the stairs not down. I listened. Alfons said, "I was hoping that you would come up. I saw the sadness in your eyes when I left you. The way your hand held me back and slowly slipped out of my hand as I walked up the stairs, I did not want to leave you. It brought back my memories and the love I had for you when we were in high school together. I wanted so much to ask you out. The fear that you would turn me down had kept me away from you. After I left for college, I thought of you every day. I promised myself that I would ask you for a date when I came home. I bought you a small bouquet of flowers. I was only a block away from your house.  I saw you leaving your home with a tall good-looking young man. All of my hopes and dreams evaporated. I quickly hid behind a tree and watched you.  You and Leo look so happy.  I could see the love you and Leo had for each other.  I wanted to die.  I did not hate you or Leo, I hated myself.  Like a fool I pounded my head against the tree until I saw blood running off the end of my nose.  I swore that I would never again let myself fall in love with another woman. Losing you to Leo, I had suffered too much emotional pain to ever let it happen again. At the end of the summer, I went back to school and buried myself into my studies. I was not going to be disappointed again. After I graduated, I dedicated myself to my work until the Nazi started stealing the countryís money. If I had told the country that the Nazis were stealing the Austriaís money, the Nazis would have killed me. I was a coward. It drove me into drinking. If I was drunk, I could not think about what was going on. When I sobered up, I drank to forget. It became a vicious cycle. I was going to resign; they fired me before I had the guts to quit. I had nothing to live for. I still daydreamed about you. I came back to the Village to be near you. That is what has kept me alive. Just coming here each morning and picking up my package and seeing you, gave me the strength to hold on. When you hid me in the attic, and you and Tim put your lives in danger for me, I promised myself that I would do everything I could to win your respect. I put the same determination in trying to get off the bottle as I had in destroying my life. I have been going through hell for the last month. It was well worth it. I can look at your beautiful face with a clear mind. Hilda, I have loved you since I first saw you in grade school and I still do. I have wanted to tell you this all of my life." 

After a few moments of silence Hilda said, "Alfons, I had a crush on you in high school. You were my idle in high school. You were the smartest one in our class. I thought that you did not know that I even existed. I was always watching for a hint that you knew who I was. I had spent many nights thinking about you before I met Leo. I met Leo in college. I enjoyed being with him. He treated me as if I was a queen. I had never had anyone that showed me the love and affection that Leo showed me. After we finished college, we were married. I have followed your success over the years. It tore me apart when they fired you. I thought you were the only hope for our government. The first time I saw you lying on the streets, it tore my heart out to see you laying there. I wanted to take you back to the Bakery with me. I did not know what Leo would have said, and I did not care. I wanted to do something for you. I reached down and you stuck your hand out. When you saw it was me you pulled your hand back. For a moment, I felt the same rejection I had felt when we were kid in school. I invited you for dinner. I did not know what Leo would say, and I did not care. I could not let you starve to death on the street. I was surprised that you went with me and Leo never questioned me about asking you to come to dinner. After dinner, Leo told you to stop by every morning and he would have something for you. That is when we started preparing your breakfast and dinner for you. Leo parents had left him the Bakery. He did not want to be a baker. Neither one of us could find a job. We would either starve or learn how to make pastries. Leo and I chose the latter. His parents had made him help out when he wasnít in school. Leo and I had a wonderful life together. We had Karl. We were so proud of him. He and Leo protested against the Nazis even though Leo brother, Karl, was a devout Nazi. Leo and I continued to fight them. Everyone thought we were crazy. I never knew that it was Karl that protected us from his comrades. The love I had for you has returned. Every day that you have been with us, the more I have wanted you. I wonder where we would be today if I knew that you liked me in high school."

Alfons did not answer; I heard their footsteps crossing the attic floor. I could hear whispers, but I could not understand what they were saying. Then there was silence. I listed for a while and I fell off to sleep. If Hilda had not married Leo, she would not have lived here and she would not be here to take me in. Where would I have been?

During the next few weeks, I notice more touching and whispering between Hilda and Alfons. Christie had not noticed their affection for each other or she had not mentioned it to me.

The work load had dwindled so much that I was usually finished with everything before Hilda and Alfons came down. One morning Christie had came in and she was helping me with the finishing touches to the pastries. We heard noises on the second floor. They were in the bedroom where Leoís clothes were stored. Christie asked, "What are they doing?"

I wanted to tell her that a romance had popped up between them. I could not tell Christie. If their romance faded, I would feel that I may have done something that had destroyed their love for each other. I said, "I think Alfons is moving out of the attic."

Christie said, "Oh,"

I left it at that. I noticed Christie watching Alfons and Hilda. She would take quick peeks at them. She had noticed the changing demeanor between Alfons and Hilda. I caught the little smirky smile on Christie. I chucked to myself. I wondered what she was thinking. I wanted to ask her, but I didnít. I did not want to embarrass her. About a weak later, Hilda and Alfons came down for breakfast together. They went back upstairs right after they had finished. Christie came in and wanted to know where they were. I pointed to the ceiling. A short time later Christie and I were eating up the profits and waiting for the next customer. Business had dropped off considerably. Hilda and Alfons had been upstairs talking. I could not make out what they were talking about and neither could Christie. We heard them coming down the stairs. They stopped about three steps up and looked down at us. Alfons looked over at Hilda and did not say anything. After a few moments Hilda looked over at Alfons and nudged him. Alfons jumped slightly and cleared his throat. He looked at Hilda and said, "I think that you may have noticed Hilda and I have been spending a lot of time together. We went to school together, we both had fallen in love with each other when we were in high school, but we both were afraid or too shy to approach each other. After you hid me in the attic, Hilda and I have spent a lot of time talking to each other. The closer we came to each other, the truth came out that we had been in love with each other years ago. My love for Hilda never stopped."

For a moment Alfons did not say anything. Hilda nudged Alfons again. He looked over at Hilda and smiled, gave her a peck on the cheek then said, "We have decided to get married. We have not set the date. We do not know what the end of the war will bring. We are going to wait and see what happens. We hope it will bring peace and happiness for everyone."

Christie and I applauded and ran to the stairs and congratulate them. Tears came to Christie and Hilda eyes. Hilda stepped down the last three step and we hugged and kissed her. I put my arms around Alfons and said, "I hope you and Hilda are as happy as Christie and I. We have a few more years before we will be able to get married."

I went into the supply room and brought out a bottle of wine and the brandy flavoring. Christie set up four glasses. I made sure that Alfons got the brandy flavoring not the wine. We toasted to the future of all of us. Between customers, Christie and I question Hilda and Alfons about the love they had for each other over the years. Hilda had mixed emotions. One part of her wished that she and Alfons would have gotten together years ago. The other side of her would not have given up her life with Leo. She would not have had Karl. Her love for both Leo and Alfons had left an emotional gap in her life. She could not have had both. Alfons said, "I am very thankful that we are together now. That is all that I can ask for. Maybe God knew that Leo would only be with Hilda for a short time and he let me wait."

Hilda kissed Alfons and the tears reflected the light in their eyes. A lonely customer came in, the only one for hours, and it interrupted our little gathering. Hilda and Alfons went upstairs. They did not come down again until dinner. They returned to Hildaís room right after dinner. They left me to clean up the Bakery by myself. It wasnít the usual clutter. Christie and I had cleaned up between the few customers. I stopped preparing everything the night before. Business had slowed down to a trickle.      

The curfew was still enforced. The Villagers could roam around the Village. They were allowed to go to the City to work and return. If you did not live in the Village they would not let you in. The supplies were getting shorter every day. We could not fill the few orders that we had.

We were sold out of everything by noon. Christie went home earlier. Hilda and Alfons were always together. I had more time on my hands than I could use. With all the free time I spent more time studying at Docís and listening to Hans and Marie. Like most of the Villagers, Hans and Marie had been laid off at the Rathskeller. Neither one of them had been able to find another job. They left every morning as they had been for the last six years. They came home in the middle of the afternoon tired and frustrated. Every day Hans grew more despiteful. Poor Marie was the one that had to take all the crap that Hans dished out. Every day my anger grew. I wanted to let Marie live at Docís and hire her to clean up Docís home. I told Hilda that Hans was constantly giving Marie hell. Hans was so angry and loud that I could hear him shouting when I was at Docs without the listen device. Hilda listened to me with compassion and said, "Tim, you are a kind and generous young man. I know how much you want to help Marie, but I donít think you should interfere with their lives. You do not want to make enemies at this time. Everyone has problems now. You cannot solve everyoneís problem. Letís wait and see what happens before we get involved. Maybe they will solve their own problem. I went along with Hilda, but I did not agree with her. I knew that unless a miracle happens, Hans would not turn into an angle.

I had been sitting in Docís listening room chair. It was the most comfortable chair in the house. Hans and Marie had been out looking for work. I did not hear them say a word to each other or argue for about an hour. This was quite unusual. Hans usually gripped about something every moment that he was awake. I thought Hilda was right; let them solve their own problem.

I was dozing off, Hans started yelling at Marie. Being half asleep, I did not know what had started the argument. I turned on the listening device and turned up the volume. Hans was going to kick Marie out. Without any money coming in and not bringing food home from the Rathskeller they had to pinch their shillings. Hans felt that he could not support the both of them and Marie had to go. The argument got worse by the minute. I had never heard anyone treat another person the way Hans was treating Marie. She begged him not to kick her out onto the streets. He told her to peddle her ass on the streets like all the other whores in the City. He told her if she did not bring him some money by the end of the week, he was going to kick her out. She again said that she could not find a job and wanted to know where he expected her to get money. He told her to sell her ass on the street. Marie told him that the streets were filled with women trying to earn a few shillings and they were starving. Hans did not care. He insisted that she get some money or he was going to kick her out. Hans was going to start selling the furniture out of the house if he could not get a job. Marie told him that the furniture was not theirs and they could not get a fraction of what it was worth. Hans did not give a damn; he was going to find someone that would buy everything in the house.

I was furious. I wanted to go over and kick his ass out of the house myself. It wasnít the furniture that I was worried about. It was Marie. The love and affection that I had built up for Marie and her kindness over the years had touched my heart. It wasnít just the lust I had for her; it was her kindness for everyone. She was a kind and gentle soul that had brightened my life and everyone that she had come into contact with. The walls had kept us apart for four years. I could feel her warmth through those walls. From what Christie had told me, Marie had been abused by everyone that she had came into contact with before she met Hans, that included members of the own family. Hans was a tyrant also. For the four years that I lived in my hole in the wall, Hans had been brutal to Marie. There was only one person in the world that Hans cared about, it was himself.  I did not know what to do. I knew that there were too many Nazis still around and it was too early to let the world know I was Tim Williams, not Karl Lipman.

In frustration, I tried to think of a way that I could kick Hans out of my home. I was going to call him up and tell him to vacate the house; the Williams were returning. If he gave me any flack, I would use my Nazi ID to convince him that I wasnít playing a game. I wanted his big fat ass out of the house. I picked up the phone to call Hans. I saw Attorney Helmut Kuen business card on Docís desk. I hung up the phone. Before I tried to get Hans out of my home, I thought that I would get the advice of Kuen. I called him and told him that the Bergers had been living in my home since they took my parents away. Hans was going to kick out the young lady that was living with him for the last six years. She did not have a job and could not find one. I told him that I did not mind them living in the house. Marie had kept it clean and neat. She had done most if not all of the housework since they had moved in. Hans had done nothing but stink up the house with his damn pipe. Kuen said, "Tim, when do you want Hans out of your home?"

"He is going to kick Marie out this week if she doesnít get a job, the sooner the better."

"I will give him a call right now. Do you know the telephone number?"

"Yes, the number was not changed after the Bergers moved in. The number is 1243."

"Where are you now Tim?"

"I am at Docís."

"I know Docís number; I will call you back in a few minutes."

I hung up the phone. Before I could get to the listening device I could hear the Bergerís phone ringing. I put on the headset and heard Marie answering the phone. She called Hans and said that it was for him. He yelled, "Who in hell would be calling me. Who is it?"

"I donít know. Itís a man."

"Ask who it is."

Kuen must have heard Hans and told Marie who he was. Marie said, "Itís Attorney Helmut Kuen."

"Who in the hell is he? Why would he be calling me?"

Marie yelled back, "I donít know, you ask him. I am not going to ask him."

I could hear Hans fuming as he walked to the phone."

Hans said, "Hans Berger here."

I could not hear what Kuen was saying. I had a good idea from what Hans was saying, "Who in the hell are youÖÖ.what authority do you have to ask me to vacated this houseÖÖÖ.Six years back rentÖÖ.The Williams are deadÖÖThey were killedÖ.. I have been paying rent to KreegonÖÖGet the money from KreegonÖ. He will not give it back to meÖÖWhy do I have to leave and she can stayÖÖÖI have done all the work around here. That bitch never does a thingÖÖ..Who told you thatÖÖHow do the William know who has done all the work in this houseÖYou canít do that to me."

Hans hung up the phone and said, "Marie, the bastard is kicking me out. Who have you been talking to?"

Marie said, "What are you talking about, I have not been talking to anyone."

"How did that Attorney know that I was going to kick you out?"

"I donít know."

"Who told him I was going to kick you out?"

"I donít know. You just told me a few minutes ago that you were going to kick me out. Who have you been talking to?"

Somberly Hans said, "I did not tell anyone that I was going kick you out. I have been thinking about it for about a week. Are you sure I didnít mention it to you."

"No, you did not mention it to me. You must have mentioned it to someone."

"Marie, call the Attorney back and tell him that you want me to stay with you."

"Why should I? You would be kicking me out if he hadnít called you. I donít know his phone number."

"Please Marie. He gave me his phone number. It is on the pad next to the phone."

"Oh, all right, I will call him."

Docís phone rang. I jumped up and ran into Docís office. It was Kuen. "Tim, Herr Berger will be out of your home today."

I did not want to tell Kuen that he would be getting another call from Hans. I thanked Kuen and said, "I donít mind Marie living there. If Herr Berger tried to get you to change your mind, tell him that the Williams want him out of the house or he has to come up with the last six year rent."

"Tim, if he comes up with the rent, are you going to let him stay?"

"No, I know he cannot come up with a yearís rent, much less six years. Also, tell him that you know that he tried to break into Doc house."

"When did he try to break into Docís house?"

"A short time after Doc passed away. Hans heard the same rumor you had heard. The house was lined with gold coins"

Kuen laughed and said, "Alright Tim, I will tell him that there is no way he can stay in the house."

Before I could get back to the listening device, I heard Hans telling Marie to keep trying to get the Attorney. Marie hollowed, "The line is busy. I will try it in a few minutes."

"Damn it Marie, try it now."

"Alright, just shut upÖÖ.Attorney Kuen, this is Marie Berger. Is it possible that the Williams will change their minds and let Hans stay? No, could you please talk to themÖ.You have talked to them? WhenÖÖexcuse me a minute. Hans, Attorney Kuen said that the Williams want you out of the house, period."

"Give me the damn phone. Kuen, I am not going to leave. I am staying hereÖÖWhat, you canít have me locked upÖÖ..No, please donít do that. I will move todayÖ..I am not a Jew. Please donít tell them thatÖÖI will be out before the day is over."

Hans moves out:

Hans hung up the phone and turned to Marie, and said, "The bastard is going to tell the Nazis that I am a Jew and I tried to break into Docís house if I donít get out today."

"How did he know that you tried to break into Docís house?"

"I donít know, that brat must have told him. How in hell do the Williams know what has been going on in here?"

Marie said, "I donít know. Are you going to leave?"

"I donít have any choice. If I donít move out, he is going to have me arrested. That bastard wants six years back rent. How in hell does he think I can come up with six years back rent?"

I laid back in the chair, in a way, I felt sorry for Hans. He had brought it on himself. If he had not decided to kick Marie out, I would not have call Kuen. Now he knows how the Jews must have felt when the Nazis were rounding them up. I lay back in the chair and dozed off. I wasnít asleep long when I heard Hans accuse Marie of having him kicked out. I heard Marie say it wasnít her; it was the Williams that wanted him out of the house. Hans cursed my mother and father and slammed the front door as he left the house. I heard Marie running up the stairs. When she stopped she said, "I know you are somewhere in this house. Thank you for letting me stay here. I will keep the place clean. I donít have very much money. I have been hiding a few shilling from Hans. It will get me through for a while. I promise that I will keep the place as neat as it was when we moved in. You must have heard Hans telling me that he was going to kick me out. You must be the Williams son Timothy. I will never tell anyone that you are in the house. You must be very lonely. You have been hiding in there for six years. If you want to come out of the walls and live out here with me you can. I hope I get to meet you when the war is over. That was you that passed me in the hall that night. Hans thought I was crazy. I still donít know how you got to the bottom of the stairs so fast. You scared the hell out of me. I am sorry about your mother and father. I would have gone crazy if I had to live like you have. I donít know where you have been eating for the last few years. You have not taken any of the food that I left out for you. When you stopped taking the food, I stopped leaving it for you. I wish you would talk to me. I will be here all alone."

There was a long pause. I wanted to yell out to Marie, but I was afraid to. I had to do something to help her. She fed me for four years and she never told Hans. I turned off the listening device and was heading down the hall to go back to the Bakery. I glance at the wall where the safe was, it gave me an idea. I would leave some money for her. There is more money in the safe than I would need for the next hundred years. I opened the safe and took out enough money that I thought would last her till the end of the war. Now my only problem was to get the money to her without her knowing where and who it came from.

Papa had asked me to get Mutti and his Passport, his American money and all the other documents that were in the box in the attic. Marie spent most of her time home alone. She did not have a regular schedule. I never knew when she would be leaving the house and when she would return. I knew that she had circled the Village looking for work. She had even asked Hilda if she needed another hand. Every shop in the Village had lain off all of their employees. The owners did not have enough business to keep them busy. A number of them have closed down because they could not get any merchandise and no one had enough money to buy the merchandise. Also, they could not pay the rent on the shops. I did not pressure them for the rent. I could not rent the shops if they moved out. Some of the shopkeepers had move out and left the shops empty. It was becoming very depressing. I was going to advertise and try to fill the vacancies. Alfons told me to save my money, with the Tavern closed, the economy the way it was and the war closing in around us, I would not be able to rent the homes, much less the shops.  

The Bakery deliveries to the City were getting smaller every day. Today Hilda made the deliveries and was going to look for another place where she could buy supplies. Alfons went with her. The supply room was almost empty.

Christie wasnít coming in everyday. She would come in a couple times a week just to mess around with me. With Alfons, Hilda and I, we were finished selling everything we had by nine or ten in the morning. If Christie wasnít around, Hilda and Alfons watched the Bakery. I would go over to Docís to study.

For the last week I had tried to figure out Marieís schedule. I wanted to get into the house without her seeing me. I was headed to Docís to study and Marie was coming out of the front door. If Marie was going to look for a job, it would be a good time for me to get the papers for Papa.

I stopped and ask Marie if she had found a job yet. She shook her head and said, "No, I am going to spend the day in the City looking for a Job."

I wished her good luck and went to Docís. I watched her turn the corner and headed for the trolley. I went out the back door of Docís, I looked around, and there was no one in sight.  Instead of going through the basement, I went through the back door of my home. I still had the key that I had taken out of Marieís pocketbook. Hans must have given her hell for losing the key that I stole from her. Once I was in the house, I ran to the front and looked around to see if anyone was around. There wasnít anyone on the streets. I climbed the stairs and grabbed a chair from the bedroom and pulled myself up into the attic. I quickly removed the boards and climbed down the ladder. I had not been in the attic for almost a year. It was a little more difficult for me to squeeze around the pipes. I grabbed the box and climbed back up into the attic. I replaced the boards and eased down through the attic opening and replaced the cover. I returned the chair and headed for the back door. I remembered that I still had the money on me that I was going to give to Marie. I did not know where I should leave the money so she would find it. I started to go back up stairs and leave it in her bedroom. I did not want Hans to walk in some day and find the money. I was going to leave it in one of her dresser drawers. When I got to the foot of the stairs, I saw Marie coming up the front steps. I quickly got into the hall closet and shut the door behind me. I hid behind the clothes that were hanging in the closet. The closet door opened, Marie stuck her arm into the closet and hung her pocketbook on the hook and shut the door. I listen for a few minutes. She was still down stairs. I took the money I had for Marie and put it in her pocketbook. I was trapped in the closet. I slid down the wall and sat on the floor. Five minutes passed. Then ten minutes or more had gone by. I wondered how long would I be trapped in the closet. It felt like I had been there for hours before Marie started to go up the stairs. I had been dozing off when Marie started up the stairs. I counter the footsteps as I had done a thousand times before. She had reached the second floor and was heading into the bath room. I quickly opened the closet door and peeked out. I did not see Marie in the upstairs hall. I eased the closet open then eased it shut. I tiptoe to the front door and eased the front door open and ran down the front steps. I looked up and down the street. The street was empty. I dashed down the steps and over to Docís house. When I reached the porch at Docís I turned and looked to see if anyone had seen me. The street was still empty. I let out a sigh of relief. 

Marie:

I came out of the bath room. I was headed for the bedroom. I saw someone running down the front steps. I ran to the window in the front bedroom. I saw Karl Lipman running up Docís front steps. He had a large box in his arms. There was no one else on the street. I went down the stairs to see if he left something on the front porch. I noticed that the front door was ajar and it was unlocked. I was sure that I had locked it. I locked the front door and headed for the stairs. I noticed that the closet door wasnít closed all the way. I quickly opened the closet and grabbed my pocketbook. I did not expect see the few shillings that I had left. In my mind I knew that Karl had stolen the few shillings that I had. I was furious. I was going over to Docís and demand that he return my money. When I opened my pocketbook, I almost fainted when I saw a bundle of large bill in my pocketbook. I took the pocketbook upstairs and dumped the money on the bed. I had to sit down on the bed. My legs were so weak that I thought I would fall to the floor. As I started to count the money, I thought I must be dreaming. I had never in my life had this much money. It would take me years to make this much money. I lay on the bed and looked at the money. I started to think. A week ago, Hans was kicked out. Today Karl Lipman leaves me a pile of money. He knew I would not be in the house. If I had not missed the trolley, I would not have known who left the money. Karl must have overheard Hans and me. The call from the attorney was only minutes after Hans told me that he was going to kick me out. When Karl Lipman appeared in the Village, the food in the icebox stopped disappearing, Karl must be Timothy Williams. The same thought had come to my mind after Karl came to town. I had forgotten about it. The food had stopped disappearing around the time Karl arrived.

I looked around for a place to hide the money. I looked in spots where I thought Hans would never look. I found a canning jar and put most of the money in it. I hid the money in a crevice net to the bathtub. Hans would have to get down on his hands and knees and lay on his belly to see the jar. I knew that he could never do that.

I went back down stairs. I looked to see if I could catch Karl when he headed back to the Bakery, I wanted to thank him for the money. I had been waiting for an hour. I was getting impatient. I had spent most the day with my eyes glued to the front of Docís house. It was getting late. I will catch him tomorrow. I went upstairs to get ready for bed. I took a long bath and put on my nightgown. I took one last look out front. The streets were still empty. As I headed back to my bedroom, I saw a ray of light coming through the window shade. I pulled the shade back and look down. Karl was sitting in a chair next to a window, reading. It was closer to the rear bedroom. I went into the rear bedroom and looked down. Karl was sitting below me. I ran to my bedroom and changed into a dress. I put on some makeup and went to the front door.  I looked up and down the streets to see if anyone was on the streets. The street was empty. I could not wait any longer. I eased out the front door and ran to Docís. I knocked on the door. I looked around to see if anyone had seen me. While looking at the street the door opened behind me. I jumped. Karl said, "I am sorry that I frightened you. Is there anything that I can do for you?"

"Yes, invited me in."

"Sure, please come in."

I walked through the door and I could not believe my eyes. The Williamís home was beautiful, this home was magnificent. I had never seen a home like Docís. The walls and the furniture were beautiful. I stood there with my mouth open. Karl said, "The wood work is beautiful, isnít it."

"No, itís magnificent. I have never seen or expected to see a place as beautiful as this."

Marie and Tim:

Karl asked, "Would you like to see the rest of the house?"

"I would love to."

Karl took me through the first floor. Everything was magnificent. We climbed the stairs and went into the front bedroom. It was spectacularly decorated. Every piece of furniture in the room was luxurious. The bed was huge. I had almost forgotten what I had come for. I wanted to make love to Karl to show my appreciation for the money he had given me. I knew what I was going to do was wrong, but I could not stop myself, nor did I want to. Karl was the one that I had fallen in love with when he was hiding in the walls. I wondered if he was in love with me. I turned to thank Karl for the money. I put my hand on Karl shoulder, pulled him down, and gave him a long lingering kiss. I thanked him for the money. He did not say anything. I stepped back and reached over my shoulder and unbuttoned my dress. I lowered my arms and the dress sled off of me. I stood there and let him look at my body for a few minutes. I saw the desire in his face. He did not move or say a word. His eyes were examining my body. I reached out and unbutton his shirt. Karl looked like he was frozen. He did not move a muscle. I removed his shirt, unbuckled his belt, and unbutton his pants. His pants dropped to the floor. Karl still had not moved. I looked at his beautiful young body. I ran my hands down his chest. I kissed the nipples on his chest. Lust had filled my body. I pulled his head down and gave him another lingering kiss. I thrust my naked body tightly against his."

Tim:

As I stood there looking at Marie beautiful body, my body felt like it was on fire. The lust that flowed through my body brought back the memories when I watched Marie bath. My day dreams had come true. There wasnít a wall between us. I held Marie tightly in my arms. I lifted her up and she wrapped her legs around me. I ran my hands across her buttocks and pulled her more tightly against me. Marie slides her hands between us and wrapped her hand around it. If was over before it had started. Embarrassed, I let Marie slowly slide down my body. I reached down, picked up my pants, ran into the bathroom and shut the door.

A deep desire for Karl was still flowing through my body. I lay on the bed trying to get the feeling out of my body. It would not go away. The bath room door opened. Karl came over to the bed and looked down at me. He puts his hand out to me. I took it. He pulled me up from the bed and held me in his arms. He kisses me on my forehead and said, "I have wanted you for a long time. I could not reject your advances. I donít think it is fair to Christie. I have loved you since you moved into my home. I will never stop loving you."

I picked up my dress and Karlís shirt. I turned away from Karl and put on my dress. I walked over to the window and looked down on the streets below. I was embarrassed from what I had done. I was thinking about what had happened. I turned around and look at Karl. I went over to him to apologize for being so forward, I asked him to forgive me and thanked him for the money. I reach up and put my hands on his broad chest and said, "Timothy, thank you for everything that you have done for me. I did not intend to do what I did. I could not hold myself back. I saw you running down the front steps. I went down stairs and saw the closet door and the front door was ajar. I knew that I had locked the front door. I looked in my pocketbook and found the money. I knew that you had put it in my pocketbook. I have been waiting all day to catch you when you left Docís. I wanted to thank you. I started to go to bed and I saw you studying. I could not stop myself from what was going through my mind, nor did I want to. There is no other way that I can repay you for your generosity. I did not know what I was going to do after my few shilling had run out. I wanted to show you my appreciation. There was no other way that I could show my appreciation. I have nothing else to give."

Karl just stood there motionless. I stood on my tiptoes and kiss him. Sheepishly I looked down, without moving my head, I slowly rolled my eyes up and looked at Karl and asked, "Are you going to forgive me?"

A broad smile slowly came across his face. He said, "Yes you are forgiven. Will you forgive me?"

"What far?"

"For getting you in trouble with Hans, stealing your food and money and watching you take a bath. I wanted to show my appreciation to you. If it had not been for you I would have starved. I heard you talking to me when you were in the bathroom. I wanted so much to talk to you. A number of times I started to answer you. The words would not leave my mouth. I wanted to be free and be with you. I wanted to kill Hans for the way he treated you. Each day my desire to come out of hiding grew. I could not stay hidden any longer. Early one morning I sneaked out of the house. Being outside the house for the first time in four years, it felt wonderful. I wanted to strolled the streets. I saw a light on at the Bakery. I walk down the alley behind the Bakery. As I was passing the Bakery, Hilda saw me. I started to run. Hilda told me to get inside before anyone saw me. I had no intentions of staying with Hilda. Every day I planned to return and every day I found an excuse for staying with Hilda. Every day Hilda encouraged me to stay with her. She felt that I would be safer with her. I enjoyed the freedom to much to give it up. Over the last few years I made a few trips back to pick up a few things when you and Hans were at work."

Marie interrupted me and said, "Since you were in the house with us, you know that Hans was very cruel to me. I had no other choice but to put up with him. I had no education, no money and no place to go. It was either live on the streets or live with Hans. Looking back, I wonder if I made the right choice."

I could not hold myself back and said, "How well I know what a bastard he was. Marie, please do not tell anyone that I am Timothy Williams. I donít know if they are still looking for me. You, Hilda, Doc and Alfons are the only ones that know that I am Timothy William."

Marie asked, "Does Christie know that you are Timothy?"

"I am not sure. It is possible. She and her father have been looking into my background. Christie gave me a hint that she knew more about me than I knew about myself. I am not sure, but I think she does."

Marie reaches up and kisses me and said, "I will not tell anyone. I want to thank you again. Please forgive me for being so forward. I know you and Christie are very much in love. I feel ashamed for what I tried to do. I have wanted you since the first day we met. In my heart I knew you were the one that lived in the walls. I fanaticized about the person living in the walls after you gave me the rose. I could feel the love between us. After you stopped eating the food that I had left, I felt that I had lost you forever. When Hilda told everyone about her nephew, I did not think too much about it. But, when you mentioned the pastries that Hans had taken from the Rathskeller, I was certain you were the one that lived in the walls. Who else would have known the Hans was stealing the pastries. As time passed, I forgot about it. I accepted the fact that you were Hilda nephew. Thank you again and goodnight."

Marie quickly turns and ran down the stairs to the front door. Before I could finish putting my shirt on, she was outside, looking up and down the street. She ran home in the darkness. I stood on the porch and watched her until she was in the house. My thoughts drifted back to when I was living in my hideout. My desire to make love with Marie was still in my mind. I wanted to follow Marie. Charlie told me not to even to think about have sex with Marie. I took his advice and tried not to think about her. It was fruitless.

Thankful, I did not see any soldiers on the street. I locked up and walked across the street. Hilda and Alfons had already eaten dinner. Hilda asked if she could get me something to eat. I told her no, I would make myself a sandwich.

I ate the sandwich while I walked up the stairs. I took a long bath. As I laid there in the warm water, I could not stop thinking about Marie. I wanted to make love with her. I wanted to kick myself for not making love with her after I came out of the bath room. I was embarrassed for finishing something before it started. I thought about the many times I wanted to climb out of my hole and make love with Marie. Tonight I had the chance and I didnít. Now, a part of me was in love with Christie and another part of me was in love with Marie. After lying in the bath thinking about the two, I knew that my love for Marie was lust, not love. I loved Christie and respected her.  There was a big difference in the way I felt about Christie. I wanted to be with her forever. I only wanted to make love with Marie. Yet, the desire for Marie would not go away.

 

As the days quickly flew by, it was useless to keep the Bakery open. Hilda felt that there were a lot of hungry mouths out there to feed. Bread was the only thing many of them could afford to eat. There was a scarcity of everything. As long as she could get supplies she would keep the Bakery open. Many of the customers could not pay for the bread and Hilda did not charge them. She would scribble their names on a pad and tell them that they could pay for the bread when they could. She never expected to get the money and she wasnít going to ask them for the money. I had more money than I would ever need. We were barely making enough money to pay for the expenses. It wasnít long before we were not making any profit at all. The little money that we needed, I took it out of Docís bank account or the safe. We would never spend it all.

Alfons had been off of the bottle for almost four month. He looked great. He had put on a few pounds and his complexion had greatly improved. I could not believe that he was the same man that I saw hanging around the street begging for a few shilling.

One morning at breakfast he said, "Do you still want me to take care of the Docís books."

I looked at Hilda and she nodded. I said, "Of course I do. I have been looking at the bank statements and I think we have a few tenants that havenít paid for a few months. I know things are bad and I donít want to kick anyone out. The homes will be empty if I kicked them out. If they have been paying the rent and now they are not paying the rent, there must be a reason. If they donít have the money, donít pressure them for the rent. Just tell them to pay what they can until things get better. I donít want to kick anyone out. Like the shops, the house will be empty, we would not be able to rent them and the tenants would be out on the street."

After breakfast, I went over to Docís with Alfons and showed him the books. He already knew more about the house and Docís finances than I did. I did not know what to say to him about his salary. So I did not say anything. Alfons told me that he had worked on Docís books over the years when Doc had been sick. He said that the books needed to be brought up to date. I gave Alfons a set of keys and headed back to the Bakery. I saw Hoffmann drive up with Christie and General Bower. I was wondering why the General had came with her.

I went over and greeted them. When the General got out of the car he saluted me. I saluted him back. We all walked into the Bakery together. Hilda welcomed them. Christie said, "Where is Alfons? Papa wants to see him also."

I said, "I will go get him."

Hilda said, "Stay here I will go get him."

General Bower said, "I want to thank you for having Christie calls me in Germany. You will never imagine how important that call was. It saved my neck. We had warned them repeatedly that they could not use certain chemical in the rocket fuel. They would not believe us and they insisted that we use certain chemical. From the advice of Doctor William and the other scientist, I refused to experiment with certain chemical. As you know they replace me and my research team."

Hilda and Alfons walked in the door. The bell rang and the General turned around and saluted Alfons. Alfons saluted him back and said, "Sir, thank you for the salute. I should be saluting you."

"Alfons, I donít know if you remember me. Our paths have crossed a number of times over the years. I have to admire you for your courage when you called me and told me about the documents that Kreegon and Fritz had taken; they were the records of our test at the Factory. We thought that the documents had been destroyed in the explosion. We are very grateful for what you and Tim have done. I am sorry Karl. I want to give both of you a medal for outstanding courage you both have shown."

Christie hands her father a small box. General Bower opened the box and unfolds the ribbon and hangs the medal around Alfons neck. Then he shakes Alfons hand. Christie gives General Bower another small box. General Bower unfolds the ribbon and hangs it around Timís neck. He shakes Timís hand then backs up and salutes Tim and Alfons. Bower walks over to Tim and Alfons and puts his arms around them. Again he thanks them. He asked Alfons how he knew that Kreegon and Fritz had stolen the documents. Alfons said, "I know that I am a drunkard and a street bum. I am also nosey and I like to eve drop on my neighbors.  I have very good hearing and I am not as stupid as everyone thinks. After I became a drunkard, I had a lot of free time on my hands and I listen a lot. General Bower the explosion was not an accident. It was premeditated. I heard Kreegon, Fritz and their associates planning the explosion months before it happened. They discussed it at the Tavern with a few other men. Your refusal to experiment with the chemicals saved your lives. They knew exactly how much of the chemical they needed to totally destroy everything at the Factory. They knew that the war was coming to an end and the formulas would be worth a fortune. I just happened to be in the right place to hear them discussing their plans."

Bower said, "Alfons, you told me exactly what I wanted to hear. Doctor Williams had told me that the amount of Chemical that they planned to ship in would destroy everything, and it did. Again, let me thank you. Christie, are you going with me?"

"No Papa, I am going to spend the day here with Karl."

We all walked outside together. We thanked General Bower for the citation and we appreciated that he came to the Village to give us the commendation. After the General pulled away, Hilda accompanied Alfons to Docís. Christie and I walked inside the Bakery. Christie looked out the window and watched Hilda and Alfons. As soon as they went into Docís she put her arms around my neck and pulls herself up and wrapped her legs around me. She had never caressed and fondled me like this before. She wanted to go upstairs and do something. I did not try to stop her. She pulled me up the stairs to my bedroom. We had no sooner lain down on the bed and the front door bell rang. We jumped up thinking that Hilda had returned. I quickly buttoned my pants and ran my fingers through my hair. Christie ran into the bath room. I ran down the stairs and peeked around the corner. A woman was walking out the door with a loaf of bread. I started to say something to her, but I didnít. I looked around and Christie was running down the stairs. She had this sheepish look on her face. I chuckled. She peeks around me expecting to see Hilda and Alfons. When she did not see anyone, she asked, "Where is Hilda?"

"It wasnít Hilda. I woman came in and took a loaf of bread."

"Where is she?"

"She left before you got down the stairs."

Christie casually walked over to the counter. She found money on the counter. She turns around quickly and said, "Do you think she heard us?"

"I donít know. She must have come in when we were up stairs. She could have."

"Who was she?"

"I donít know. I only saw her back and the loaf of bread in her hand."

I took Christieís hand and pulled her toward the stairs. She held me back. She shook her head and said, "No."

She had settled down, she told me that she did not know what had come over her. She could not control her urges. She asked me to forgive her. I took her in my arms and lifted her chin and said, "Why do I have to forgive you. I wanted you as much as you wanted me."

With a serious look on her face, Christie said, "You did not want to go upstairs. I forced myself on you."

I kissed Christie and held her tightly against my body. I wanted her very much, but I was not going to force myself on her. We stood quietly for a while without saying anything. All of a sudden a smile came across her face and she said, "Papa knows who you are. You are Doctor Williamís son Timothy. I think he knew that you were Timothy the first time he saw you. A few days after I went to work here, Papa had Doctor Williams for dinner. He told your Papa that he thought he had found the man he had been looking for. He saw the resemblance between you and your father. You look a lot like your father. Papa has been looking for you since they took your mother and father into custody. I did not know this until recently. I had a crush on your father until I saw you at the Rathskeller. I did not know that he was married nor he had a son until a couple of days ago."

After Christie and I settled down and took our hands off of each we sat down at one of the tables and watch the empty streets. Marie walked by. Christie said, "I wonder how Marie is able to live without Hans support. I wonder where she is getting her money. Do you remember, she came in and asked Hilda for a job before Hans left her?"

I did not know if I should tell Christie that I had given her some money to live on. I felt that I should be honest with her. Some day Marie may thank me for the money in front of Christie. I did not want Christie to think there was more to our friendship than what she already knew. I let out a sigh and said, "Marie fed me for four years. She never told Hans that she knew that I was in the house. I overheard Hans threatening to kick her out of the house. He was going to sell all the furniture in my home. "

Christie interrupted me and said, "That beast, I could kill him."

I continued, "I called Attorney Kuen to see if there was some way I could get Hans out of the house. He told me that he would get Hans out of the house. Kuen told Hans if he did not get out of the house, he would tell the Nazis that he was a Jew and he had tried to break into Docís house. Hans moved out and I knew that Marie did not have a shilling; I repaid my debt to Marie. I gave her enough money to live on until the war is over. Do you remember when Marie asked you if I was angry about something?"

"Yes, I thought you and Marie had been playing around behind Hansí back. I could not bring myself to ask Marie why she wanted to know if you were upset. I was afraid to hear the answer. If you and Marie were involved with each other, I did not want to hear it."

An odd feeling ran through my body. I felt guilty for even wanting Marie. One part of me was ashamed of what I had been thinking. Somehow I still had a deep desire to make love with Marie. I tried to block the thoughts that were going through my mind and said, "Hans tried to break into Doc house while I was at Docís. Doc had told me about a similar incident. He used a flash camera to frighten them away. I saw Hans approaching Docís back door. I ran up to the parlor and got the flash camera. It did not have any film in it. When Hans tried to open one of the windows, I clicked the camera. The flash blinded him and he ran home and told Marie what had happened. I think they wanted to know if I was going to report him to the police."

Christie got up and walked around the table and sat in my lap and said, "I love you for what you did for Marie. She hated every day she was with Hans. The poor thing had no other choice but to stay with him. She has complained to me about Hans since I first met her. She deserves a better life."

Christie and I petted and watched the empty street until we saw Mutti and Alfons coming across the street. Christie ran into the bath room to fix her makeup. When Mutti came in she asked me where Christie was. I told her that she was in the bathroom fixing her makeup. Mutti said, "Tim, you better go in there and fix your makeup after Christie finishes. Your lipstick is smeared."

She and Alfons snickered and went upstairs. When Christie came back I told her what Mutti had said. Christie took my hand and guided me into the bathroom with her. She cleaned all of the lipstick off of me then she branded me with a lip print on my cheek. She said, "That is to let everyone know that you are mine, and donít touch."

A couple of days later, Christie and I were waiting for Hoffmann. He had never been this late. We thought that Hoffmann must be with her father. A short time later we saw a military vehicle drive up outside the Bakery. It made the same u-turn that Hoffman usually made. We hurried; we did not want to keep Hoffmann waiting. I helped Christie into the back seat. I bent down to kiss her and to say hello to Hoffmann as I usually did. When I looked up at the driver, it wasnít Hoffmann. The car door wasnít closed and the car sped away. Christie was halfway out of the car. The driver reached around and grabbed Christie and pulled her into the car. I had seen that damn face a hundred times before. It was Kreegon. I ran after the car. I could not catch it. I could see the fear in Christie face as the car pulled away and out of my sight. I ran back to the bakery.

Christie is kidnapped:

Alfons and Hilda had heard us screaming and wanted to know what happened. I told them that Kreegon had kidnapped Christie. I ran into the Bakery to get the rifle and the keys to the truck. I was headed to the back of the Bakery when Alfons called me and said, "Tim, come here, Hoffmann is here."

I ran out front and jumped into his car and yelled to Mutti to call General Bower and tell him that Christie had been kidnapped by Kreegon. I did not know that Alfons had already told Hilda that Kreegon would probably take Christie to the Gestapo Headquarters in the old Museum and to call General Bower. I yelled to Hoffmann to hurry up. We will lose them.

Alfons said, "We have already lost them. I think I know where he is taking her. The Gestapo took over the old Museum for their headquarters. If he is taking her into the City we will never find them. If he is taking her to the Gestapo Headquarter, we can cut him off. There is an old carriage road that cuts across the marsh. It will take Kreegon at least thirty minutes or longer to get there by going through the City."

I asked Hoffmann why he was so late. He told us that a group of soldiers had put up a road block and they would not let anyone go through. He felt that they had deliberately blocked the road so that Kreegon had enough time to kidnap Christie. When Kreegon had Christie he must have radioed the guards and told them to open the road block. One of the guards got a radio message and they opened the road block.

Alfons was directing Hoffmann. We were at the intersection of the carriage road in less than ten minutes. Alfons told us that he had use the carriage road when he went to work. It saved him 45 minutes commuting time. When Hoffman drove across the marsh, it felt like the car was sinking and Hoffman said so. Fortunately we got across the marsh without getting stuck. Hoffman blocked the narrow road to the Museum with the car and we waited.

As the minutes past, Hoffman was getting edgy. He was afraid that Kreegon had taken Christie into the City. Alfons said that it would take an army to find them in the City. It would take months to find them. There were too many places that they could hide her. He told Hoffmann to have patients.  We had been waiting for about fifteen minutes. Alfons said, "I know both routs to the Museum, if may take Kreegon another ten to fifteen minutes to get here, sometimes longer."

We positioned ourselves so that Kreegon would not see us when he drove up. I was watching the road. In the distance I saw headlights approaching. I yelled that I saw someone coming. Alfons told Hoffmann to pretend that he was trying to push the car out of the way. As the car approached, it slowed down. The car slowly pulled up behind Hoffmann, the driver stuck his head out the window and yelled, "What the hell are you doing."

Without looking back Hoffmann said, "What does it look like. Someone out here ordered a car and the damn thing stalled on me. I cannot get it started. Come help me."

Grumbling Kreegon got out of the car and walking toward Hoffmann. I crept up behind Kreegon and put the rifle barrel against Kreegon back. I told him, if he moved, I would shoot him. I told him to lie down on the ground face down. I took Kreegon pistol out of his holster and I gave it to Alfons. I went to car to see if Christie was in it.  Christie was gagged and bound in the back seat. I untied Christie and removed the gag. I took the rope that bound Christie and tied up Kreegon with it. Hoffmann radioed General Bower and told him that we had Christie and where we were. Bower told us to wait for him until he got there.

Kreegon was yelling and screaming that he was going to have all of us locked up. I helped Christie out of the car. Her face was swollen and bloody. Kreegon was lying in the road. I went over to him. I wanted to kick his head off. Christie said, "Donít hurt him. Papa will take care of him."

I told Christie that Kreegon was the officer that had taken my parents away and almost killed them. Christie said, "He got fresh with me when he was tying me up. I kick him in the balls. While he was rolling around in the back seat, I tried to get undone. I could not undo the knot in the rope with my teeth. When he recovered he hit me in the face four or five times."

I could not hold myself back. I aimed the rifle it at Kreegon head. Christie, Alfons and Hoffmann all begged me to leave him alone. Christie said, "Tim, Papa will take care of him. I will tell Papa what he did to me."

I wanted to splatter his brains across the road. I took Christie to the car so she could relax. I turn on the overhead light in the car. Blood was running down Christieís face. Her face was a mess. I took off my undershirt and tried to stop the bleeding. It helped some. Blood had run down her face and dripped onto her dress. I tried to hold back my anger, but I could not. Christie saw the anger in my face. She caressed my cheek and said, "I know how much you must hate him. I will be alright. Let the officials punish him. Papa told me what he had done to your Mutti and Papa and I donít blame you for wanting to kill him. I wanted to kill him also. If I could have gotten loose when he was rolling around on the floor, I was going to take his pistol and blow his brains out. Let Papa handle it. He has the authority in matters like this. I am sure that Kreegon will not get away with it."

I heard a noise in the distance. It was the sound of truck coming in our direction. I was hoping it was General Bower. I got out of the car. Hoffmann pulled both cars into the carriage road. Alfons and I dragged Kreegon into the bushes. We hid behind the car and waited. We were not sure if it was General Bower or some Nazis. Hoffman called General Bower on the radio. Thankful, it was General Bower coming up the road.

Within a few minutes I saw the headlights of the caravan heading in our direction. They stopped in the middle of the road. As soon as the lead truck stopped, General Bower quickly jumped out of the truck and asked me where Christie was. I pointed to Hoffmannís car. He got in the car and talked to Christie for a few minutes. When he got out of the car he told Hoffmann to take Christie to the hospital at the base. He told one of the soldiers to radio the base and tell the hospital to have a crew ready to treat Christie. Bower ordered four soldiers to take Kreegon back to the base and lock him up. He said, "Donít let anyone come close to him. I donít know how he got out. If he gets out, all four of you will take his place. Donít even let him out if the Fuehrer tells you to let him go."

Kreegon was listening and said, "The Fuehrer will take care of you. He will have you all hanged."

Bower looked down at Kreegon and said, "Kreegon, have you seen the Fuehrer lately? He cannot take care of himself. All of his comrades have deserted him. The ones that are still around him think that he has gone crazy."

Under pressure from Bower, Fritz had told Bower that the Factory documents were at the Museum. They were waiting for Kreegon and were going to transport the documents to Germany. Bower gathered the troops together and told them that he did not want any bloodshed. The Nazis were abandoning the Gestapo Headquarters and there are less than a dozen Nazis at the Museum. Bower said, "We will tell them we have come to escort them out of the country. After we load the documents and they are in the truck, we will relieve them of their weapons. I donít want any of you to get hurt, the war is almost over. There is no need to create any more bloodshed."

We watched the convoy drive away. Christie and I were in the back seat together. Hoffmann told the soldiers that were escorting Kreegon that we would follow them. Hoffmann did not want to take the shortcut back to the base. He felt that Bower would kill him if he got stuck in the marsh. The road was quite spongy and rutty.

We followed the other car through the City. The City looked like it had been abandoned. Many stores were boarded up with signs that stating that they were permanently closed. Christie had not been in the City since she had come to work at the Bakery. Kreegon had made her lay on the floor when they drove through the City before. She was very depressed when she saw how the City looked. She did not want to remember it looking like a ghost town. She closed her eyes until we were out of the City.

Before we got to the hospital, General Bower called Hoffmann of the radio and told him that they were on their way back to the Army Base. He wanted to know how Christie was holding up from her experience. Christie heard what her father had said and replied, "Tell Papa I am fine. My face is a little sore."

Hoffmann relayed Christie message and asked if they had any resistance. Bower said that when he told them that they had come to escort them to German, they help load the documents. When all the documents were loaded and they were all on the trucks they relieved them of their weapon. Bower could not believe it went that smoothly. Of course the Nazi officers were quite disturbed when they were bound and gagged. They thought that Kreegon and Fritz had betrayed them.

Hoffmann stopped at the hospital, the car with Kreegon continued in the direction of the prison. There was a medical crew waiting for Christie. They wanted to put Christie on a stretcher; she refused and walked into the examining room. I was in the emergency room for only a few minutes and the nurses kicked me out. General Bower wanted them to give Christie a completed physical. That was what they were going to do and I could not watch.

With mixed feeling running through me, I was pacing the floor in the waiting room. I had a chance to kill Kreegon, but I didnít. Part of me wished that I had. Thinking about what Kreegon had did to Mutti and Christie, I wondered if Mutti was still in the hospital. I ran up the stairs to the room that she was in before. The nurse on duty called me and asked me who I was looking for. I almost told her that I was looking for my mother. I told her that I had met a neighbor of mine when my Aunt Hilda was in the hospital. Her name was Frau Williams. I asked if she was still in the Hospital. She said, "No, she has been released."

I had a sinking feeling. I felt like someone had hit me in my stomach. I was very disappointed. I wanted desperately to see Mutti. The nurse saw the disappointment in my face. She said, "If you want to talk to her, I will call her for you."

It was like my prayers had been answered. Excitedly, I said, "Would you."

She answered, "Of course."

The nurse picked up the phone and told the operator to connect her with Frau Williams. After a short pause the nurse said, "Frau William there is a young man in the hospital looking for youÖ.Wait a minute I will ask him."

The nurse put her hand over the mouth piece and asked, "Are you Karl Lipman."

"Yes I am."

"Frau William will meet you in the waiting room down stairsÖÖFrau Lipman, yes it is Karl Lipman."

I was so excited about seeing Mutti; I stood there in a daze. I did not move. I was staring into space. Out the corner of my eyes I saw the nurse hang up the phone, she lifted her hand, pointed to the elevator and repeated, "Frau Williams will meet you in the waiting room."

I came back to life and hurried down the stairs and into the waiting room. I did not see Mutti. I went outside. I expected to see Mutti walking up the darken path outside the hospital. The few minutes felt like hours. I went back inside the waiting room. I hear a voice calling me. Quickly, I turned around. I saw Mutti coming down the hall with a soldier following her. I wanted to run to Mutti. Casually, I walked down the hall to her. I wanted to hug Mutti. Mutti stuck her hand out and said, "Herr Lipman, thank you for coming to visit with me. I hope I look better this time than what I looked the last time you saw me."

I took both of Mutti hands and stepped back, look her over and said, "Frau Williams you have always looked beautiful. I am so glad I caught you. General Bower daughter is being treated in the emergency room. They kicked me out. I was hoping that I would see you while I was here. The nurse said that they had released you. I was very disappointed that I had missed you. The nurse on the third floor was nice enough to find you for me." 

Mutti pulled me close to her and kissed me on the cheek and said, "I am so glad she found me."

I looked around for a place where we could be alone. I asked the nurse if there was somewhere we could talk in private. She said that the examining rooms across the hall are all empty and for us to take our pick. Mutti said to the guard, "Victor, I will be fine. Please wait for me out here."

We entered the nearest examining room, the moment I closed the door, Mutti and I embraced, we both sobbed profusely. I had longed to hold Mutti in my arms and feel the love that flowed between our bodies. I had not felt this wonderful since they took Mutti and Papa away. I wanted to feel the warmth of her body against mine. I would know that she was alive and I was not dreaming. Many nights I would lie in my hideout remembering the wonderful moments when Mutti had held me in her arms. We cried, embraced, held hands, and wiped the tears from each other eyes and we tried to recover the last six year into an hour. I asked Mutti if she was still under guard. Mutti said, "The guard before was to keep me away from people and the new guard is to keep people away for me. They are afraid that someone will kidnap me and hold me for ransom. It has to do with the work your father is doing."

"Mutti, General Bower daughter, Christie was kidnapped today. That is the reason I am here. Kreegon, the same officer that took you and Papa away, kidnapped Christie. Alfons, Christieís driver, Hoffmann and me rescued Christie. Kreegon hit her in the face. It was quite swollen and she had blood all over her. The doctor and nurses are examining her now. Do you know her?"

It appeared that all of Mutti strength drained from Muttiís body. A look of compassion spread across her face. She looked very depressed and said, "Oh no, I hope she isnít seriously hurt. I had a short visit with your father and he told me about you and Christie. I havenít met Christie. I hope she doesnít have to go through what I have been through. God, why did you let this beast brutalize Christie? Isnít what he did to me enough? Tim is she seriously hurt?"

"I am not quite sure. At times she appeared to be in a fairly good mood. I want you to meet her. I love her very much. We work together at the Bakery."

"I would love to meet her. Your father said she is a beautiful young lady."

Muttiís demeanor had changed. Thinking about Christie had depressed her. I changed the subject and told her about my education. I told Mutti that I was three year ahead of her schedule. I could see the improvement in her demeanor. She loved to teach and she was very happy when I made good grade in school. When I would get low marks in a subject, I think that she felt that she had let me down. My low marks were a reflection on her inadequacies.

We had an hour together before our conversation was interrupted by a tap on the door. I slid off of the examining table and opened the door. Christie was standing there with bandages across her face. I saw a spurt of jealousy flash across her face when she saw Mutti. I turned and took Muttiís hand and pulled her out into the hall next to Christie. I said, "Christie, this is Frau Williams she lived across the street from the Bakery where the Berger live."

A broad smile crossed Christieís face replacing the hint of jealousy. Christie did a slight curtsy and said, "Frau William, my father has told me about you. You are a very beautiful woman. Doctor William is a very handsome man. I think good looks runs in your family."

Mutti looked at me and smiled then said, "Thank you Christie. I have heard a lot about you. I know there is a very beautiful face underneath those bandages. You are young and your face will heal quickly. Karl told me what happen to you today. I hope it never happens again. You must be exhausted. Karl it was nice to see you again. I hope we can see more of you in the future. I hope both of you come to see me often."

Mutti called Victor; they walked down the hall to the rear of the hospital. Christie whispered to me, "You have a beautiful mother."

I smiled and said, "And, a beautiful sweetheart."

Hoffmann was waiting outside. He had taken Alfons to the Bakery and returned. He was sleeping in the back seat. Christie and I quietly got into the car; I cranked up the engine, it did not wake him. I drove Christie home. General Bower was standing outside waiting for Christie. He had called the hospital to ask about Christie. They told him that she was on the way home. Christie gave me a quick kiss on the cheek and got out of the car. Christie hugged her father and wave to me as I pulled away. I drove back into the Village with Hoffmann still asleep in the back seat. Running over the cobblestone streets woke up Hoffmann. He jumped and said, "Where are we?" 

"We are in the Village. Did you have a nice nap?"

"Thank you for not waking me up. I have been up since four this morning."

I thanked Hoffmann for the ride and waited until Hoffmann drive away. I heard the bell on the door of the Bakery ring. I turned around and saw Hilda and Alfons standing in the door. Hilda said, "How is Christie?"

"I think she will be fine. She will have a sore face for a couple of weeks until the swelling goes down."

"Honey, are you hungry? I will fix you something."

"Yes, but you donít have to fix me anything. I will have a slice of bread and a glass of milk. That will hold me until breakfast. I still have a loaf of Papa bread left over."

A week later, General Bower invited Hilda, Alfons, and I for dinner at his home. He wanted to thank us for recovering the documents and finding Christie. I would meet the rest of Christieís family for the first time. Hoffmann picked us up at the Bakery. On the drive to the Base we all sat quietly. I donít know what Alfons and Hilda were thinking about. I was thinking about Christie. I had not seen her for a week. I was hoping Christie Mutti, her brother and sister would like me. Christie very seldom talked about the rest of her family. We were waved through the gate by the guard. We passed the Hospital; I looked for Mutti and Papa. I did not see them. Hoffman pulled up in front of a small home. It was not very impressive. I thought a General would have a much nicer home. When I dropped off Christie last week, I did not look at the house. My mind was on Christie and my Mutti. A young boy about nine of ten was standing at the door. When he saw us pull up, I could see the excitement in his face. He ran back into the house. I could hear him hollowing, "They are here."

I smiled at Hilda and said, "I guess they are expecting us."

Hilda replied, "I would hope so."

Christie came running out of the house; she stops for a moment at the door, and then dashes over to the car. I was helping Hilda out of the back seat. Christie welcomes us all. She gave Hilda a hug and a kiss first, then Alfons and then me. Mine lasted quite a bit longer than the hugs she gave Hilda and Alfons. Hilda tugged at me and said, "They are waiting at the door for us. You two can continue that later."

We walked up to the door and General Bower stepped outside and held the door for us. Hilda and Alfons went into the house first; Christie and I followed them in. Through the crowd in front of me I saw my Mutti and Papa standing there with big smiles on their faces.

 

Dinner with Mutti and Papa after six years:

Excitement and joy engulfed my body. Tears streamed down my face. Mutti and Papa both hugged me. I could not stop crying. I tried to control my emotions, I could not and I did not care. I looked upward and silently thanked God for this precisions moment in my life. Over the years, I never expected to see them again. I had prayed for them, but I thought it was fruitless. I wanted the feeling that I felt to last for every. The warmth of my parentís body against mine brought back memory that I had prayed for many times in the past. General Bower ushered everyone else to another room and left us alone. For the next half hour, we all tried to tell each about our last six years. Mutti looked over my shoulder, push away and said, "Tim, I think our host and hostess want to say a few words."

I released my parents and turned around. General Bower introduced me to Janet, Christie Mutti, and to Joseph and Kathy, Christie brother and sister. He had already introduced his family to Hilda and Alfons while I was with Mutti and Papa. Then he said, "Tim, I have wanted to have this reunion for you and your parents for years. I am sorry it took this long. If Christie had not found you and dragged me out to the Bakery, we may have never had this reunion. I am sorry it took so long. After Christie told me about you, I could not find any record of a younger Karl Lipman. When I saw you at the Bakery, I knew you had to be Robertsís son. The two of you look too much alike not to be related. I told Robert that I thought that I had found his son. I did not want to disappoint him. I wanted to be positive. Robert confirmed my suspicions after he saw you in the Village. It was a great relief for all of us. Janet has prepared a wonder dinner; letís enjoy it before it gets cold. I sat between Mutti and Papa. As much as we wanted to talk to each other, we were polite and waited until after dinner. Mutti, Papa and I talked for hours. Papa reminded me that it was getting quite later and we did not want to overstay our welcome. It was a wonderful day for all of us. General Bower told us that as soon as the Nazis leave, we can visit each other as often as we wanted. He had seen indications that the Nazis were heading back to Germany or fleeing Europe. He had not received any orders to return to Germany. We thanked the Bowers for a wonderful evening. I had a few more minutes with Mutti and Papa. Hoffman dropped off Mutti and Papa at their quarters next to the Hospital. It was another tearful parting. I did not want to let them out of my sight again. It had been a long time without them. I donít think that I have ever been this happy. I had a mixed feeling running through my mind, love and hate. I hated the Nazi for keeping us apart so long, but, I loved the feeling that came over me while I was with my parents. I could not thank God enough. Silently all evening I kept thanking him for returning my parents to me. Yet, I was afraid that something would happen and they would take them away from me again. Like the ride out to the Base, the trip back to the Village was more solemn. I think Hilda and Alfons were about to fall asleep. We had a wonderful dinner and we all ate too much. 

The Nazi's are fleeing:

The Village was still closed to outsiders. Only the local residences were allow to leave the Village and return. Soldiers were still looking for stolen documents in the City. Occasionally, they would come back to the Village looking for the documents.  Christie wanted to come to the Bakery. General Bower did not want Christie to leave the base. He felt that it was too dangerous for her to leave the Army Base. He did not want her to be kidnapped again. I was allowed to make the deliveries to the City and the Village. Alfons was working on the books at Docís. Hilda waited on the few customers that came to the Bakery. There was less than half the number of customer we had a year ago. Most of them could not pay for the bread and they were delinquent on the rent. Hilda and I did not pester them for the money that they owed. Most of them did not have a job and had run out of the few shelling that they had saved. Alfons had kept a record of those that had contacted us about their late payments and the ones that he had visited. There were a few that did not contact us and they were not at home when Alfons visited them. Alfons was going to revisit the ones that he could not contact. One of the tenants that he had visited three or four times had their shades down, and he could not see inside the home. He tried to open the front door. It was locked. He went down into the basement patio and looked around. All the shades were drawn. He turned the door knob on the basement door and it opened. He yelled out to see if anyone was at home. No one answered. He did not want to go into the home alone. The tenant that lived in the house was a well respected older man that had a business in the City. Alfons felt that if he was caught roaming around inside the house, someone my accuse him of burglarizing the house. He returned to the Bakery and told Hilda. The tenant had not paid the last there monthís rent. At first we did not know what to do. We mulled it over for a while. I wanted to just barge in. Hilda did not agree. Suddenly, I remembered that I owned the house and said, "I own the property and I have the right to inspect the property. I will go over and look around. Hilda said, "No, I will not let you go alone. We will all go over there."

On the way over, I asked Alfons if he knew the man that lived in the house and did he think the man could have passed away without anyone knowing it. He told me that he had seen the man around and he looked quite healthy. I told Alfons that maybe someone robbed and killed him. I was wrong on all counts. We went into the basement door and called out. There wasnít an answer. The door at the end of the hall was slightly open. I tried the closed doors as I walk past them, they were all locked. We continued to the door at the end of the hall. I pushed it open. The room was a mess. The walls were covered with Nazi posters and the floor was covered with paper. It looked like someone had dumped the file cabinet contents on the floor. Alfons picked up a stack of the papers and thumbed through them. Most of the sheets that I looked at were leaflets of propaganda, notices of meeting and miscellaneous posters. The room was quiet and we all were rummaging through the stacks of papers. All of sudden Alfons said quite loudly, "Look at this."

Hilda and I both jumped. It scared the hell out of both of us. Hilda said, "Donít do that again. I almost wet myself. What do you want us to look at?"

Alfons handed Hilda a stack of documents. Hilda asked, "What is this?"

Alfons said, "It is a list of the members of the Nazi Party. Their financial contribution to the Party with their names addresses and phone numbers. I donít think they intended to leave this lying around. Tim, some of your tenants are on the list. Professor Kaufman lived here. That sneaky bastard was always telling everyone that he hated the Nazi and would start up conversations about the Nazis. That bastard was finding out how his neighbors felt about the Nazis. I think that he is the bastard that fingered the ones that were not Jews that were sent to concentration camps and murdered. I wonder where he went to."

In the pile of trash I had found a few maps and fliers of South and Central America. I looked down and picked up the maps and brochures from the floor and said, "This is probably where he did not go to. The one that are missing is where he went."

We climbed the stairs and looked in the bedroom. When Kaufman left he did not take very much baggage with him. None of the furniture was missing. Most of his clothing was still in the closet. The empty coat hangers indicated that he only carried one small suitcase.

Alfons said, "He probably filled the other suitcases with money."

After inspecting the two upper floors, we went back down to the basement. I tried the closed doors again. I could not open them. Alfons took a pocket knife out of his pocket. He pushed the knife blade between the door frame and the molding. He wiggled the knife up and down, and pushed on the door. The door popped open. Rows of boxes similar to the ones that Fritz was loading into his car almost filled the room. Alfons opened the other doors. The rooms were filled with the same type of boxes. Alfons said, "Tim, go upstairs and see if that phone works. If itís working, call Christie and tell her to get her father or your father to call the number that is on the phone. When they call back, tell them what we have found. I think this is what the soldiers have been looking for."

General Bower was at home. I told him what we had found. Within a half hour a convoy of trucks and soldiers were parked in the street. When they were finished loading the trucks I told General Bower that I had two more homes that I could not contact the tenants. I asked him if he would let a few soldiers accompany us to the homes. He said that they all would accompany us to the homes.

Both of the homes were locked. Alfons had no trouble getting the doors open. We did not find any more documents from the Factory. It looked like the tenants had made a hastily departure caring only a few cloths with them. There were indications that they also were officials of the Nazi Party. Their names were on the list that Alfons had found. Alfons did not tell General Bower about the list. He wanted to make copies of the list and give the original to the Allied Army. 

Alfons, Hilda and I went home. We helped Hilda prepare dinner. We split the list of Nazi Party members between us. While we were eating we scanned the list for people that we knew and the ones that lived in the Village. After we finished scanning the list, we discussed the ones on the list. There were names that we could not believe that they were members of the Nazi Party, yet they had made large contribution to the party. We wondered if they were coerced into giving the party money. Hilda said, "We will never know if they were members or forced into giving money to the Nazis." 

Alfons tried to analyze the list of the ones that he knew. From the ones that he knew that hated the Nazi were the ones that donated the largest amount of money. He surmised that the ones that gave the least or nothing were the hard core Nazis. The ones that contributed the most must have been coerced into giving money to the Nazis. The ones that had left the Village and their home were vacant were the ones that did not contributed to the Nazi Party. They were the hard core Nazis. 

I was a little confused at what Alfons had said and tried to put it in a logical order. Again, Hilda said, "Alfons, you are just guessing. But, you are probably right. We will never know for sure. We know that some of the ones that contributed the least have fled the country and probably have taking all of the money with them. Some of the ones that are still here made large contributing and do not have enough money to live or much less have enough money to flee to another country."

A couple of weeks had passed; Papa and the other scientist were still going through the documents. Their best estimate, all the documents had been recovered.  The Village had settled down. The curfew was lifted. The soldiers were no longer roaming the streets. With the Tavern closed, everyone that still had any money and had to have a drink had to go into the City. The other small Taverns in the Village had been closed for months. Without the tourist coming to the Village, most of the smaller businesses were bankrupted. I had never seen the Village so quiet.

The Russians and Allies were closing in. At times we could hear bombs exploding in the distance. When the planes flew over, they did not drop any bombs at the Army Base. Bower had taken down the swastika and was flying an Austrian flag.  At night when the sirens went off all the light went out. Most of the Villagers went to bed and did not bother to get up when the all clear sirens went off.  Christie was back with us and she was as beautiful as she was before Kreegon mess up her face. She was taking advantage of every moment we were alone. It was difficult for me to say no to her. I donít know if she would have gone all the way if I had let her. I thought that Christie did not think about anything but sex. I should talk. That was all that was going through my mind.

One afternoon Hilda and Alfons were watching the Bakery. Marie came in and bought some pastries. She invited Christie over to her house for tea. Christie went with her. I had so much time on my hands I was starting to get board. I had set certain days to study. I wasnít scheduled to study this afternoon, since Hilda and Alfons were watching the Bakery and Christie was visiting Marie, I was nosey and wanted to know what Marie was going to tell Christie about our encounter. I decided that I better go over to Docís and listen to them.

I carried my books with me and headed for Docís. I turned on the listening device and listen to Marie and Christie. The first hour was boring. I was dozing off to sleep when I heard my name mentioned.  Marie told Christie that she knew that I was Timothy Williams. I wished she had not told Christie. I was wondering who else she had told. This pumped up my adrenaline. Within seconds I was wide awake. The conversation weaved it way into Christie and my love life. Christie thought that she was a little too aggressive and I did not appreciate her advances. Marie laughed and said, "You cannot be too aggressive with any man. Usually you have to fight them off."

Christie answered, "I know that, I get him aroused. That is a far as it goes." 

"Have you ever been alone with Tim?"

"Many times, when Hilda was in the hospital, I was alone with him all the time. I could not get Tim to do anything."

"Where were you?"

"I was in the Bakery."

"Were you downstairs working or upstairs in his room?"

"We were downstairs working. When there wasnít anyone in the Bakery, I did everything I could, he would not do anything."

Marie chuckled, "Honey, you canít expect him to do anything in the Bakery. He is afraid someone will come in while you are doing it. He is always over at Docís, catch him over at Docís and rape him."

Christie chuckles and said, "I would love to. But, I donít want to make a fool of myself."

"Honey, get him so excited that he will want to rape you. Are you still a virgin?"

Christie did not say anything. Marie asked, "Why are you blushing. I wish I had lost my virginity with someone that I loved. Christie, you should not be ashamed of being a virgin or be embarrassed about it."

Christie asked, "How did you lose your virginity?"

Marie did not answer Christie. There was silence for a few minutes then Marie said, "That is something that I am embarrassed about. I prefer not to talk about it. Do you mind?"

"No Marie, you do not have to tell me."

"Thanks, I get emotionally upset every time I think about it."

Christie apologized to Marie for asking such a personal question. She gets up from her chair and sits next to Marie on the couch. She puts her arm around Marie said, "I am sorry that I brought it up."

Marie opens up to Christie:

Marie looked away and did not say anything for a few moments. Then she looked at Christie and said, "You do not have to apologize. I brought it on myself by asking you about your personal life. I should apologize to you. I have heard that if you talk about your problems, sometime it helps you get over them. Maybe the memories that have been haunting me will go away."

Marie had looked away from Christie for a few moments. Christie could tell that Marie was embarrassed about this part of her life. Marie glanced back a Christie, cleared her throat and said, "When I was in my early teens, I never thought about being undressed in front of my father. I was the only child. Papa had bathed me hundreds of times. I never felt ashamed or embarrassed about where or what he touched on my body. It was no different than if Mutti had bathed me. I loved my father even though he would get drunk and harass me and Mutti over stupid little things. When he was sober, he never touched Mutti or me, but when he was drunk he was an animal. I donít know how Mutti lived with the beast. Even when she was deathly sick, he treated Mutti worse than he would treat his worst enemy. He joined the Nazi party and he became worse. Mutti was healthy and she passed away in her sleep. The doctors could not tell me why she had died. They did not know either. I thought that Mutti had enough of Papa brutality and was not going to take any more. Later, I thought that Papa had killed her, I could not prove it and neither could the doctors. After Mutti passed away papa would take me into his arms and hold me tightly. He would stroke the back of my head and my back and console me over the death of my mother. Listening to him I felt that he missed Mutti as much as I missed her. Each time he consoled me, his hands would get a little further down my back. I was not sure at the time, but I thought that he was getting an erection when he held me and stroked my back. I was only twelve years old. One evening he went to one of the Nazi meeting. They drank until early morning. I was still in a deep sleep. I woke up just moments before Papa penetrated me. I tried to push him off of me. With his heavy body on top of me I could not move. It felt like he was tearing me apart. I screamed with pain. This did not stop him. No one came to my help. I think the neighbors had heard screaming coming from our apartment so many time, they did not think anything of it. When he was finished he rolled off of me and passed out. When I was sure that he was asleep, I pulled my arm and leg out from under him. In the darkness, I crept into the bathroom. I was a bloody mess. I thought that my insides were torn out of me. I had excruciating pain inside and outside of me."

Marie paused for a moment and looked away. Tears started to show in her eyes. Christie put her arms around Marie and said, "You donít have to tell me anymore. I understand how devastating you must have been."

Marie snapped her head around and said, "No, I want to get it all out of my system. Maybe it will help me get over the pain that is within me. The son-of-a-bitch raped me dozens of times before I ran away. It was always the same way. He would come home drunk and I would be asleep. I would wake up with him on top of me. I hated him so much that I wanted to kill him. I even took a knife to bed with me with the intent to kill my own father. A couple of times I reached for the knife and had it in my hands. I was going to stab him in the back. I could not do it. What he did to me was only part of my problem. I had an older cousin that took advantage of me also. When papa was out of town at a Nazi meeting, Papa would ask my cousin if he would stay with me while he was gone. He forces himself on me many times. I would have been better off if I stayed home alone. I had been threatened by my father and my cousin. They both had told me that I would be in more trouble if told the authorities I had sex with them. I would be put in a juvenile home and they would not let me out until I was 21. Both of them were Nazis. The authorities would not believe me if I told them."

Again Christie consoles Marie and curses Marieís father and cousin. Marie continued, "I had been working part time at a small restaurant for almost nothing. The owner started to get to friendly. Not only was my father and my cousin raping me at home, this man was going to rape me at work. After we closed one evening he asked me to take a few items and put them in a freeze in the rear of the restaurant. I carried the items to the rear of the restaurant. I had just closed the freezer door and I heard the door behind me slam shut. It frightened me, I jumped and turned around and saw the restaurant owner locking the door. He put the key in his pocket and approached me. I knew from the look on his face that I was in trouble. He was too big and I knew that I could not fight him off; I tried to talk him out of it. That did not work. He was taking off my clothes while I was pleading with him. I screamed to please donít. It did not do any good. I had talked to a friend of mine that had a similar experience with an older cousin. She said that no one in her families believed her when she told them. They thought it was all her fault. She said that the same would happen to me if I told anyone. If I know that someone is going to rape me, and I cannot talk him out of it or get away from him, the best thing to do is to relax and donít resist him. If you fight back, he will beat your brains out and still rape you. It will be less painful if you relax. She jokingly said that I may even enjoy it. I had to put up with them raping me for two years. Papa would take most of the money that I made at the restaurant. I saved a few shillings every week. When I thought that I had enough money to keep me going until I found another job and get the hell out of my Village, I took a small suitcase to work with me on payday. I hid it in the woods nearby. At the end of the day after I got my months pay, I retrieved my suitcase and flagged a ride to the City. I had to fight off the driver that gave me the ride. I roamed around the City for a couple of weeks looking for a job. I was always turned down because of my age. I applied for a job at the Rathskeller. Like all the other places that I had applied, they turned me down. I could not blame them. I looked like a tramp. I was down to my last few shilling. I had been sleeping in doorways and bushes since I came to the City. I had to fight off other men that tried to rape me. I did not have enough money to buy anything to eat. I was so hungry that I thought I would die of starvation or some night while I was asleep someone would rape me, and then kill me. One afternoon I was sitting on a park bench. I was on the verge of going back home. At least I would have a bed to sleep in, a bath to clean myself and food to eat. I felt that going back home would not be as bad as living on the streets.

I had been sitting there for hours thinking about going back home. I wondered what Papa would do to me if I went back. I did not know what to do. I felt trapped. If I went back home, I would be going back into the same hell that I had fled from. It I did not go back home, I would starve to death, be put into a juvenile detention center or get killed and raped on the streets. I was looking down at the ground with my hands in my coat pocket fiddling with the last few shilling in my pocket. People were walking along the street; I had seen the disgust that they showed on their faces when they passed me. I could not and did not want to look at them. I felt so degraded that I wanted to die. I saw the legs of a tall fat man walk up and was standing in front of me. First I thought it was a policeman. I was embarrassed by the way I looked. I did not want to look up at him. He said to me, "Hi, did you find a job yet."

Without looking up, sarcastically I answered, "Does it look like I am rolling in wealth."

He said, "I can assume that you have not found a job."

Still grumpy and not wanting to look up, I said to the man. "No I have not found a job."

He asked me where I was living. I said, "Where ever I can find a place lay down."

He sat down next to me and introduced himself and told me that he had seen me at the Rathskeller when I applied for a job. He told me that I could live in his apartment until I found a job.

Christie said, "Who was the man? Was it Hans?"

"Yes it was Herr Hans Berger. I should have stayed on the streets or gone back home, he was the worst of the three choices. "

"Hans took me home with him. I took a long bath and cleaned off the four weeks of City dirt and dust out of my hair. I used Hans tooth brush and tooth paste. I donít know where I had lost mine. He would have killed me if he knew. After I had been living with him for a while, I found out that he would go into a rage if I touched anything of his. For a while Hans was an angle. He lent me money to buy some new clothes and he persuaded the manager at the Rathskeller to give me a job. For a while, he was an angle. I think all he wanted was someone to share the expense of his apartment, clean the apartment and have someone service his sexual desires. Like all the other beast in my life, Hans was as bad as or worse than the rest. I put up with him and he put up with me for six years. Enough of that shit. Letís get back to your problem."

Christie interrupted and again apologized to Marie and said, "I think I would have killed my father or anyone else if I had been treated like you have. Marie I have loved being around you since the very first day that I met you at the Rathskeller. I will always love you. I am so sorry that you had to go through all that crap. If anyone else bothers you, let me know. I will get Papa to take care of them."

"Christie I have grown up a little since those days. I hope that I will never have to see any of the men that have brutalized me again, including my father. Honey, Tim loves you. If you want him, go after him. Make the first move. Tim spends a lot of time over at Docís. When you are over there alone with Tim, get him to give you a tour of Docís house. When you get into one of the bedrooms, pull him down on the bed and rape him."

Christie laughed and said, "Marie, that sound too simple. I donít think I have the nerve to do that.  If Tim rejects my advances, I think I will kill myself. I donít think I can do it."

Marie smiles and says, "When you are in the bedroom, pull him up close to you, unbutton his shirt, kiss him all over his chest, pull his body against yours and warm him up. When he is all heated up, back away from him, unbutton your dress and let it fall to the floor. Remove the rest of your clothes and let him look at your beautiful naked body. Undress him and let his clothes fall to the floor. Just stand there for a few minutes and let him look at your naked body. If that doesnít turn him on, grab him, pull him down on the bed and get on top him. Honey, the rest is up to you."

"Marie, if sound to simple, yet, I donít think I could do it. If I go that far and he still rejects me, I will kill myself."

"Christie, Tim is a young man. You will drive him crazy. He may be too aggressive. If you change your mind in the middle of this, you may have a problem of holding him off."

Christie let out a deep sigh and said, "He is over at the Bakery. I donít know if I can get him to take me over to Docís. Hilda may suspect something if we go over there together."

Marie said, "Tim may be over at Docís now. He usually studies in the back of the house on this side. I can see him from the upstairs bedroom. Come on; letís see if he is over there."

Tim:

I turned off the listening device, took off the headset, and open the shade. I grabbed a book and pretended that I was asleep. My heart was in my mouth. I lay quietly and waited. The windows were open and I heard the shades rattling. I wanted to look up. I did not move. I did not know how long they were going to be there. I heard Marie whisper, "He is asleep."

Christie said, "I canít wake him."

"Why not, go get him"

Christie paused then said, "Well,ÖÖÖ. OK."

I could hear the footsteps fading away. I could not tell if Marie was still looking down at me. I did not realize that I had been holding my breath. I let it out, and took in a deep breath.

I tried to relax, I could not. I waited for the doorbell to ring. It seemed that Christie had walked all over the Village before the doorbell rang. When the doorbell finally rang, it frightened me, I jumped, my book fell to the floor and I tripped getting out of the chair. I ran to the front door. I opened the door and saw Christie with a sheepish grin on her face. I could see that she was nervous. I was just as nervous as she was. I invited her in and said, "What a welcome surprise. How was your visit with Marie?"

She did not respond to my question. Before she could say anything, I asked, "Have I ever taken you through Docís home. I know that you have seen the first floor. Would you like to see the rest of the house?"

Surprised, Christie looked at me as if to say, "How did you know I was going to ask you to give me a tour of Docís house."

I had to open my big mouth. "Since you came to visit me, I thought that you would like to see the rest of the home you will eventually be living in."

Christie paused for a few seconds and then said, "I would love to see the second floor. I have seen the first floor; when I was here before, you did not take me to see the second floor."

Christie put her arm around me and snuggled up to me. Even though she had seen the first floor, we walk down the hall and I told about each room as we passed it. I knew she had never seen the kitchen and it was enormous. She had not said a word about any of the rooms. We climbed the back stairs slowly to the second floor. She peeked into the small bedrooms as we passed by without making any comments. I let her lead me. When we reached the master bedroom in front of the house, she took my hand, and pulled me into the room. My heart was in my mouth. My hands were perspiring. All ready, my oven had started to heat up. We were standing next to the bed. She did not say a word about the room. She let loose of my hand and walked over to the windows and pulled the shades down. She returned and started to unbutton my shirt. I was so nervous that I could feel my body trembling. Slowly she unbuttoned my shirt. After each button she kisses my chest. When she had finished unbuttoning my shirt, she pulled it out of my pants and spread the shirt out exposing my chest. She put her arms around my naked chest and continued kissing my chest. Suddenly she steps back, reaches over her shoulders and unbuttoned her dress and bra. She shook her arms and the dress fell to the floor. She stepped out of her shoes and slid her panties off. She looked me in the eyes for a few moments and then loosened my belt and unbuttoned my pants. She dropped my pants and pulled herself close to me. I stepped out of my pants, pulled Christie tightly against my body and gave her a long lingering kiss. Fire was burning within me. I turned around, lay down on the bed and pulled Christie on top of me. My whole body was burning, inside and out. I ran my hands all over her soft silky body. I felt that it was going to be over before we did anything. I tried to think of something else to dampen my desire, but I did not want to. Christie was lying on top of me for a long time. Christie sits up and slides her body down mine. She rises up to let me penetrate her. Her body touches mine. She stops and falls to the side of me, buries her face in the bed covers and whimpers, "Darling, forgive me. I want you so very much, but I am afraid to do anything. I wanted to do something and I remembered how old we were. I want our marriage to be beautiful. I want to wait until we get married. I have dreamed of my honeymoon. I donít want to spoil it by having sex now. I am sorry that I led you on. If you want to do something, we will. Please forgive me. I could not hold myself back. My love for you overwhelms me. Would you like to do something?"

Of course I wanted do something. I have been dying to make love with Christie. I love her and I respected her wishes. I pulled her beautiful body on top of me and said, "I cannot wait until we can make love. I want you very much. I will never force myself on your. We will have to suffer together. When you are ready, I will be ready. I love you."

We lay on the bed with our bodies wrapped around each other for a long time. Christie thanked me again and again for not going all the way. I was still aroused. I pulled the bed covers over me. I thought I would have an explosion. We heard a car drive up. We both jumped up and started putting our clothes on. We did not realize what time it was. Christie ran a comb through her hair and we hurried down the stairs. I grabbed my books and we strolled casually out of the house.

We looked up and down the street expecting to see Hoffmann. He wasnít there. We both were relieved. As we were walking across the street, out the corner of my eye I saw Marie watching from the upstairs window. I did not dare look at her. But, I did stop in the middle of the street and gave Christie a long kiss. We stood there looking into each otherís eyes. I wondered what Marie was thinking about. I saw the headlights turning the curve before I saw the car. We continued to the Bakery. Hoffmann made a u-turn; I opened the rear door, looked to see who the driver was before I helped Christie into the car, Christie and I waved and through kisses to each until they went around the curve in the street.

I went into the Bakery. Alfons had a slight smirk on his face. Hilda had a little more serious look on her face and said, "You and Christie were at Docís a long time."

I smiled at Hilda and said, "Yes we were. I love being alone with Christie very much. We were very close but," loudly I said "we did not do anything."

They did not say anything else to me. I continued past them and went upstairs and took a cold shower. With Christie on my mind, I could not think of anything else. I wanted her so much. I enjoyed feeling her soft, smooth beautiful body rubbing across mine. The fire that had run through my body was still there and it would not go away. I could not stop the desire that was flooding my body. I rolled and tossed. I could not fall asleep. I heard Hilda and Alfons go into her room and shut the door. I listened to them talking for a while. I could not hear what they were saying. My thoughts went back to Christie. The uncontrollable desire to make love with Christie filled every part of my body. I rolled and tossed in the bed. Without thinking, I got up and put my clothes on and went downstairs to the Bakery. I walked out into the streets and headed for Docís. The lust in my body was driving me crazy. I wanted to satisfy my sexual desire. I looked at my home. The lights upstairs were on. Marie is still awake. I headed for the front door and rang the doorbell. The downstairs light turned on. Through the curtains on the door I saw Marie in a sheer nightgown walking down the stairs. I could see the outline of her beautiful body through the nightgown. A flash of fear ran through my body. I turned to run down the steps. The door opened and I heard Marie say, "Tim, I have been waiting for you. Please come in."

I could not stop myself. I turned around. Marie reached out and took my hand and pulled me inside. She took a quick glance up and down the streets and shut the door. She reaches over and turns off the downstairs light. She pulled me into her arms, thrust her body tightly against mine and gave me a lingering kiss. Without saying a word, Marie leads me up the darken stairs into her bedroom. She pulls me down on top of her and held me tightly against her body and wraps her legs around my body. Marie rolls me over and sits on top of me and unbuttons my shirt. She kisses me all over my chest. When she reaches my belt, she unbuckles it and opens my pants. She pulls my pants down below my knees. She raises her body and sits on top of me. Again, I felt an explosion inside me. I rose up and lifted Marie off of me and walked into the bathroom and cleaned myself up. I opened the door and Marie was standing there. She pulls me down and kisses me. She pulls me back into the bedroom and onto the bed. Again she gets on top of me. My desired had gone away. She fondled with me for a while. I no longer wanted her. I lifted her off of me and left her lying on the bed. With a look of deep hunger in her beautiful face she says, "Please donít leave me now. I need you."

My desire was no longer in my body. I felt ashamed of myself. Lust had driven me into Marie arms again. I put my arms around her and said, "I donít know what come over me. Forgive me for coming over here. I could not hold myself back. I wanted you and I could not stop myself. What I have done is wrong. I want you very much. I have wanted you for a long time. Many nights I heard you and Hans making love. It drove me crazy. I would hear you taking a bath. I would watch you. I would fantasize about make love with you. I wanted to bust through the wall and take you in my arms and make mad passionate love with you. If I had stayed hidden any longer, I may have bust through the walls. My love for you is different than the love I have for Christie. When I am with Christie I feel completely different than the way I feel when I am with you. I want to make love with you every time I see you. How did you know that I would come over here tonight?"

Softly Marie says, "I did not know that you would come over here. I also have always had a deep desire to make love with you. After Christie left here and went next door. I envied her. I wanted to go to you. I could not go to sleep. I kept thinking about you. When I heard the doorbell, I knew it was you. I wish that you would have bust through the walls. You can make love with me now."

"Marie, if I did not love Christie, I would not leave you. I am so ashamed of what I have done. I still yearn for you. I want you very much. I cannot have you. I feel guilty for coming over here. I must go, please forgive me and please donít tell Christie."

I turned and headed down the stairs. Marie turned on the upstairs hall light. I looked over my shoulder and saw tears sparkling in Marieís eyes. Fire flowed through my body as I looked at her nude body. Lust again ran through my body. I could not take my eyes off of beautiful body. I took a step up the stairs. Again Marie stretched out her hand to me and pleaded, "Please do not leave me. I need you."

I took her hand and took another step up the stairs. I pause for a minute. I did not want to leave her. I stood there for a few moments. I could not take another step up the stairs. I turned and hurried down the step before I changed my mind. Again I looked back and through her a kiss. Marie returned the kiss. I went out the door and made sure that it was locked. I looked up at Marie; she waved at me and turned off the lights.

I crept back into the Bakery in the dark and took the bell in my hand. A voice said, "Tim."

I jumped. Alfons was standing there in the dark. He scared the hell out of me. He said, "I am sorry that I scared you. I heard you getting up. I thought you were coming down to get something to eat. You did not have any dinner. I was going to join you. I saw you go over to Marieís. She is a beautiful young lady and very desirable. I know she would make you a wonderful wife. I donít think you love her like you love Christie. Itís not fair to Christie or Marie. Think it over before you lose both of them. Would you like a piece of toast and a cup of coffee?"

I let out a deep sigh and said, "Why not, I know I wonít be able to go to sleep. Please donít tell Hilda. I am embarrassed that you and Marie know about my sexual obsessions."

Alfons put his hands on Tim shoulder and said, "Tim, we all have sexual obsessions. I have had them all of my life. I have done everything to keep my mind off of sex. I drowned myself in my studies when I was in school. Later, I drowned myself in my work during the years that I worked and I have drowned myself in alcohol since I stopped working. After I became an alcoholic, and when I look at a woman with a sexual desire flowing through my body and they would look back at me with discuss, the look they give me has made me hate woman and it has turned off my desire to have sex. I canít blame them. I never looked at myself in a mirror. I knew that I looked grotesque. When I passed a store front and I saw what I looked like, I would head for the nearest Tavern."

I made a snack for both of us. Alfons and I were sitting in the dark having our snack. The street lights were shining across us. Once our eyes became accustom to the darkness, we did not need a light. We could look out on the street. It did not do us any good. There was no one walking the streets. The calm was interrupted when Hilda popped out of the darkness and with a robust voice she said, "What are you two doing down here?"

She scared the hell out of both of us. Alfons whispered, "We are spying on the neighbors."

Hilda took him serious, and excitedly she said, "What are they doing."

Hilda tiptoed to the window and looked outside and said, "There is no one out there. What are you doing down here in the dark?"

Alfons stuck his hand out to Hilda. She took it. He pulled her close to him and kissed her on the hand and said, "Tim could not sleep and I could not either. I heard him roaming around down here and I decided to join him."

Hilda turned and headed to the stairs and said, "You two can stay down her all night. You will be dead tomorrow. I am going to bed. Good night and donít make any noise."

I thanked Alfons and told him that I was going to try to get some sleep. I climbed the stairs doing my best to miss all the squeakiest spots on the stairs and went to bed. After I pulled the covers over me, Hilda walked into the room bent down, kissed me on my forehead and said, "Honey, I know what you are going through. I hope you can get some sleep. At times, we all go through the same thing."

She turns around and walks out of the room without saying anything else. I laid there quietly wondering if she knew what I had done. Had she seen me go across the street to Marie? Did she know what Christie and I were doing? She must have gone through the same sexual desires when she and Leo were dating and she may be going through the same desires with Alfons. I lay there rolling and tossing until I finally fell

Christie:

After I got into the car, I thought Hoffmann knew what Tim and I had done. He must have notice the way that I looked at Tim or something. He tried to be fatherly. He had been my fatherís driver since I was a child. He had kids my own age. He asked, "Sweetheart, I have known you a long time. What the matter. What is bothering you? You can tell me."

Ha, he wants me to tell him that I tried to get Tim to have sex with me and I chickened out just before I would have lost my virginity. Politely I said, "Nothing is wrong. I am just a little tired. It was a very boring day. It was a very quiet day. We had very few customers. Most of the customers that came in wanted Hilda to charge the bread or give it to them for nothing. The way things are now, it is a wonder if anyone will be able to pay for the bread. The day was quite depressing."

Hoffmann did not question me anymore. I wanted to talk to someone, but who? I was afraid to talk to my parents. They would kill me. When I arrived home Mutti was working in her little garden. The lights on the street lit up the yard. She loved to work outside without the sun bearing down on her. I walked over to her and said, "Itís a little late for flower, isnít it?"

"Yes honey, these are bulbs. I am a little late. I should have planted them last fall. What the matter with you. You look awful."

What did Mutti see in my face? I wanted to hide where no one could see me. I felt that what I had done was showing on my face or was it the tone of my voice? A little upset I said, "Mutti, there is nothing wrong with me. Maybe I am bored to death and depressed. Things are so slow in the Village. I think half the people, it not more, are starving to death. If Hilda didnít give them bread, they all would be starving."

That did not satisfy Mutti. She asked, "Are you have a problem with your period?"

Still a little annoyed, "No Mutti, I just had my period, nothing is wrong with me."

"Did you and Tim have a squabble?"

My demeanor must have given me away. Mutti looked up at me, put her spade and bulbs down and got up. She put her arm around me and we walked into the house together. I hung my jacket in the closet and started to go upstairs to my room and hide my face. Mutti had gone into Papaís office. She was standing at the office door. She motioned to me to come in. She shut the door and sat in Papaís chair. She motioned for me to sit across from her. I was sure it was one of those Mutti and daughter talks coming up. How did she know? Hoffmann saw something. What did they see? I sat down across from Mutti. Before my butt hit the chair, Mutti asked, "How is Timís and your relationship these days?"

"Itís fine Mutti. Why do you ask?"

"Honey, you are not yourself. Did you have a fight with Tim?"

"No."

"Did he get fresh with you?"

Loudly I said, "No."

"Why are you so upset?"

I was getting a little peeved. I raised my voice and said, "Mutti, I am not upset."

"Honey I do not want to pressure you. I know that something is bothering my baby. As I have told you before. You can talk to me about anything and everything. Donít be too embarrassed to talk to me. I have gone through everything you are going through a dozen or more times. You do not have anyone else to talk to. Is Tim pressuring you to have sex with him? Tim is at the age of becoming a man. His hormones are going to be pushing him to the limit. He will want to control them, but he cannot. It is normal for a young man to have the desire to have sex. With a beautiful girl like you, he is probably going out of his mind. Expect him to want you to do something. Donít get mad at him; try to be patient with him. Tell him that you want to wait until you are married. Honey for your own good; do not do anything until you are married. Sex is a beautiful thing between couples that love each other. You and Tim are still too young to get married. I drove your father crazy. I have wanted to have this talk with you since I hear how much you and Tim were in love. Honey, when you get married, everyone expects couples to go off on their honeymoon and have sex. Your father and I had a beautiful honeymoon. I think we spent more time in bed than we spent on the beach. Sweetheart, do Tim and yourself a favor. You both are too young to be married. You will enjoy your honeymoon much more if you wait. I know you want to kiss and feel each otherís body. Let that be as far as it goes. I want to see that cheerful and happy smile that I see every time you come home. Tell Tim nicely that you want to wait until you are married."

I donít know what went through me. Talking with Mutti had relieved the pressure that was building inside my body. It made me feel relaxed. I let out a deep sigh and said, "Mutti, thank you so much, I was afraid to discuss Tim and my relationship with you. I am so happy that we are having this talk. But, it is not Tim. Itís me. I have wanted to make love with Tim since the first time I saw him. I fell in love with him the very first moment our eyes made contact. I am positive that he loves me as much as I love him. I cannot keep my hands off of him. He is very bashful. He is so cutie. I almost seduced him today. I felt terrible for forcing myself on him. He would have if I wanted too. I stopped at the very last moment. I think I am droving him crazy. Something came over me at the very last moment. I could not do it. Something inside me stopped me. I did not want to cheapen myself. I felt if I continued, Tim would think that I was a slut. I could not go ahead with it. Mutti, it was too close. I think Tim will hate me for want I did to him. I led him on and stopped at the very last moment."

Smiling Mutti said, "Honey, Tim will love you more for what you did. I cannot control your sexual desires by talking to you. I can only give you my opinion. I cannot lock you up or stop you from doing whatever you want to do. I can pray that you will always do the right thing. Honey, go freshen up and help me fix dinner. The way to a manís heart is through his stomach. You have to treat men like little boys, as they are."

The Village is falling apart:

Things were so slow in the Village that I did not get up until six. I was finished by ten. Hilda rationed the number of loafs of bread we baked and the number of pieces of pastry. We made smaller loafs so that what little we had was more evenly distributed in the Village.  Most of the Villagers were out of work. If they had enough money, they were making their own bread and pastries. A number of the Villagers did not have enough money to buy the ingredients and if they had the money, they could not find a place to buy the ingredients. We were baking less than a quarter of the bread that we had been baking. Supplies were getting harder to find and the prices had tripled. Hilda and Alfons spent half the day visiting different suppliers. Most of them did not have enough supplies to satisfy their regular customers, much less other supplierís customers. If things did not get better we would have to shut down the Bakery.

After what happen yesterday, I did not expect to see Christie this morning. Since we did not get up until six, she started coming in between eight and nine. I was inside the Bakery putting the newly baked bread on the racks behind the counter. I watched her get out of the car. I was surprised; she had that beautiful smile on her face. When I saw that beautiful smile, a wonderful feeling ran through my body. Her smile always made everyone around her smile. Seeing Christie smile, I could not help but smile back. She briskly walked from the car up to the door swinging her hips. Already, she had turned on my oven. I had to take a couple of deep breaths to try to turn the heat down in my oven. It did not work. When she stuck her head through the door, I already thought that my oven was going to overheat and explode. Nothing could have stopped me from going over and pulling her beautiful body next to mine. She took two quick steps and jumped up and wrapped her legs around my waist. She planted kisses all over my neck and face. At that moment I realized the different between lust and love. Of course I wanted to have sex with her. But, there was something must more beautiful running through my mind and body and it was not sex. It was beautiful feeling. I wanted to hold Christie in my arms forever. I loved my mother and Hilda very much. This was a completely different feeling. I held Christie tightly against my body and dance around the room with Christie in my arms. I did not want to let her out of my arms. This beautiful moment was interrupted by the bell on the door. An elderly gentleman came in. I stopped dancing. When he saw us he said, "Donít stop because of me. I can come back later."

Christie slowly slid down my body and turned to look at the man. One of her beautiful smiles spread across her face and she said, "Forgive us; we are madly in love. What can I get for you?"

"I would like to buy a couple loaves of bread."

The beautiful smile on her face faded away. Sympathetically, Christie walked over to the fragile little man and said, "I am sorry. Due to the rationing, we are only selling one loaf to a customer."

He searched through his pocket for the money. He put the money on the counter. What he found was not enough for one loaf. He asked if it was enough. Christie looked at me. I nodded. I searched through my packet for money. I took what I had on me and the money that was on the counter and handed the money to him. Tears came to the old manís eyes. I told him he could pay us when he had the money. I stuffed another loaf of bread into the bag with a couple pieces of pastries. He thanks me and turned and walked out. With tears running down her face, Christie said, "Thatís what I love about you. You have a heart. There are so many people that do not have a heart. They have no feeling for the unfortunate."

Christie came over to me, put her arms around me and laid her head on my chest. She looked up at me with tears still running down her cheeks. I wiped the tears away with my fingers and I said, "Hilda told me to give the elderly in the Village anything they wanted. Fritz extorted the elderly for all the money they had. Alfons told us that some of their homes are empty. They had to sell all of their processions to survive."

Through the coming months, there were many of our regular customers that did not have the money for a small loaf of bread. We ran out of all of the supplies for the Bakery. Other shops in the Village had already closed. The war was taking its toll. I made a sign and posted it on the door. It read, "We have run out of supplies. If we can find supplies, we will reopen."

I was very fortunate. I had enough money to pay the inflated prices for anything that we could purchase. Not only the lack of everything had kept us scrimping, Hilda put us on a diet. She did not want to deprive other Villages out of basic essential to survive. Hilda, Alfons and I roamed the countryside trying to find a farmer that had an excess on anything that was eatable. Thankful for Doc, we were able to afford the few things that we could buy.

I spent most of my free time studying. I was given a pass to visit Mutti and Papa. Since the Naziís were still trying to get access to the documents from the Factory, Mutti and Papa were under guard around the clock. Hilda felt that I should live on the Army Base with Mutti and Papa. She felt that if someone found out that Doctor Williams was my father, they would kidnap me and try to force information out of Papa. I had been locked up for four years and I was not going to hide again.

The days started to get shorter. There was a scarcity of fuel. It was getting colder every might. The streets were empty. Most of the businesses had closed.  A few wandering soles were walking the streets begging for food.  There was not enough fuel to keep everyone warm. Mutti turned down the thermostat to ration the little fuel that we had left. We all put on layers of clothes to keep the chill off of us.

The Nazi were fleeing the country. Many had burned their uniforms and were wearing civilian clothes. The low ranking Nazis in the party had been abandon by their comrades. The war was closing in around us. The Allies were coming from the West and the Russian were advancing from the East. The Villagers were getting ready to welcome the conquerors. They felt things had to be better than they were now. The Russians were closing in on Vienna. Christie and I were praying that the Americans would be the conquerors of our little Village.

It had been a hard winter for everyone. There wasnít enough fuel to run the oven. Alfons and I carried an old wood stove out of the basement. I connected the chimney to the oven chimney. Surprisingly, it kept the Bakery area warm. Some of the heat found its way to the bedrooms upstairs. I walked along the river banks and gathered wood. In a way, it was nice to have a change in my everyday activities. It kept me busy and from thinking about Christie all day. We had run out of everything. No fuel for the truck or the oven. The supply room had never been this empty. It the war was not over soon, we all would starve to death. Fortunately we found a farmer that had horded potatoes. Again, I thanked Doc for the money that he left me. I could very easily afford the price the farmer wanted. After we had the potatoes loaded Hilda blasted the farmer for charging such an outrages price for his potatoes. She told him that she hoped the ones he had left would rot before he could plant them. Almost every day we had some form of potatoes. 

After all the time that Papa and his crew had spent trying to straighten out the documents from the Factory, they still had not put all of them in order. Whoever had taken the documents did not package them in order. It was driving Papa and a dozen other men crazy. All of the latest information was in Papa mind. He felt that it would be easier to rewrite all the documents than trying to put them in order.

The tavern:

 General Bower took the padlock off of the Tavern a couple months ago. They had search every inch of the Tavern. The guards were gone. There were no more soldiers patrolling the Village. There were very few soldiers at the base. Most of the soldiers had been transferred to Germany or to the front lines. I did not want to have any part of the Tavern. I hated the sight of the Tavern. It reminded me of the Nazis. To me, it was a symbol of hate. One morning on my way over to Docs I looked at the Tavern. With the hate that was boiling inside of me, I wanted to burn it down. I had not been in the Tavern since the army arrested Fritz. My curiosity was getting the best of me. I spun around in the middle of the street and headed back to the Bakery. The door was locked. Alfons and Hilda had not come down. I unlocked the door and grabbed the bell so it would not ring. I tiptoe across the Bakery and got the key out of Hildaís office. I eased back outside and headed for the Tavern. As I approached the Tavern, a strange feeling of fear came across me. I knew that most of the Nazis had abandoned the Village and no one would be inside. As I turned the key in the lock, my old fears returned. I felt that a group of Nazis would attack me when I opened the door. I slowly opened the door. A large hand came down on my shoulder and a deep voice sang out, "It about time you opened up the Tavern."

I jumped. In a fraction of a second my whole life ran past me. I was not going to let anyone take me away. I was ready to fight for my life. I swung my arm around to hit the person behind me. I caught a glimpse of Herr Kuntz standing behind me. I stopped my swing just in time. Kuntz jumped back and stumbled. I grabbed him before he hit the ground and pulled him up. Kuntz shouts, "Why did you try to hit me?"

A shouting match started between us. I yelled, "You scared the hell out of me. I did not know who was sneaking up on me."

"You did not have to hit me."

"If I knew it was you, I would not have taken a swing at you."

"OK, open up I have been dying for a drink."

"I am sorry Herr Kuntz; I am not opening the bar. I have not been in the bar since the army shut it down. Fritz is locked up at the Army Base and he will probably be locked up for a long time. I want to see how much damage the army did."

"You have to have a least one bottle in there."

"I have no idea what is in here. You are welcome to look around."

Even though Kuntz scared the hell out of me, I was glad to have someone else go inside the tavern with me. The bar area did not look bad. As a matter of fact it looked quite neat, clean and orderly. Kuntz headed for the bar and I headed for the office in the rear. I could hear Kuntz slamming the cabinet doors shut and cursing to himself. I stopped and yelled, "Have you found a bottle?"

"No. Someone stole all the bottles."

"Fritz must have taken them with him."

  I chuckled to myself. I did not get a reply. After a few minutes I hear the front door being slammed shut. I returned to the bar and saw Kuntz with a look of frustration walking across the street to his home. I went back into the office. Like the bar, it was clean and neat. When I net Papa at the Tavern, I had peaked in a couple of the windows, the place was a mess. General Bower must have had someone clean the place up after they searched the Tavern. There wasnít any indication that the Nazis had been in the tavern. The poster and the flags were gone. There wasnít anything in the desk drawers or the closets. The kitchen was neater than the Bakery. All of the kitchen utensils were put away. The Tavern looked like it had been scrubbed and everything had been put in its proper place.

I went out to the bar and took a seat. I visualized what the Tavern looked like before the Nazis came. Mutti and Papa brought me here with them for dinner. I loved Muttiís cooking, but I liked to go out to dinner with them. I was very excited every time they took me along with them. The streets were filled with tourist. Everyone in the Village was happy. Smiles were on everyone faces. We were happily greeted by everyone that we passed. In the Tavern everyone was singing along with the accordion player. Mutti and Papa had taken me with them when they had dinner in the City. Everything was so proper. The waiters would strut around with napkins on their arms. I always felt that we were in church or at a funeral. The Tavern was so much livelier. The Tavern was my favorite place. I always had a glass of grape juice and a large sandwich. Mutti and Papa would have a glass of wine with their dinner. If it was in the early fall the wine would look like milk. I think they called it Storm Wine. The first time I saw it, I wanted to taste it. Mutti let me take a sip. I hated the taste. It had the taste of yeast. Everyone came to the Village just to have a few glasses of Storm Wine. Some people would spend the whole evening drinking. I was wondering how it would taste to me now. I did not have any desire to drink any type of alcoholic beverage. When I was younger I thought that I would end up on the streets like Alfons. As I sat there alone I prayed to God that the war would soon be over and the days before the war would soon return.

As much as I loved coming here before the war, now I hated it with a passion. I looking around the room, I realized it wasnít the tavern that I hated. It was the people that had been congregating in the tavern; the Tavern had no choice of who would be in it. People had the choice of who sat at the counter. I took another tour through all the rooms again. The bar, the chairs, the tables, the oven, the utensils, and the rooms was waiting for someone to use them, they were all inanimate objects. Why should I take my hate out on them? Use them for the good of the Village. There was a huge kitchen, why waste it just because Nazis had used it.

Before I went into hiding, the streets would be bustling at this time of morning. There was no one on the streets. I sat on the bar stool wondering what the Tavern and the Village would look like when the war was over. The Village was starting to wake up. People started to appear along the street. The hungry drawn faces peaked in the Tavern as they passed by. There were no smiles on their faces. No one was singing. A hollow feeling ran across my mind. I felt ashamed of myself. I had so much and they had nothing. I had seen the change over the last couple of years. I never thought about the condition of the poor soles in the Village, it started to sink in now. With all the money that Doc had left me, I still could not find enough food to feed the Villagers. There wasnít any to be had. An old man hobbling down the streets searching for coins in the gutter and along the sidewalk brought tears to my eyes. The Nazis did not have to lock him up and starve him to death. Condition in the Village was doing it for them. As I watched one after another aimlessly walking through the Village, I wondered where they were going. What were they looking for? Where had they been? I wanted to bring them in the Tavern and feed them. The desire to do more for my neighbors flooded my sole. I got up from the stool and walked back into the kitchen. A beautiful kitchen was going to waste and I wanted to burn it down. Across the street was more money than I could ever spend. A lot of greedy people were hoarding food while their neighbors were starving.

I closed up the Tavern and went back to the Bakery. I eased through the door and held the bell. The door squeaked. Hilda stuck her head around the partition and said, "You are just in time for breakfast. Come join us."

Alfons said, "You are up early where have you been?"

"I was going over to Docís to study for a while. Christie is not coming in and I donít fall asleep when I study in the morning. I was headed to Docs and I saw the Tavern. I wanted to see what had happen to it. I expected to see the same mess that we saw in some of the homes. Have you been down to the Tavern?"

Hilda nodded and said, "Alfons and I went down there the day they took the chains off the doors. An Officer from the Army Base had a crew in there cleaning it up. We asked them to remove all of the posters and leave only the furniture in the office. I gave the wine and whiskey that Fritz had left to the soldiers that cleaned the Tavern. They were happy and so was I."

I interrupted Hilda and said, "Heir Kunz came over there when I opened it up this morning. He though we were opening the Tavern for business. I want to open it up for the poor. I want to feed those that do not have any money. I know that people in the City and the country are hording food. I bet, for a price, I can get all the food I want." 

Hilda and Alfons looked at each other. They both nodded an approval. At first I thought that they felt I was crazy. I was wrong. Hilda said, "Tim that a wonderful idea. I think Doc would applaud you from the grave. We have one problem. There is no gasoline anywhere. We would need the truck to canvas the City to find someone with food."

I interrupted Hilda, "I know where we can get gas. At least, I hope so. It has been horded for an emergency. We have an emergency. We have people all over the Village that cannot leave because transportation has come to a halt. Christie told me that General Bower had been planning for this problem for a long time. He has been stockpiling food, clothing and fuel for the last couple of year. She told me that anyone that could get to the Army Base would be fed. Once a day they feed over four hundred people. Some have walked for miles with small children in their arms just to get a bowl of soup, a few slices of bread, a couple of scoops of rice or a couple spoons full of beans. They are limiting the amount they are feeding them because they donít know how long the war will last. They would like to give them more, but everyday more people show up. Frau Bower, Mutti and Christie are helping to prepare and serve the food."

"Tim, if you had gasoline how would you get everyone out there?"

"We would not have to take them out the Army Base. They could bring some of the food to the Village. We could prepare the food and feed them at the Tavern. I would pay General Bower for the food and the gas. I will call Christie and ask her to talk to her Papa. He will do anything she wants."

I called Christie and told her about the starving people in the Village. Some are so weak that they cannot walk out of the Village. They would die trying to walk to the Army Base. I told her we could use the Tavern to prepare and distribute the food. Christie said that she would talk to her father.

Later that day I saw General Bower and Christie pulling up in front of the Bakery. I walked outside to greet them. Christie got out of the car first with that beautiful smile. She dashes over to me and said, "You are wonderful. Papa had driven through the Village and saw all the hungry people walking the streets. You have a wonderful idea. The food kitchen was too small to feed all of them inside. It is getting to cold outside. Papa set up one of the barrack to service the food. When you called and told me that you wanted to use the Tavern, I almost jumped through the phone. I did not want to say anything until I told Papa."

Bower took a little longer getting out of the car. He waved at me and said, "I guess Christie has told you that I had been thinking about setting up a place in the Village where we could distribute food. I never thought about the Tavern. How many people can we get in there at one time?"

Christie and I walked over to her father. We shook hands. I wasnít sure how many people we could serve at one time. I said, "I donít know, maybe 50 or 60 in the front of the Tavern. There is a large room in the rear. It is empty. We would have to get some tables and chairs and possibly and another 50 or more in the back room. It is quite large. "

Christie smiled and said, "There are hundreds of table and chairs at the base. Papa, could we use them?"

"Why not, they would probably rot before we have another war. The base is almost empty now. There is only a skeleton crew at the base."

The problem of where to feed the unfortunate was solved. Now, the problem is, where do we get the people to cook and serve the food? Mutti put up a "Help Wanted" sign. That problem was solved before the day was over. The Villagers would work around the clock for free food. The problem was solved. In the early morning an Army truck pick up the workers in the Village and took them to the Army Base. They would prepare the food at the Army Base and deliver the food to the Tavern around noon. There was a line of people waiting hours before the food arrived. The servings were small. But, it was enough to keep everyone alive. Hilda would greet everyone as they came in. She knew most of the faces in the Village. When someone came in for seconds, she would step in front of them, tilt her head, look over the top of her glasses and just stare at them. They would sheepishly get out of the line and turn around and walk out. She would not embarrass them. She would smile and not say a word. If they tried to walk around her she would continue stepping in front of them until they left.

We all were thankful that we did not starve. The American forces were getting closer. They had very little resistance. Throughout the winter the portions got smaller and so did our overweight neighbors. Everyone had slimmed down, including me.

The Allies had circled the village:

Spring and the Allies came together. The Allies were welcome by all. With them came food and supplies. General Bower surrendered to the Allies. The Allied Officers was well informed of what had been going on at the Factory. Someone had been feeding them information. They knew so much about the Villagers that I thought someone had been looking over our shoulders. The transition went very smoothly, I wondered who had told the Allies about us. Was it General Bower or Papa, or someone else? They even knew about Christie and me. I was so accustomed to being called Karl, when one of the American Officers came up and introduce himself and called me Tim, for a moment I was not sure he was talking to me. Fortunately, it did not take long to get my identity back. 

With the war in Europe over, life goes on:

They Americans put troops around the Army Base. Security at the base started again. American soldier were stationed at the Army Base. The Village started to come back to life. Supplies started to arrive. We fired up the oven and started baking again. As much as I hated the Tavern, I had gotten over it when we were feeding the unfortunate. The gentleman that had been managing the Tavern for Fritz came in one morning and asked if I was going to open the Tavern. One part of me still wanted to tear it down. The other part of me missed the joy and excitement that went on before the war. I told the man that I had not made up my mind and we were still having trouble getting some supplies. I asked him to call me in about a week. I had a long talk with my parents and Hilda. Alfons was the one that convinced me to reopen the Tavern. At first I thought that he was going back to his old habit and drink up all the profits. I was wrong. He told me that the Village would fall apart if the Tavern was not reopened. The Tavern was the catalyses of the Village. Without the Tavern, the Village would die. The Vineyard, Winery, and the Tavern kept the Village alive. Without them, there was nothing to attract the tourist and the people from the City and surrounding Villages. I asked Alfons about the man that wanted to manage the Tavern. Alfons smiled and said, "Pepperell hates Fritz as much if not more than you do. Pepperell felt like Fritz was holding a gun to his head. He kept his mouth shut and lived in misery. He thought that someday he would tell Fritz how much he hated him and Fritz would kill him. When a customer did not finish their bottle of wine, Pepperell would save it for me. He never gave me too much. He gave me enough to keep me happy. When he closed up at night he would leave the bottle behind a drain pipe that came from the roof. I donít think you will have any problem with Pepperell."

Pepperell called again and I told him he had the job. I told him that I did not know how to run a Tavern. It was all up to him.  I thought that it would take months before the Tavern opened; Pepperell had the grand opening about two weeks later. Hilda and Alfons scrutinized the bills that were coming in for the Tavern supplies. They thought that Pepperell had bought too much. Surprisingly, he had bought too little. We had more business than expected. With the American Army only a few miles down the road, it kept the Tavern full from noon to midnight. Pepperell hired a few of the old employees and a few new ones. I asked him to hire Marie. When I told him to give Marie the same salary that he was making, he did not question me. From the questioning look on Pepperell face, I felt that I should tell him why. I told him that Marie had fed me for four years and never asked me for a shilling. He was quite surprised that I had lived under Hansí nose. Pepperell said that if Hans had known that I was in the house he would have told the Nazis. This had put questions in my mind. Was Hans trying to trick me when he prayed to my parents? What really went on in Hansí mind? 

While Marie was working at the Tavern she met a nice American soldier. His name was Mitch. He was a very good looking young man. He was twenty-three and Marie would be twenty on her birthday. Her birthday was only a week away. I asked Marie what she wanted for her birthday. She told me that I had already given her a birthday present. Marie told me that she had not spent all of the money that I had given her. She did not know how long the war would last and she had been very frugal. We held her birthday party at the Tavern. For her birthday, I gave her money. I also wanted to give Marie more money for a wedding present. If she went to America with Mitch, she would need a lot of money. My parents were pressing me to go to America with them and I was afraid that I would not be here for Marie's wedding. One evening when I was at Docís alone, I heard her coming home from work. I went out the back door of Docís and knocked on the back door of my home. Marie cautiously walked down the hall then stops. She called out, "Who is there and what do you want?"

Quietly I said, "Tim."

Still not knowing who was outside, she said, "I could not understand you. What did you say?"

A little louder, I said, "Karl."

She eased down the hall through the kitchen. She turned on the kitchen light and saw me through the window in the door. She ran over to the door and quickly opens the door and asked, "What are you doing out there?"

"I did not want anyone to see me. I want to give you a wedding present. I may not be here when you get married. My parents want me to go to American with them. They want to see their parents and introduce me to them. They have not seen me since I was a baby." 

I gave Marie a nicely wrapped box with money inside it. She starts to open it up. I put my hand across the box and told her to wait until I leave. She pushes my hand away and tore the wrapping paper off of the box and opens it. She saw the stack of bills and let out a deep sigh. Marie looks up at me and smiled. She reaches past me and turns the kitchen light off. She drops the box and pulled me close to her. She pressed her body tightly against mine. Lust flowed through my body. Marie took her hands from my shoulder and started to unbutton her dress. I took her hands into mine and said, "Please donít. I love you very much. I want you and Mitch to be happy. I will always love you as a dear friend. I will never forget you. If you ever need my help, you can always come to me. I will be here for you. I donít only love you for your beauty and affection. I love you for the kindness that you showed me. You helped me through the hardest part of my life. You were out of my reach when Hans was with you. When you brought Christie into my life, I still wanted you, but you were still with Hans and Christie stole my heart. I donít want to mess up your life and I donít want to mess up my life with Christie. I will always love you."

Marie put her arms around my neck and kisses me on my cheek. She said, "Tim, I understand. You have been over generous to me. I could not hold myself back. I have always loved you. As I had said before, I want to repay you for your generosity. There is no other way that I can show my appreciation. I wanted to show you the love I have for you."

Marie was looking at the floor. She looks up at me with tears in her eyes and said, "I love Mitch very much. I donít want anything to upset our love for each other either. Before Mitch, I have never had anyone beside you that has shown any love for me. I donít want anything to interfere with my love for Mitch. I will always love you. Unfortunately, our love for each other was not meant to be."

I slid out of Marie arms and walked out the door. I looked back and Marie through me a kiss and whispered, "I will always love you."

I pushed my way through the overgrown weeds in both of our yards. The desire to make love with Marie still flooded my body. I tried to think of something else. Memories of her beautiful body kept flashing through my mind.

I had given Marie enough money so she and Mitch could go to American and have enough to live on until Mitch got a job. Mitch was adducted into the Army right after he graduated from High School. He wanted to go back to school and become a lawyer.

I wondered if Marie would tell Mitch where she got the money. If she did, what would he think? If she told him that I had given it to her. Would it interfere with their love for each other? He will know that she was not a virgin. Will it make a difference in his love for her? I hope not. After all the years with Hans, she deserves happiness.

Christie and I were happy for Marie. I still had a very close feeling for her. Lust still ran through my body. I have often wondered what my life would be like if I chose Marie instead of Christie. Would I be happy with someone older than I am? Knowing that she lived with Hans for almost seven years; would that bother me later on in my life? Question, question and more questions ran through my mind. I went back to the Bakery and tried to forget about Marie. Whenever I glance outside and I saw my home, thoughts of Marie would return. Would I ever be able to forget about Marie? I did not want those thoughts to destroy my love for Christie.

Mitch wanted to marry Marie and take her back to America with him. There was an enormous amount of paper work, rules and regulations that they had to go through before they could get married and go to America together. With the present circumstances, it looked like they would have to wait until the war was over and Mitch was out of the Army before he could take Marie to America.

After Germany surrendered to the Allies, Mitch was transferred back to America. He could not take Marie with him. The war with Japan was still going on. Everyone expected that it would go on for another year or two if not longer.  I felt sorry for her. She had found someone that she loved and he was taken away from her. Mitch promised her that he would return. We all had our doubts, including Marie. I felt sorry for Marie. She did not want to go to America until she knew that Mitch really wanted to take her home with him and they were married. Having Marie next door and seeing her lonely eyes looking at me when we passed each other brought back the memories of the night I left her in the bedroom and the word she had said when I walked down the stairs, "Please donít leave me now. I need you." Will I ever forget the sorrowful look on her face? It tore my heart apart when I left her. The yearning in her eyes almost pulled me back into the bedroom with her. What was it that pulled me away from her? Was it my love for Christie? How could I have done this to her after she had kept me alive by stealing food and never telling Hans that I was hiding in walls?

One evening Christie and I were having dinner together in the Tavern. I looked down the street and saw a group of people walking down the middle of the street. They all looked starved. I had a flashback to the day they marched Peter and his parents down the streets. I got up and walked outside. Christie followed me. I pulled her close to me and looked at the gaunt faces as they passed by. Surprisingly, I recognized some of them. I looked for Peter and Heather and their parents. I did not see anyone that looked like them. The soldiers that were accompanying them told them to be patient. There would be transportation to the Army Base. There had been a mix-up. The train engineer let them off at the Village train station. He should have dropped them off at the main station in the City. The Army trucks had gone to the City to pick them up. After a few phone calls the problem was solved.  The Americans were going to house them at the Army Base until they could find jobs and accommodations could be arranged for them. Christie and I went over to a young man that was in his mid twenties. I ask him if he had lived in the Village. He and his parents had lived in the Village. He was separated from his parents. He did not know where his parents had been sent to. He was sent to a slave labor camp. He had spent the last seven years in a coal mine. We talked to him until the trucks arrived and took them away.

Since I owned most of the homes in the village and some of them were empty. I felt that I could let some of them live in the empty homes in the Village. Alfons and I went through the ledgers and looked for the names of the people that lived in the Village before the Nazis took them away. I requested the names of the men that had returned to the Village. There were four men that had lived in the Village with their parent before the Nazis had taken them away. None of the four owned their home. Of the seven homes that were owned by people that were taken away, three were empty. The four that were occupied had been owned by Jews that were taken away. Alfons had not collected rent from them. Obviously, I did not own the homes. Yet, I owned the land the homes were on. Doc had charged a small fee for leasing the land the homes were built on. Alfons looked through the files and found out that Doc had sold the homes to friends of his. The names on the deeds did not match any of the names of the men that had returned. I did not think it was right for the homes that were owned by people that the Nazis had taken away should be occupied by someone that did not own them. Heatherís, Peterís and two more homes were occupied by people that did not own the homes. Who had allowed them to move in? Who was receiving the rent for the homes?

Against Hilda, Alfons and my own judgment, I knocked on the door of one the residents. The man that came to the door at the first house that I went to had been coming to the Bakery over the years. With fear and hate running through my mind, I said, "Sir, who gave you permission to live in this house and what is your name?"

He started to slam the door in my face. I blocked the door. He tried to push the door closed. I said, "Do you want me to tell the Americans that you are Nazi?"

I could see the flash of fear spreading across his face. All his strength seemed to flow out of his body. The pressure on the door eased. His cheeks went pail. I asked him if he had any identification. He reached for his wallet and removed his identification card. I recognized his name. Alfons had made a list of the Nazi Party members that were still in the Village. His name was on the list. I said, "I know that you are a member of the Nazi Party. This house does not belong to you. Who gave you permission to live in this house?"

I should not have asked. I already knew. It was Kreegon. I told him that the owners would be coming back and there would be problems if he still lived in the house when they returned. I mentioned that some of the owners have already returned and are living at the Army Base. When they are able, they will be moving back into their homes. I lied to him and said, "When the owner came home, I did not want them to have a problem with a Nazi living in their home."

I was surprised; he said that he would move out as soon as he found another place to live.

The second home that I went to was similar. Kreegon had rented the house to the family. They grudgingly agreed to move out. The ones that had lived in the homes that were empty must have fled the country and gone to South America. They probably did not want to face the Villagers when the war was over. They were on Alfons list of Nazis.

There were two more houses that were occupied by people that did not own the houses. They lived in Peterís and Heatherís home. They were nice people with small children. They were not on Alfons list of Nazis. I was reluctant to question them. If by chance Peter and Heather came home, I did not want them to have any problem with the tenants. I did not want to kick them out as I had with the Nazis. The wife of the tenant that lived in Peter home came in to purchase some pastries. I told her that I would like to talk to her in private. A frightened look came across her face. I think she felt a little uneasy about going into Hildaís office with me alone. I invited her to have a seat. Cautiously she entered the office and sat down. I did not close the door. Rather than beat around the bush, I asked her if she was related to the owner of the house she was living in. She looked confused and did not say anything. I said, "The family that owns the home may be returning to the Village. You may have to move out. Who rented the house to you?"

With resentment, she said, "We own the house."

I asked, "Who sold the house to you?"

Still with a little of arrogance, she said, "Fritz!"

Politely, I said, "Fritz did not own the house. The family that lived there was taken away by the Nazis and I own the land the house is built on. Fritz and the Nazis illegally took over the property when the Nazis took over. The land or the home has not been transfer to you or Fritz. Since the fee for leasing the property has not been paid, I have legal rights to the property that is on the land. The lease fee has not been paid in seven years. According to the terms of the lease, if the lease fee is not paid within six months, I have rights to the property on my land. I am not going to ask you and your family to move. When your husband comes home, please have him come and see me."

The woman was quite upset. I could not blame her. She, like hundreds or other was robbed by Kreegon and Fritz. It would be unfair to let her family take over the property since it was illegally taken over.

The family that lived in Heatherís home also was fleeced by Fritz and Kreegon. I had a meeting with Kuen and the two families. Even though they were very disturbed, we reached an agreement so they could continue to live in the homes. If either of the owners returned, they had to vacate the property. I did not ask for the last seven years of lease fees. They agreed to pay the lease fee.

Alfons had already started searching through the records for homes that were owned by Fritz or Kreegon. There were over a hundred homes in the City and the surrounding Villages that they owned. We had no idea how many properties were fraudulently taken by the Nazis. When the new government was seated Alfons was going to have the deeds voided and returned to the original owners. We hoped they had survived the war or had family members that we could contact.

 

The money in the safe:

Alfons knew that we had a money problem. Since the war was over, some of the money that was in the safe may not be of any value. I had not gone through all the stacks of bill that were in the safe. One morning Hilda, Alfons and I went over to Docís to see what was in the safe. I climbed up on a chair and removed all the gold coins from the top of the stacks. I handed Hilda and Alfons the stack of money. They stacked the money on Docís desk. When we were finished, we separated the different currencies. There were currencies from various European countries and American. Alfons knew that since the war was over, the currency would probably change. He felt that we had to exchange the Reichsmark and other currencies to dollars or pounds. We spent part of two days sorting the money and trying to decide what we had to do. I had given Marie some of the Reichsmark and we felt that she would not be able to use it if they changed the currency. Alfons offered to run around Europe and make the transactions. I wanted to help him but Hilda told me that Alfons knew more about finances than I did and to let him make all the transactions. Alfons spent the next six months running around Europe transferring the various currencies into dollars and pounds. We lost about fifteen percent of the value, but if we had waited we would have lost a lot more. I gave Marie dollars for the Reichsmark that I had given her. Since she was working at the Tavern, she did not have to dip into the dollars. She could save it until she went to America.

 

Our trip to America:

The American Army wanted to send Mutti and Papa back to America for their safety. The company that Papa had been working for wanted Papa back in America. They had a contract with the Army to continue their work. Mutti and Papa wanted me to go with them. I was torn between going to America and staying in Austria. I still had not finished my college education. I agreed to go back to America with them, but I wanted to continue my education in Austria. Also, I did not want to leave Christie and Hilda. I agreed to go to America with them and visit my grandparents. The parting was difficult. Hilda and Christie though that they would never see me again. I promised them both that I would return. The question they wanted to know was when. I did not know.

Arrangements were made by the Army to send us with thousands of soldiers that were heading home or to the South Pacific. The accommodation we had was much better than the soldiers. They had them stacked in like sardines. The trip to American was very calm. Still there were a number of people that got seasick. When we landed in New York the Army guided us through customs and immigrations. They even had applied for citizenship papers for me. It looked like I would have citizenship in two countries.

The trip to see my grandparents lasted only a couple of weeks. It looked like the American Army had taken over Mutti and Papa lives like the Nazis had. Mutti and I didnít see very much of Papa after we left my grandparents. Papa though that when the American had freed him from the Nazis, he would be free. No such luck.

The Army provided us with a small home on an Army Base. We had not gotten settled down, and the Army wanted Papa to go back to work. Papa had spent the day discussing his position and his salary with a group of Army Officers. When Papa walked into our quarters, we had never seen him look so depressed. Mutti and I did not say anything. While he was putting his coat in the closet, Mutti told me not to question Papa about his day. She didnít like the way he looked. He must have had a discouraging day and to let Papa tell us what happened. We waited until he put his coat away. Mutti got up to greet him. I got up and followed Mutti. She reaches up and caresses his cheeks and gave Papa a kiss. Papa said, "Tim I think I am going back to Austria with you. I had more freedom there than I have here. I cannot go anywhere without having guards follow me everywhere I go."

Papa told us that the Army had offered Papa a job he could not refuse. They were not going to let Papa refuse the job. He had become a military top secret. He knows too much about the rocket fuel and the rocket components to let him run around without escorts. We sat down and let Papa let off a little steam. Papa would still be working for the same company that he was working for before the war. The company that he had worked for before the war wanted to negotiate with the Army for Papa. The company felt that what was in Papa mind was theirs. The Army and the companyís lawyers got into a heated argument over who had control of Papaís mind and the work that he was doing for the last seven years. Papa had sat there letting them fight over him without them resolving anything. When they quieted down, Papa asked them if they were finished. They nodded their heads without saying anything. Papa told them that it was nice of both for them to claim him as their property. He informed them that neither one of them owned him and that the company and the government had abandoned him and his family. They had not made any effort to free him and his family. Now like the Nazis, they wanted to take over his life. He told them that he and his family had been prisoners for the last seven years and no one owned him now. Papa got up and walked out of the meeting. They verbally attacked papa as he was leaving the meeting. He turned around and told the officers if they are the ones that confiscated the documents, they should not try to use the formulas in the documents for rocket fuel. It they did they would blow themselves up. The formulas were encrypted so the Nazis would not be able to use them. He told them that there were only two people that knew the code to decipher the formulas and he wasnít one of them. He knew the formulas by heart. He walked out of the meeting leaving them guessing.

I stood up and told Papa that he and Mutti would not have to ever work again. I had more money than we would ever spend. Papa came over to me and said, "Tim, I would love to take you up on your offer. I have dreamed of sending a space ship into outer space since I was your age. I am on the brink of having it come true. I am too close to seeing my dreams come true to abandon my work now. I cannot do it alone. I need the finances of the Government. I am going to work for them on my terms, not theirs. I will be the one that controls my destiny in my life, no one else."

Mutti hugged Papa and said, "Darling, I have always been very proud of you. I am very happy that you stood up to them. I want your dreams to come true as much as you do. Tomorrow, go over to headquarters and give them hell. Tell them what you want. I will be with you all the way and I know Tim will be also."

"Papa, you and Mutti have suffered enough. You have the Nazis off of your back, donít let the Americans enslave you. You told me the day that I went into hiding the Nazi would enslave me if they caught me. The Nazis enslave you. Donít fall into the same trap that you have been in for the last seven years. Fight back. Doc left me a fortune. If you need it to make your dream come true, it is all yours."

"Tim that is very generous of you. I am not going to spend your money or my money to make my dreams come true. They want the information that is in my head and they will have to pay for it."

Papa held this ground. He got everything he wanted. I saw happiness in Papaís face again. It put smiles on Mutti and my face. To know that they were happy made me feel happy even though I missed my other family. 

The war in the South Pacific ended. Soldiers were coming home. It ended on my birthday. What a birthday present. The world was happy again. Everyone was celebrating in the streets. There were happy faces everywhere. Even though I was happy to be with my parents, I was bored. My life in America was getting more boring every day. I missed my adopted family and especially Christie.

I had been in America for about six months. Mutti and I had taken short trips to New York and Washington DC. During the summer we went to the beaches in New Jersey. This had not satisfied my hunger. I was starting to get homesick. Papa was always working. Mutti had made friends with the wives of Papa associates. At least we had the evenings together. I enjoyed the evenings with Mutti and Papa, but inside of me, I was yearning to go back home. Mutti found a job as a substitute teacher. If she wasnít with her friends she was teaching. I became more bored; I thought that my life was wasting away. I wanted to go back to Austria. I missed Christie and there was nothing here for me. Papa played hard ball with the American and they paid him generously for it. Mutti and Papa were heartbroken when I told her that I was going home. She and Papa understood my feeling and told me to keep in touch. After a tearful departure, I headed back to Austria to see my love. The boat ride back was not very interesting. It was cold wet and foggy. The train took the same path that it had leaving Austria. I saw the views from a different view point. I think the train stopped at every house along the way. I became very impatient. To kill time, I walked the length of the train dozens of times. When the train finally pulled into the City, I saw my beautiful sweetheart standing along the tracks impatiently waiting; she was anxiously looking at the train. I hoped that she was waiting for me. I had not told her when I was coming home. Who was she waiting for? I wanted to surprise her. She must not have seen me in the train. When I stepped out of the train, she was watching the passenger exiting another car. I thought that she was waiting for someone else. A little spurt of jealousy went through my body. I walked up behind her and put my arms around her. She pulls away and turns around with an angry look on her face. I smiled at her and joy flowed from her face. Tears streamed down her face. She pulled my head down and planted kisses across my face. I lifted her chin and asked, "Who were you waiting for and why did you have such a sad look on your face?"

With tears of happiness, Christie looked down and said, "You have been gone so long that I thought that you would never come back. I was waiting for you. Your Mutti sent me a telegram and she said that you should be arriving today. When I did not see you looking out the windows like everyone else, I thought that I would never see you again." 

"Christie, nothing in this world would have kept me from coming back to be with you. I was sitting on the far side of the train. Before the train stopped everyone dashed to the window on this side of the train. As the train passed, in-between the heads I saw the most beautiful young lady straining her eyes looking for someone. I did not expect to see you waiting for me. I thought you were waiting for someone else. I wanted to surprise you. When I saw your beautiful face, a flash of excitement flowed through my body. I wanted to push them out of the way and wave to you. I could not push my way through the crowd."

Christie took my hand and led me to a small car parked along the track. It was her fatherís car. He had resigned his commission and was on the way to America. Papa had pulled some strings and the Americans hired General Bower and other members of the research time. The Americans had taken over the Army Base. I asked Christie, "Where is your family living?"

She took her eyes off of me for a second and then said, "In your home, your father told Papa that we could live there until Papa gets settled in America."

"What happened to Marie?"

"She and the American soldier got married. He was discharged from the Army. He came back to Austria the day after they discharged him. He could not wait to get back. He picked up Marie and took her back to American with him. They had a small wedding and I was the brideís maid."

I was surprised how good Christie could drive. She told me that her father started teaching her a couple years before we met. She told me that she had driven every army vehicles at the base including a tank.

When we hit the cobblestone streets of the Village, I knew that I was home again. A strange feeling came across me. I had never felt this way in my life. A feeling of fulfillment ran through my body. Since I left the Village, it had come alive again. The shops had reopened and people were busy hurrying down the streets with smiles on their faces. The trolleys were working and they were full. I was overcome by a strange feeling that came over me. I tried to explain it to Christie. She had a similar feeling when she and her family moved into the Village. Her family had been detained at the base until the transition was completed. Hilda had hired a young woman to help out until Christie could return. Christie did not want to take over the young woman job and she was busy helping her parents move. She felt that the young girl needed the job more than she did.

Christie pulled up in front of the Bakery. A small sign was posted on the door. It read, "Welcome home Tim/Karl."

I smiled to myself and slightly chuckled. We got out of the car and walked into the Bakery. There was no one around. I asked Christie, "Where is everyone?"

Before she could answer, Hilda, Alfons, and a young girl came out from behind the partition, and they welcomed me home. The young girl was carrying a large cake that Hilda and Alfons had made for me. It had "Welcome Home" written across it. They introduced me to the young girl that had taken Christie place. Her name was Alice. I pulled Hilda and Alfons close to my body. Tears trickled down my cheeks. I knew I was home again. Yet, I had already started to miss my own parents. I loved my parents very much. I also loved my other family. I missed waking up in the morning and seeing them with me. I was torn between my two families. Christie was the one that tilted the scale for me to return. From the day that I left till today, my mind was constantly thinking about Christie. Seeing her anxious face when the train pulled in, I knew that she must have been thinking of me also. At least, I hoped so.

I spent an hour hugging, kissing, eating cake and telling them about my trip. I took my suitcase to my room on the second floor. The same feeling that I had when I entered the Village came back again. I was home. I dropped my suitcase on the bed, cleaned up and headed back downstairs. I did not want to miss a minute with my family and Christie. Hilda had prepared a wonderful dinner with all of my favorite dishes. Christie, her Mutti and her brother and sister had joined us for dinner. As usual I stuffed myself. Again, I told everyone about my trip to America. When I caught myself telling them the same thing over again, like Mutti and Papa, no one said a thing or stopped me. I felt a little embarrassed when I realized that I had already told them the same thing once or twice before. They would smile and let me continue. Hilda let Alfons have a small glass of champagne to toast my return. I had told them when I left that I would return. I think they all had a little doubt. They all had been wondering if my parents would let me return alone. I had been separated from my parents for over six years. I also was surprised that Mutti and Papa let me return to Austria.

As much as I had missed Mutti and Papa, and wanted to be with them, I also missed Hilda, Alfons and especially Christie. I wanted to return to my real home.

Alfons told me what had happen in the Village while I was away. The Village had started to recover. Most of the empty homes had been rented. A large corporation in America had purchased the grounds where the old Factory was located. A new building was going up. No one knew what they were going to manufacture. New faces had started to appear in the Village. Business at the Tavern had picked up. Alfons was still changing the Reichsmark to dollars. He was adamant that the currency would change. Doc had told me how brilliant Alfons was. Doc was so right. The Reichsmark was change to the Austrian Schilling.

At dinner one evening we were talking about the Nazi supporters that had been taken away. The list of Nazis that Doc had mailed to the Allies helped the American soldiers find the Nazis and arrest them. They will be tried by a tribunal. I knew that Doc had sent letters to the commanding officers of the Allies earlier in the war. Alfons had given them the list that we found in one of the homes. They were picking up Nazis that were no on the list. How did Doc know about the one that popped up later? Alfons asked, "Tim, when you went through Docís house, did you find the radio room on the third floor?"

With surprise, I said, "No. "What radio room?"

Alfons smiled and said, "It not a room. It is more like a hidden closet. (I thought that Alfons was talking about the listing room.) Doc kept the Americans up to date on what was going on in the Village. Before he died, he showed the room to me. He told me that he did not want you to get involved. He felt that you had a long life ahead of you and he wanted you to enjoy it. If the Nazis found out about the radio, they would torture you for information and then kill you. When you asked me if I knew about the third floor, I thought that you had found the radio room. I was relieved when you told me that I could sleep up there. Doc had let me sleep up there when I wanted. I already had a key for the third floor. Doc had been communicating with the Allies before the Nazis attacked Britain. That is how the Americans knew about your father, you and the Factory. According to Doc, there werenít any secrets about what was going on at the Factory. Everyone that knew or associated with Doc was telling him bit and pieces about the Factory. He pieced these bits of information together and radioed the Allies. This is one of the reasons that the American advanced to the City and Village. They wanted to question the research team at the Factory, especially your father."

Curious, I asked, "Did you talk to the Allies?"

"Yes, Doc thought of everything. He must have know that he did not have long to live. He told the Allies all about me. He told them I was the Village drunk. He told them that when I was sober and sometimes when I am drunk, I was quite rational and could be trusted. I donít know how he got that idea of me. After you went to America, the officer that Doc and I communicated with came to see me. I had talked to him a few times before Doc passed away and a few times afterwards. After the war was over, I radioed them and told them where I was living. The man that I was communicating with wanted so much to meet Doc. He wanted to personally thank Doc for his help over the years. When I showed him Docís radio room, tears came to his eyes and he said, "I can still hear his desperate voice in my mind. I regret that I never got to meet him in person."

Doc had met someone in Switzerland before the war started. They gave Doc a radio that scrambled speech when it was transmitted. It would receive the incoming signal and unscramble the speech."

"Is the radio still on the third floor?"

"No, the officer took the radio with him. That is the reason the officer came to the Village. They did not want the radio to get into the Russianís hands."

I asked Alfons, "Where on the third floor is the radio room?"

"Itís in the bathroom, between the toilet and the bath tub is a wooden panel. That panel is a door. Under the water closet is a lever that unlatches the door. The door is spring loaded. It will automatically close and lock when you let it go. You have to press on the door at the same time you pull the lever in order for the door to open." 

Mutti said, "Doc was one cleaver old man. His body aged, but his brain was constantly improving to the day he died."

"Mutti, there wasnít anything he did not know. I was always surprised when I asked him a question. He always knew the answer. When I asked Doc a question that was not related to what I was studying or what we had been discussing, with a smirk on his face, he would ask me why I asked the question. I would tell him that I was just curious. I played mental games with Doc, but I did not tell him that I was testing him. I think he knew that I was testing him. With a cocky little smile of his face, he would give me the answer. After he gave me the answer he would say, now that you know the answer to your question. What are you going to do with it? I was a little embarrassed. Doc saw right throw me. He knew that I was playing games with him." 

Christie Mutti had taken her kids home right after dinner. They had become restless. After we had been talking for a few hours, we were all falling to sleep. The heavy meal was loading us down. I walked Christie to her new home. It was wonderful to have her in my arms again. I watched her climb the step. She stopped before she went inside. I ran to the top of the steps and gave her another long hug and a kiss and said, "You will have to live without any more kisses and hugs until tomorrow."

Christie said, "If I get lonely during the night, I will come over and sleep with you."

I smiled and said, "I will leave the front door unlocked. Do not ring the bell when you come in."

"You donít have to leave it unlocked. I still have a key for the Bakery. Take the bell down for me. I cannot reach it." 

I think Christie was as tired as the rest of us. She did not come over during the night.

The following morning was like old times. I was up at four and working again. Alice came in around six. Christie did not show up until after breakfast. We had not been this busy for years. It was a good thing we had bought the new oven. We were baking more bread than we ever had. Hilda had hired a young man to make the deliveries. Hilda hired him when I was in America. Johann came in about seven and prepared the orders for delivery. Thankful I did not have to go on the deliveries with him. He had been making the delivers since I left for America.

After I had been home for a couple of weeks, Christie and I applied for college. The semester had already starter. We had to wait until midterm to start. Sometimes, Christie and I studied together at Docís. At times we did not do very much studying. I did not tell Christie about the listening device. I felt a little ashamed of myself. I had listened in on the conversation between Christie and her mother. Janet warned her not to over stimulate me. Christie told her Mutti that she would try to control herself. I was happy that she continued to over stimulate me.

I never told Christie about the gold, diamonds and cash that Docís had stashed away. Hilda had warned me to never tell anyone about the safe and the bank accounts in Switzerland. When Hilda needed a little cash, I gave her anything she wanted. Usually, I used the money that was coming from the rentals and leases. One evening when Alfons was working on the books he also advised me to never divulge anything about the accounts in Switzerland or the monies in the safe. The government doesnít know about the accounts, if they found out about my assets they may try to confiscate everything I had. They knew about the property, the leases and the local bank accounts. That is all they should know about.

With the war over, it felt good just to breathe the air of the Village, I could walk freely down the streets without fear. I could see the happiness in the faces of everyone. The Tavern was alive again. We extended the restaurant area to the large room in the rear of the Tavern. We had to hire new employees. The vineyard workers had came back and asked for their jobs back. More money was coming in than I could ever spend. Without Christie and me working at the Bakery it was quite a load for Hilda and Alfons, even with Alice and Johann.  Alfons had his hands full taking care of all of my properties. One evening when he was working on the books, I told him that I felt that Hilda had to slow down. I felt that the Bakery was taking too much out of her. Alfons agreed and we decided to try to convince Hilda to hire some help. We came up with a little scheme to get Hilda out of the Bakery. After dinner one evening Alfons and I set our plan into action. At dinner Alfons told me that I had to get another accountant. He could not work at the Bakery and still manage my estate. This took Hilda off guard. She did not trust anyone else with my estate. She was still my guardian. Hilda blurted out, "Alfons, I will hire someone to do the books at the Bakery. You can still manage Timís estate."

A slight smile came across Alfons face and he said, "I will have to move over to Docís and sleep on the third floor. I canít be woken up at four every morning. I will be tired before I start working."

A disturbed look came across Hilda face. She wasnít going to give up Alfons. She enjoyed sleeping with Alfons. I knew that Alfons always got up early every morning, anyway. He had an appointment with Mother Nature. He was up and had relieved himself before I got up. His bumping around would always wake me before the alarm went off. I could see Hilda trying to think of something to say. I beat her to it. I said, "Why donít you both more over to Docís? You can live on the second floor in the master bedroom. It is going to waste. You both can sleep late and enjoy life."

Sill a little disturbed, Hilda said, "I will still have to get up a four and go over to the Bakery."

I interrupted Hilda and said, "Why, Alice know enough about the business. She can manager it for you. Hire three more workers. You need that many people to run the Bakery anyway. We have more business now than it ever has been. You need more help anyway."

Hilda shook her head and said, "They would not know what to do."

Alfons said, "You taught Alice and Alice can teach them."

Still quite uncertain, Hilda said, "What am I going to do."

Alfons said, "Stay in bed with me until a reasonable hour. Causally walk over to the Bakery when you feel like it. Nosey around to see it they are loafing. Look over their shoulder to see it they are taking any shortcuts. Tim could sleep at Docís. There is plenty of room over there. Johann could sleep in Timís room and get up early and help Alice.

With a suspicious look on her face, Hilda said, "We canít let Alice and Johann both sleep at the Bakery."

Alfons said, "Why not?"

"They are not married."

"We stayed at the Bakery alone and we were not married. Why canít they stay there together?"

"Well, you know how they look at each other."

Hilda looked over at me and slightly blushed. I was not going to get into this discussing with Hilda. I politely got up and did not say a word and went to my room.

During the next few weeks the transition took place. I moved to the rear bedroom on the first floor of Docís house. Hilda and Alfons took the master bedroom on the second floor. Alice and Johann moved into the Bakery and we hire two more young girls to help out. Christie and I took the trolley to the University together. Hilda settled down to a new life that was long overdue. At first it was hard for her to let loose of her duties. The young crew was doing a wonderful job without our help. Hilda had done a wonderful job of teaching them. At times, Hilda could not hold herself back from getting her hands into the dough. It was a part of her life that she enjoyed and it was hard to give it up. As time passed Hilda cut her apron string and enjoyed her new freedom. Hilda was a very generous employer and her crew loved her. I think they worked harder than Christie and me.

Before I left for America, I had given Alfons a large diamond and told him to have an engagement ring made. I had expected them to get married while I was away. It did not happen.

The wedding:

Finally Hilda and Alfons told us they were getting married. Even though she did not send out any invitations the news spread through the Village like wildfire and the church was full. I had never seen Hilda and Alfons so happy. They were radiant. Their happiness made tears glisten on everyoneís eyes. Christie notices the tears in my eye. She reaches up and pulls me down, kisses me and whispers, "I love you. I hope we will be as happy as they are."

"Christie, I know we will. I cannot wait until your father walks you down the aisle and I am at the other end waiting for you."

After the wedding, we had a reception at the Tavern. I had opened the wine cellar and Pepperell helped me to pick the best wines. Hilda let Alfons have a couple of glasses. Surprisingly, Alfons did not finish his second glass of wine. I donít know if he felt that Hilda and I were watching to see how much he had consumed. Hilda and I did not make any comments about how much he had drank. We were very pleased that he had the self-control to limit the amount he drank. I think he had kicked the wine habit. He has taken up another habit. Like me, he loved his sweets and it was already starting to show. When he was drinking, I thought he would die of starvation. His body was just a skeleton. Look at him now. The hangover he has now is hanging over his belt.

One of Hilda friends had an old car, she let Hilda and Alfons borrow the car for their honeymoon. After a galore sendoff, they headed for the Alps.

Occasionally, I dropped in at the Bakery. The new crew was doing a wonderful job. The sales were growing rapidly. They were so busy that I hired another young girl that had come in looking for a job. She had worked at the Rathskeller when Marie and Christie worked there. Hans had gotten fresh with her and she slapped him. The manager fired her. Christie felt sorry for her. I remembered her; she was very helpful when I first started delivering the pastries. I did not know that Hans had gotten fresh with her. Marie had told Christie what had happened to the young girl after Christie came to work at the Bakery. Marie would have left Hans if she had another job and a place to stay. I missed that confrontation between Hans and Marie. It must have been right before Marie gave Hans the cold shoulder. They were sleeping in separate beds. It lasted for more than a couple of months. I donít think they said a word to each other. I never knew what had happened between them. It was so quiet over there, at times I thought the listen device was not working.

A month had passed, Hilda and Alfons had not returned from their honeymoon. I was worried about them. They had not written us or had told us where they were going. If they did not return in another week, Christie and I were going to look for them. Janet had an idea where they may be. She and Hilda had discussed the areas in Austria that they would like to visit. We had a three day weekend coming up and we through it would be nice to spend a couple of days in the Alps. I had been listening to Christie talking with her Mutti about the trip. She warned Christie that it would be very tempting to do something when we were away together. She said it would be alright to stay in the same room, but not in the same bed. It would be too tempting. Christie assured her Mutti that we had many chances to do something and nothing has happened yet. Janet warned Christie that it would become more difficult every day that we were together.

I was so engrossed with the conversation that I did not hear Hilda and Alfons come in the front door. When I heard Alfons call out, "Is anyone home."

While I was hiding from the Nazis, I was never this frightened. I jumped up; the headset went flying across the room. I quickly retrieved the headset, turned off the listening device, grabbed a book and said, "Welcome home."

I hurried up the hall and welcomed them home. They were a beautiful couple. They sparkled with happiness. I spent the next half hour listening to them tell me about their trip. When the conversation slackened, I told them that Christie and I were going to look for them. We had worried about them and were afraid that something had happened to them. Alfons assured me that they were fine and they were never in any danger. I asked them if they were hungry. They both said that they were starved. I had been eating at the Tavern since they left. I asked if they would like to join me at the Tavern. Hilda said, "I am so hungry that I could eat the scraps at the Bakery."

I called Christie and asked her if she wanted to join us. I could tell she was disappointed that they had come home so soon. She had wanted so much to be alone with me for a few days, so did I. I was glad to see them, but like Christie, I had been fantasying about being alone with Christie for a whole night. Christie said that they had already had dinner, but she would join us.

Alfons and Hilda told us about the trip. Surprisingly, the old car that they used ran like a dream. They did not have any problems with it. It was a little slow climbing the mountain, but it made the whole trip without giving them any trouble. Even though they wanted to tell us more about their honeymoon, they were exhausted. Christie and I walked them across the street and said goodnight. Christie and I took a short walk around the Village. We were glad to see Hilda and Alfons safely at home, but we were disappointed about not being able to spend a couple of days alone together. With Hilda and Alfons living at Docs, her family was living at my home and Alice and Johann living at the Bakery, and all the homes had been rented, we could not find a place to be alone. When we hid in the shadows along the streets, there was always someone walking up on us.  This had cut in on our privacy. We spent more time expecting someone to interrupt what we were doing than doing what we wanted to do. Well anyway, maybe it was for the best. When we found time to be alone, we enjoyed it more.

In the last year the Village had almost returned to the happier days before the Nazis took over. Business was very good. We had tourist from around the world. Mutti and Papa dropped in unexpected about twice this year. We had plenty of room at Docís for them to stay.

On Papaís first visit, he wanted to know if I had found out who else had invested in Fritzís vineyard. Alfons had researched all of the government records and there was no record concerning the vineyard, not even Fritzís agreement with Doc. As far as they were concerned Docís heir was the owner, Timothy Williams/alias Karl Lipman.

Papa and I had a long talk about the vineyard investors and their heirs. A number of people had invested in the vineyard and Papa felt that their relatives deserved their share of the profits. The land was mine, but the profits from the vineyards less the lease payment belong to the investors. I had all the rights to discontinue the lease when the lease was over. Papa asked me, for the sake of those that had invested in the vineyard to renew the lease to the unknown investors and not with Fritz. We did not know where Fritz was. The American Army had shipped all the Nazis to prison around the country. Papa wanted all of the profits to go to a trust fund for those in the Village that had suffered under the control of the Nazis. He wanted to contribute his share to the fund.

Attorney Kuen, Alfons, Papa and I had a meeting and came up with a plan that would divide the profits from the vineyard to those that had lived in the Village or to their heirs, and those that had been taken away or driven out of the country by the Nazis. Alfons had gone through Doc records and made a list of all the owners and tenants that lived in the Village before the Nazis starting taking them to labor camps or to be executed. With the help of Alfons, Hilda, Papa, and Attorney Kuen made a list of the residences of the Village and the ones that had left or had been taken away. These were the ones and their heirs that would divide the profits of the vineyard.

We posted the list on the Village Bulletin Board with hopes that someone knew where they or their families were. As the weeks passed, no one came forward. Alfons mentioned that he did not believe any of those that were taken away would be found. The two young men that returned to the village never returned. We never knew where they went to. We had hopes that we might find the ones that fled. The Nazis stole everything they had before they let them leave Austria.

To contact the villages that got out of Austria and went to England or the United States, we published the list in New York and London papers with hopes that someone would come forward. One a month we would publish the list in the London and New York paper. So far, we have not had any results from the ads.

Papa and Mutti had gone back to America. Before they left, my Mutti took me aside and told me about the facts of life, as if I did not already know. The way she looked at me and what she said. I knew she was warning me to be careful and not to get to close to Christie and not to do anything foolish, yet she was looking forward to having grandchildren and soon. How could I do both?

The next couple of years went past in a blink of an eye. I received a bachelorís degree in accounting.  What happened to my plans to get a degree in chemistry and psychiatry?  I knew that Alfons would not be around forever.  He already needed help with my books. I helped him on the weekends, but we were still lagging behind. With what the Nazis had done to the country, and my family and what we all had gone through, I did not trust anyone. I was going to take care of the bookkeeping myself.

General Bower had returned to Austria. He came to get Janet, Christie and her brother and sister. Christie did not want to go to America. She wanted to finish her last year of collage in Austria. Her parents did not want to leave her in Austria alone. Fortunately, Hilda came to our rescue. She assured the Bowers that she would keep an eye on Christie. She would make sure that she did not get into any trouble and she would feed Christie. One more mouth to feed was nothing. She had been feeding the Village and part of the City for years and she felt that she would not have any trouble feeding Christie. Reluctantly, the Bowers let Christie stay. Christie and I saw her parents off. Janet took it the hardest. She did not want to leave Christie behind. I assured Janet that I would not let anything happen to her and I would take her to see them when we had breaks in school or during the summer.

We stood there watching the train pull out of the station. Tears were in Christie eyes. I asked Christie if she wished that she had gone with her family. She looked at me and said, "Yes and no. I did not want them to go and I did not want to leave you. I felt if I left you, I would never see you again. I did not want to take the chance."

I lifted Christie chin and looked her in the eyes and said, "My darling, there is nothing in this world that would keep me from waiting for your return. If you want to go with them, you can catch the train tomorrow. I will be waiting for you until you return."

With a little sarcastic tone, Christie said, "You want to get rid of me already."

"No Christie, I donít want to be the one that you hate for tearing you away from your family. I want you to stay here with me more than anything else in the world. It was tearing me apart when your parents insisted that you go with them."

Christie asked, "How did you know that they insisted that I go with them?"

I knew that I was in trouble. She did not know about the listening device. I tried to weasel out of what I said by saying, "I knew that your father would not let you stay here alone, especially with me around. He was afraid of what I would do to you."

Christie laughed and with enthusiasm said out loud, "Do it."

She said it so loud that everyone around us turned and looked at us. I think some of them knew what she had asked me to do. They smiled at us as we walked to the car. As we were leaving, they were still staring at us. Christie was watching the crowd also. As soon as we were out of sight, she burst into laughter and with a sexy look on her face she said, "We have your home to ourselves. Letís do it."

Oh, how much have I wanted to do it? I remember the last time we almost did it and she changed her mind. I donít think I could go through that again. I looked at Christie and said, "I would love to, but I promised your father that I would wait until we were married. I cannot go back on my word."

Christie snapped back and said, "When did you talk to Papa. He asked you not to do something. He would never do that. I donít believe you. When did you talk to him?"

"When your mother was talking to you, I have excellent hearing when I want to. She mentioned a conversation you two had before. She was warning you to be careful. Tell me about the conversation."

"That will be the day. What my parent and I talk about is between us. I will never tell you what we talked about, especially the conversations between me and Mutti."

The conversation settled down. I was not going to invade her privacy with her Mutti any more than I already had. I already had listened to her and her mother talk about our relationship. He mother was hoping that we had enough willpower to hold off until we were married. At times I felt that I could not hold back any longer.

It was about time for dinner. Hilda had a farewell luncheon for the Bowers. There were plenty of leftovers. Hilda had put the food in one of the ovens to keep it warm. She told us to take a plate and help ourselves. Hilda, Alfons, Alice and Johann had eaten earlier. Alice and Johann were upstairs. Hilda and Alfons took off for Docís. We finished our dinner and washed the dishes. I locked up the front door of the Bakery when we left. I walked across the street to my home. We stood in front of my home saying good night. I started to leave and Christie tugged at my arm and said, "Come inside for a little while. I promise I wonít rape you."

Alone with Christie:

I wanted very much to make love to Christie. I did not know if I could hold myself back. We had been so close before. For the last couple of years we had been doing some heavy petting when we found a place to hide. Surprisingly, no one had caught us in a compromising position. Tonight, there will not be anyone to stop us. Christie pulled me up the front steps and into the house. She did not turn on the lights as she heads up the stairs. I followed her up the stairs to the second floor and into her bedroom. She pulls me down onto the bed with her. She removed my jacket and shirt and plants kisses all over my chest. She unbuttoned the top of her blouse and removed her bra. Christie rubes her naked breast across my chest. We embraced and kissed for over an hour. We were on the verge of doing it a couple of times. I was so excited that something leaked out. Christie sensed what had happened. She laid back and looked at up me. I wondered what she was thinking about. She turns away and said, "I still have some homework to do. We better call it a night. Would you like to sleep over here with me tonight? As you well know, there are two extra beds. You can have anyone of the three."

With a smile on my face, I rolled over and kissed Christie and said, "If I was going to spend the night, I would pick the third bed, this one. But, you better get busy and do your homework. If I stayed, you would never complete your homework."

Reluctantly, I go up and walked to the door. I looked back at Christie lying in the bed. The hunger that was on her face reminded me of the night I left Marie standing at the top of the stairs. Like then, I did not want to leave. Something drove me away from Marie and now it is driving me away from Christie. The fire within me had settled down. It no longer controlled my urges. I tuned and hurried down the stairs and to Docís next door. I was afraid that if I lingered, I may regret it.

I opened the door; Alfons and Hilda were in the parlor listening to the radio. They looked at me, took a quick glance down at the spot on my pants and Alfons said, "Have a good nightís sleep, you will need it. We have a lot of bookkeeping to do tomorrow."

I was embarrassed. I quickly turned away and said, "Good night, I will see you two tomorrow."

I went into the bathroom and took off my cloths and washed out the spot on my pants. I snuck into my room and put on another pair of pants. I went down the hall to the listening room. I sat down in Docís chair. I heard Hilda and Alfons whispering down the hall as they headed up the stairs to their room. I could not make out what they were saying. They must have known what had happened.

I turned on the listening device. I did not know what I expected. Christie was all alone. I could hear the water running in the bath tub. It reminded me of the many nights I heard the water running for Marie and how much I wanted to join her in the bath tub. Now I wanted to join Christie. Something was holding me back. I asked myself, in the future will I regret that I didnít make love to Christie nor will I be happier that I did not. 

I listened to Christie roam around the house until I fell asleep. I woke up and did not hear Christie moving around anymore. I shut off the listening device, took a bath and went to bed.

Christie and my hideout:

One evening I had been helping Christie with her studies. Christie was finishing her homework and I was dozing off. Out of the blue she said, "Where did you hide. I have been all through the house trying to find where you had been hiding. You could not have been hiding in this house. There is no place to hide."

Half asleep, I said, "Would you like to see where I lived for four years?"

"Yes, I would."

"Did you search the attic?"

"Yes, I helped Papa store some things up there when we move in."

"Come with me."

I got the ladder out of the upstairs closet, climbed up, pulled the cord and the attic lights turned on. I help Christie up into the attic. Confused Christie said, "You stayed up here. Didnít anyone search up here? This would be the first place that I would have looked."

I got down on my knee and crawled across the attic floor. I wondered how my father could have gotten to the opening and build my hideout. Then I remembered, he removed the walls on the second floor, built the hideout and move the walls out. After he finished inside the hideout he re-plastered the walls.

I bumped my head as I crawled across the attic floor. I lifted the planks with my finger nails and laid them aside. I reached in and pulled the cord for the lights. Christie was lying beside me on the floor and said, "How did you get down there?"

I pointed to the ladder. I banged my head a couple more times trying to climb down the ladder. I wondered how many times I had bumped my head. It is a wonder that I still have hair on my head. After I got to the floor below, I told Christie to come on down. I squeezed through the pipes and turned on my reading light. After a few chosen words, banging her head on the roof, Christie finally got down to the floor. Grumbling she said, "I would have turned myself in after the first day in here."

"Christie that is what I wanted to do thousands of times. After a while, this hole in the wall was my home, the only place where I felt secure. I could sleep without fear. I was no longer afraid when I was down here. I was safe down here. Kreegon and the soldiers could not find me. I even felt safer living here than I felt when I lived with Hilda."

"What would you do in here all day?"

"Hans and Marie were not here during the daytime. I roamed the house doing anything I felt like doing. I spent most of my time studying and exercising. I would peek through the windows and watched the world go by, wishing that I could walk the street freely."

"You poor thing, you most have wanted to kill those beast."

"Yes, I did. Papa burned into my mind that I should never give up. I finely had courage enough to walk the street. It was in the early morning. Hilda was working in the back of the Bakery. I walked to the rear of the Bakery and looked inside and saw Hilda. I think she sensed that someone was looking at her. She looks up and saw me. Half on me wanted to run. The other half of me kept me from moving. Hilda came outside and dragged me inside. I donít know what would have happen if she had not dragged me into the Bakery. Every day I planned to go back into hiding and every day I came up with a reason why I should stay with Hilda. Being with Hilda all day and seeing how hard she worked. I could not leave her. She was working herself to death. I felt sorry for her and wanted to help her. I think that was one of the main reasons that I did not go back into hiding. Hilda cooking was another reason that I stayed with her. I was tired of leftovers and cold food."

"You told me that Marie fed you for four years."

"She did feed me. She left a plate of food in the icebox. I would be so hungry that I would gulp it down. I only waited a few times until I heated the food. Marie and Hans ate most of their meal at the Rathskeller."

"Didnít Hans object?"

"That is something that has always puzzled me. Hans thought that my parents were killed. He was also superstitious. He told Marie the ghost of my parents were stealing the food from the icebox and moving things around in the house. I always felt that Hans was trying to trap me. Many times, I felt Hans was trying to get me to come out of hiding. I did not take the bait. I did not trust him. At first, Marie wasnít sure what to believe. Eventually she knew that someone was hiding in the house. I did not know that she had heard me moving around in here. Since I was stealing food, she knew that someone was living in the walls. She suspected that it was me and said so. She would have long one way conversations with me. I wanted to answer her, but I could not. She wanted me to leave some indication that I had heard her talking to me. She left me a piece of pastry with a cherry on top of it. I ate the pastry and left the cherry in the middle of the plate. From then on, Marie would come in the bathroom and have a one sided conversations with me when Hans was down stairs."

"Where is the bathroom?"

"It is on the other side of that wall."

"Wasnít it embarrassing to be in here when they went to the bath room?"

With a smile on my face, I said, "I got use to it. Hans was my alarm clock. He would wake me up every morning when he released the gas that he had accumulated over the night. The noise was louder than the explosions at the Factory."

A broad smile came across Christie face and she broke out into an uncontrollable laughter and could not stop. I help her out of my hideout and down the ladder to the second floor. The laughter would slowly subside, and then it would start over again. Her laughter started me laughing. The more we laughed the harder we laughed. Our sides were splitting from pain. Thankful the laughter and pain gradually stopped.

Christie would look at me and chuckle. The laughter would start all over again. When it subsided Christie would try to get me started again. I looked away and said, "Donít start that again. My sides are killing me."

I could not look at Christie; the urge to laugh would start again. I grabbed and kissed her and left her before it started again.

 

Managing the Estate:

For the next six months with Alfons help, I learned all about Docís estate. I visited all the tenants so that I knew who they were. There were some that I had never met. They all knew who I was. Some of them were very friendly; in the faces of the others, I could see the hate they had for me. This bothered me. Why did they hate me? Was it because they thought that I was a Nazi or were they envious of my wealth? I told Alfons. He said that this was part of being a landlord, some will love you and others will hate you. This gave me a better feeling of what Alfons had been going through. Slowly I took over the bookkeeping for Docís estate. Alfons took over the bookkeeping for the Bakery. Periodically, Alfons would come over and check to see how I was doing. Fortunately, he did not find too many mistakes. I still had the desire to be a Chemist and Physiatrist, but with managing Docís estate and the Tavern, I did not have very much free time. There was always something to fix or repair in one of the houses or at the Tavern. If I could not do the repair, I had to hire someone else to do the work. I wondered how Doc could have done it without someone else helping him. One evening when I was going through some of the old ledgers, I came across an employee that Doc had. I recalled an old man with the same name that lived a few blocks over. I wonder why Doc had him on the payroll. I asked Hilda if she knew Herr Kraus. She told me he was one off of the many old people that the Nazis had taken away. She told me that Herr Kraus was a retired builder. He did all the repairs on Doc houses. Now I knew how Doc was able to work at the Hospital. I had been trying to do all the work on the homes myself and I wasnít good at it. I had never repaired anything before. With the help of Hilda and Alfons I hired a young carpenter. He was quite handy. With the extra time on my hands, I went back to college.

Christie had shipped her fatherís car to America. Taking the trolley to and from college took a lot of our free time. I raided Docís safe for enough money to buy a small car. There was plenty left over. This gave Christie and me a few extra hours a day to be together. We went on weekend trips around Austria. At first we did a lot of sightseeing. Of course at night there wasnít anything to see. So we cuddled in bed together. We had enough restraint not to be too intimate.

The trip to the Alps:

With studying, managing the estate and someone pestering us all the time. Christie and I wanted to be alone for a few days. I rented a cabin high up in the Alps for the weekend. It was isolated and without another cabin in sight. The cabin was located quite a distance from the main road high up on the mountain. The scenery was fascinating and beautiful. There was nothing to obstruct the view. The view of the valley below was beautiful. The weather was perfect. It was so clear that you could see hundreds of kilometers. We took long walks through the forest. The air was so fresh that it stimulated use. It made us feel wonderful. The first night we lit the logs in the fire place. I broke out one of the bottles of wine that I had brought with me. We sat in the dark with only the light from the fire place. It was quite romantic. We petted, drank and ate until we fell asleep on the couch in front of the fireplace. I woke up during the middle of the night and wrapped a blanked around us. I through another log on the fire and went back to sleep. When we finally woke up, the fire was out and we were freezing. I built another fire and went out on the porch for more fire wood. It had started to snow. I did not think much about it. I went back into the house and opened the door to the wood stove. Someone had loaded it with wood and paper. I lit the paper and within minutes the fire was blazing. The heat from the stove warmed the cabin. Christie was already up and puttering around. Between Janet and Hilda, Christie was an excellent cook. Christie started preparing breakfast for us. Christie told me to take a seat in the breakfast nook. The nook was located next to window that looked out over the valley. It was wonderful scene. We could see down the valley, but not as far as we could see yesterday. The snow covered the trees. The scene was beautiful. We decided to take a walk in the snow after breakfast. The snow had stopped for a while, now it was snowing again. I washed the dishes and waited for Christie to come out of the bathroom. When she came out, we put on our coats and hats and headed out the door. The roof of the porch hung out over the steps. When we reached the last step before the snow, I step into a snowdrift that was a meter deep and fell face down into the snow. Christie started laughing. With my face full of snow, I reached up for Christie hand. She took my hand. I pulled her off of the step into the snow next to me. We frolicked in the snow and had a snowball fights until we both were exhausted. The snow was too deep to walk in and we were too tired to even to try to walk. I climbed out of the snow and pulled Christie out of the snow. She tried to pull me back into the snow. I held onto the railing and pulled her up on the step. We walked to the top of the steps and look down to where we had been playing. Christie said, "We certainly had a long walk in the snow."

I answered, "Yes we did. We must have walked at least five meters."

Christie chuckled and took my hand and led me into the cabin. We took our coats and hats off and plopped down on the couch in front of the fire. The wood stove had warmed the cabin. I took Christie into my arms and were cuddled and petted for half of the morning. I was so stimulated that I had to walk out on the porch to cool off. Of course Christie joined me.

Our conversation turned to the road conditions. We felt that it would be over by tomorrow and the roads would be plowed. We went back into the cabin, talked, petted, played cards and watched the snow coming down. We snacked all day and drank wine.

We went to bed early. We tried not to touch each other. Our bodies were like magnets. This magical magnate pulled my hands to Christieís body. I pulled Christie body tightly against mine. We had a fiery night. I donít think either one of us slept a wink. At daybreak we both were exhausted. Surprisingly, we went back to sleep. Christie woke up first. She had left the bed and was coming back to bed. I open my eye and pulled her next to me. I held her in my arms and we talked about our obsessions. We both knew that we were getting to close. We promised each other that we would not do anything. We tried to keep away from each other. We kept drifting into each other arms. We would remember what we had promised each other and tried to think of something else. It worked for a while then we would be back into each other arms. In one of the moments that we were apart, I noticed a card sticking out from under the telephone. I picked it up; there was a list of phone number. I scanned down the list. Beside one of the numbers it read, snowplow. I knew that we should be leaving tomorrow morning and I could not drive through snow a meter deep. I picked up the phone and gave the operator the phone number for the snowplow. She knew where I was calling from and said, "He out on the road and I will tell him you called when he comes back. I donít think he will be able to get up there for a couple of weeks. The snow is not expected to let up until next week. The snow is falling faster than he can move it."

I hung up the phone. With a little bit of anger and a little surprised, a mixed feeling ran through my body, I said, "Oh, God."

Christie quickly turned around and excitedly said, "What happened?"

I wasnít partially happy and partially angry about the situation. Christie saw the confused look on my face. Again she said, "What happened?"

I chuckled and said, "We are stuck out here for another two weeks."

One of Christieís beautiful smiles popped up on her face. She jumps up and down and yells, "Wonderful, we will be together for two weeks and no one can bother us."

She ran over to me and did her famous leg wraps around my body and planted kisses across my face. She reaches her hand between us and grabs me. She whispers, "I love touching you. When you feel like this, I know that you want me as much as I want you."

Christie released her legs from around my body and slides down me. She looks away and said, "I wish we hadnít promised not to do anything."

Disappointedly she walked over to the window and gazed at the falling snow. I walk over to Christie and wrapped my arms around her. I pulled her tightly against me. She presses her buttocks' against me. I kiss her on her neck and whispered, "We donít have to keep our promise."

She looks up at me and said, "No."

I smiled and said, "No, if you donít want to keep you promise I will not keep mine."

We both laughed and I changed the subject and said, "I better call Hilda, if she doesnít see us tomorrow, she will have another stroke."

Christie agreed, and said, "She will have the American Army up here looking for us."

I gave the operator Hildaís number. I hear the phone ringing without anyone answering it. I gave her the Bakeryís number. Alfons picked up the phone. I said, "How is the weather in the Village. We are stuck up here for a couple of weeks. There must be two meters of snow on the road and they want be able to get up here until the snow stops."

Alfons laughed and said, "We only have a couple of centimeters. I had heard about the conditions up there. I hope you have enough food for the next couple of weeks."

"There is a pantry that is loaded with can foods. I think that they had this happen before and prepared for it. Where is Hilda?"

"She took the trolley into the City to do a little shopping. I will tell her you called. Keep in touch and stay warm, but donít cuddle too much."

I hear a slight chucked I said, "I will try my best."

I gave Alfons the telephone number of the cabin and told him that we would not be going anyplace except the front porch and Hilda could call if she wished.

Every night it became harder and harder for me to keep my promise with Christie. We had been in the cabin for over a week without doing anything. One evening Christie came to bed without her nightgown on. Seeing her beautiful body sent a firestorm through me. Christie pulled my undershirt off. Then she reaches down and pulled down my underpants. I pushed them off with my feet and pulled Christie on top of me. Within minutes an explosion went off inside of me. I think the same thing happened to Christie. I jumped out of bed and went to bathroom to wash myself. I climbed back into bed with Christie. Within minutes we were where we left off. Within the next hour Christie was no longer a virgin. For the next week we could not get enough of each other. It wasnít me, it was Christie. Let me think, well maybe it was the both of us. We were trapped in the house and we were glad of it. Between our gymnastics one morning, I looked out the window and saw a snowplow about thousand meters down in valley heading our way. The snow had stopped a day or two ago and I could see all the way across the valley. The sun was shining and long ice cycles were hanging from the porch roof. The sun reflecting off the ice made a picturesque scene; I called Christie and told her to come out on the porch. We enjoyed the beautiful scenery together and watched the progress of the snow plow. He wasnít making must headway. Half of the snowplow was under the snow. It was getting late and we did not want to leave in the dark. We also wanted to practice our acrobatics again tonight. We were new at the sport.

The following day we finally got out of the Alps and back home. I think Alfons and Hilda knew that we had been practicing our acrobatics. They did not ask and we did not tell them. By the looks on their faces or was it the looks on our faces that told them what we had been doing.

 

Things started and quickly:

A little over a week after we got out of the Alps, Christie sneaked into Docís while Hilda and Alfons were at the Bakery. I heard the front door open and Christie calling to me. I told her to come on in and that I was in my room. I put the book down and started to go meet her. I heard footsteps running down the hall. Before I could get out of the chair, Christie ran into my room. I expected to see that broad Christie smile and her saying less do it. With a sheepish look on her face she tells me, "I did not have my period this month."

Mixed feeling ran through my mind. I was scared to death that her parents would kill me. Yet, on the other hand, I was very happy and excited that we were going to have our own baby. For a moment I did not know how Christie felt about a baby. She looked worried, so I felt that I would try to cheer her up. I put on a forced smile and said, "Wonderful we will have to get married whether our parents like it or not."

"Tim, they will kill us for having a baby out of wedlock."

"We will get married. They are in America and we are old enough to get married."

We wanted to get married and fast, or should I say that we had to get married and fast. We did not want our baby to think that his or her mother conceived before we got married. We called our parents and told them that we were getting married whether they like it or not. Surprisingly, they were very happy about it and I had a feeling that they expected it. I wondered if Hilda had read our faces and call our parents and knew something was going to happen. Anyway, everyone was happy about the wedding.

They could not leave America any time soon and we could not wait any longer. I talked Hilda and Alfons into going to America with us. They put up a little resistance, but I am positive they would not have missed our wedding. I could see the happiest in Hilda and Alfons. They literally glowed about the wedding.

Our parents were living in the state of Alabama. We took a cruise ship to New York and a plane to Alabama. We had a small wedding in a Christian church. My grandparents came for the wedding. They were strangers to me, even though I had seen them a couple of years ago. Surprisingly, I did not feel the love for them that I felt for Hilda and Alfons. Christie and I left Hilda and Alfons with my parents and we took off on our honeymoon. We roamed the eastern part of America for about two months and had a wonderful time. Christie had started to get morning sickness. We would have loved to have seen more of America, with Christie condition and being away so long, I was dreading the backlog of work that was waiting for me.

We returned to our parentís home in Alabama. Hilda and Alfons had already gone back to Austria. I had hopes that Alfons would look after the estate. Papa and General Bower were working around the clock. We only saw them for a few hours when they came home after work. Janet and Mutti hated to see us go. We invited them to come to Austria when the little one was due. They told us that there was nothing in this world that would keep them from coming to see their first grandchild.

I had bought a fancy American car to tour America. I shipped the car to Austria and we sailed back across the Atlantic. Poor Christie, when the ship left the harbor, the seas were flat. That did not last long. The waves were breaking over the bow of the ship during the whole trip. The rough seas only intensified the morning sickness. When we placed our feet on solid ground, it felt like the ground was still moving as much as the ship. Thankful, that ended after spending our first night on dry land. The train ride was not any better for Christie.

 

Welcome Home:

I had wanted to drive across Europe in my new car. It wasnít on the same ship that we were on. With seas as rough as they were, I hoped the ship the car was on did not sink.

Hilda and Alfons picked us at the train station. We were happy to be at home with or without the new car. Hilda and Alfons had a welcoming home party for us. They had moved all of their things out of Docís home and moved Christie things to Docís home. They had discussed this with our parents when we were on our honeymoon. They had refurnished the master bedroom and bath with new linen and accessories. Everything looked beautiful. Our parents had given us a set of silver, a beautiful set of China and a fabulous set of crystal stemware. We thanked Hilda and Alfons for their gifts. We called our parents in American and thanked them also. There were other things that we would need in the near future. Christie and I decided not to tell Hilda and Alfons about the new arrival. It was our secret. They knew already. After we had been home for two months, we did not have to tell anyone about our secret. It was obvious. We did not know that Hilda were suspicious of Christie being pregnant before we went to America for our wedding. Hilda and Alfons knew and Mutti and Janet also knew. How did they know? I guess they knew that we would not be able to hold off much longer. The snowbound trip to the Alps caused it. If it did not snow, we would have been back in the Village in a couple of days. I have often wondered how much longer we could have held off if the snowstorm had not kept us on the mountain. Anyway, the both of us are still very much in love and we are looking forward for our first child.

Christie is putting on a little weight around the middle of her body. Everyone is very excited about the coming event. I could not wait to see if we were going to have a boy or a girl. Of course, Christie wanted a girl and I wanted a boy. Christie got her wish. Christie gave birth to a beautiful little girl. She had a mixture of my Mutti and Christie. She did not look anything like me. Christie said that she had my cute little butt. My butt never looks as cute as Crystalís. We had discussed names and did not want to name our little girl after anyone else in the family. When I first saw my new beautiful daughter, her beautiful blue eyes sparkled like the stemware that our parents had given us. We name her Crystal. Crystal had the same beautiful smile as her mother. Crystal smile was as magical as her motherís smile. Like her mother, when she smiled, the world around her smiled. Where ever she went, she left a path of happiness.

Time is passing to fast:

We had visited Marie and Mitch when we were drove through Virginia. Marie was expecting. If Marieís baby was a boy she wanted to name him Mitch after his father. Marie had told Mitch about me living in the walls of my home and that I had given her the money that had kept them afloat for the last two years.  Because of the money that I had given Marie, Mitch felt that he and Marie would have been on the streets it I had not given Marie the money. He wanted to pay me back by naming his son after me. I pleaded with Mitch to name his son Mitch and let his son take his name into the next generation. I told him that Marie had fed me for four years and he and Marie did not owe me anything. I could never repay Marie for what she had done for me. One word to the authorities would have ended my life. After a long conversation, Mitch gave in to my wishes. Moments like this had brought back many memories that I had not thought of for a long time.

After we left America Marie and Christie wrote to each other frequently. Marie had become pregnant about the same time as Christie. Marie and Christie were betting on who would give birth first. Marie won the bet by two weeks. She gave birth to a big boy. He looks like his father. Like I had wished, they name their son Mitch.

The years are sliding by too fast. In the coming years we had two more children, a boy that we named Christopher and another beautiful young girl. Christie named her after my Mutti, Christine.

After ten years with the American soldiers roaming the streets, they all went back to America. Business dropped off for a while. Tourist traffic increased after the American soldiers departed. Prostitutes no longer roamed the streets. The shops along the street had changed the types of merchandise they sold and the prices went up. The number hot dogs and hamburgers orders had decreased and were taken off the menu at the tavern. Pepperell had taken the old menu that was used before the Nazis took over and added a few new items. It drew more customers. About a year after the soldiers left, the profits started to grow much more rapidly. 

Another milestone of life:

Crystal is already preparing to go to college. Alfons passed away three years ago in his sleep. Hilda lived for a couple more years and her heart gave way. Not only had Doc left me everything, Hilda left me the Bakery and her bank accounts. Like Doc accounts in Switzerland, Kuen had added my name to Hildaís accounts years ago. I loved them as much as I loved my parents. Hilda and Alfons were as close to me as my own parents. Hilda and Alfons had guided me through my teenage years and while my parents were still in America. They both left a deep emotional impression on my life. Like Doc had said, Alfons was a very brilliant man. Like Doc was in the medical field, Alfons was in the financial field. Mutti and Papa had guided me during the early years of my life and during part of my manhood. The wisdom of both sets of parents left me a much better man. I hoped that I would never disappoint them.

Christieís and my parents retired and moved back to Austria and are living in the Village. Mutti and Papa moved back into their old home. I gave Christie Parents a home a few blocks away. Grey hairs started to appear on Christieís and my head. Docís fortune was still in tack and it had more than doubled in value. We enlarged the Bakery and added a restaurant. I was still pumping money into different Swiss accounts that Alfons had set up for me. I still had not told anyone about the listening device. It was still in working order. When Mutti and Papa were a little upset over something, I would listen in on their conversation. They were going through the same things that most couples go through. Mutti was a little upset about Papaís eating habits. Papa like me, he was eating a little too many pastries. He promised Mutti that he would cut down and spend a little more time taking hikes around the Village. Our parents were helping out at the Bakery and the Tavern just to keep busy and to take some of the load off of me. 

Papaís dream had come true. We flew to America to see the launch. The launch was over in minutes. All of the years of work just to launch a rocket to the edge of outer space was unbelievable. We saw the joy and excitement in our parents faces. We were very happy for them. Somehow the Russians were a little ahead of the Americans. General Bower said that the Russians had found the original documents that were sent to Germany and they did not waste any time or money on putting the rocket into operation. We rented three cars and toured the southern part of America for a month before we went home. I had mixed feeling about going back to Austria. Before the war started, I had dreamed of touring every State in America. That had to wait until I had more free time. 

Time is flying by two fast, Christopher and Christine are already in college. Crystal is a carbon copy of her mother. With her beautiful smile, she leaves a path of smiling faces as she walks along. Watching Crystal growing up helped me to mentally relive some of the beautiful moments with her mother. Christie still leaves a path of smiling faces wherever she goes. We are having a wonderful life together. She still likes to cuddle up tightly to me. I still get excited when our bodies are welded together.

Christieís and my parents are in wonderful health. They started exercising together every day. They take trips to the mountains in the summer and in the winter. They have taken trips around the world together. I think they are away from home more than they are at home. I am looking forward to the years when I can turn the business over to Christopher, Christine and Crystal. Christie and I are planning to take a cruise around the world in a few years, if I live that long. I have hopes of going back to America and visiting all the states.

Another Generation:

The years passed by as fast as the rockets they were shooting up into space. The kids all have kids now. Our parentís life style has slowed down. Our fathers were the first to go. A few years later our mothers followed the path of our fathers. Christie and I are starting to wonder when we will follow the path of our parents.

 

Many times I have had flashback of the poor souls that were paraded down the streets by the Nazis. I pray often that it will never happen again. I have gone next door and climbed into the attic and look down into my hideout and the street below. Old memories would reappear. Tear come to my eyes as I looked down on the street where Peter and Heather and my parents were dragged away. The humiliation that Alfons had to put up with brought anger back into my sole. I felt the pain from the barbed wire that penetrated the body of the man that Kreegon murdered on the streets. I have tried to forget about those days, but they keep coming back. I donít know if they will every stop returning.

The Americanís are at war again. I think this is the fifth or sixth war they have been in since World War II. This brought back memories of when I first went to America. Somehow the Army had arranged citizenship for me in America, when the Korean War stated, Mutti and Papa got a notice for me to report for duty. They told the official that I was an Austrian citizen and I never applied for citizenship in America. The army had bestowed American citizenship on me without my consent. They tried to frighten Papa by telling him that they would arrest me and put me in prison if I did not report to duty. Papa told the army if they tried to arrest me, he would stop working on rocket program. I still donít know what happened. I never received another notice to report for duty.

 Now that I am a grandfather, I can look back over my life. Crystal had married a very nice young man. His name is Stanley. Thankful he is an accountant. Managing the Bakery, Tavern, Vineyard, Winery and all of the homes and the other business that I have purchased in the Village is more than I can handle. Stanley has been a lot of help and we get along quite well. Crystal and Stanley added to our family another beautiful girl. When we look at the baby pictures of Christie, Crystal and one of our new additions to the family, Janet, you cannot tell them apart. She has the same beautiful smile as her mother and grandmother.

Christopher became a Doctor. He was a bookworm. He found Docís books and started reading them when he was only eight years old. I had told my children about Doc; Christopher was fascinated about Doc and his family. Over the year he has researched the history of the Village and Docís family. When he is not busy, he is writing a book about the history of the Village. In a way I think he is a reincarnation of Doc. He is a very bright young man. At times his reactions are the same as Docís. He has the same quirky little devilish smile as Doc had. I have often wondered who he inherited that smile from.

Christine has taken the path of my Mutti. She is a teacher. Not only does she have the same name as her grandmother, they were the best of friends. Since Christine was very young she was attracted to her grandmother.  She wants to be with her grandmother most of the time. Of course Mutti wanted Christine with her all the time. They were inseparable. During the last few months of Muttiís life Christine was at her grandmothersí side. She took Muttiís death the hardest.

I wish I could have seen my life before it happened. And, the atrocities had never happened. The pessimist Charlie said "Quit your wishful thinking."

Charlie told me that he had the same wishes, but after hearing what some of the Villagers are still whispering, the hatred for the Jews still exists. He was right. He had forgotten that I had heard the same things that he had heard. I cannot kick him out of my life. He will always be there nagging me about something. One of these days, I will have to thank Charlie for saving my life. Many times, if I had not listened to him, I would not be here today.

 

My Thoughts:

There are some that say that the atrocities never happened. I wish I could make them live through the torture that millions had to live through. God bless those unfortunate ones that have gone down that path.

 

I suggest that when you let hate and prejudice enter you soul, remember, you may be the victim the next time around. Love your fellowman and pray that he will not hate you.

I donít know why God let this happen. Looking at these pictures I want to ask him

Why, Why, Why. When I die, maybe I will be able to ask him.

Maybe, I will be able to ask him at the end of the road of this life.

 

Some one very dear to me almost had this happen to her. By the grace of God she escaped the hell and fury that million had to go through. I tried to put myself into what Ann Frank had gone through. I could never put the tragedy that she and all the other went through into word that would make you or I feel the pain that they went through. There are some out there that do not care for the feeling of other or care. If I get one person to think about what happened across Europe in World War II and it changes the way they feel about their fellowman, the hours that I spent was well worth my effort.

 

I pray that this was not all in vain.

The hate, prejudices, and greed is still with us. When will we ever learn?

 

Below are a few pictures of the atrocities that had happened before, and during WWII. I found them on the internet. There are many more on the internet where these came from.

 

The night of the broken glass

 

Thousands were humiliated like they humiliated Alfons

They murdered him and left him as an example to other

 

Those that could not finish the Parade

 

The fires lit up the Villages


Some of the millions that were murdered

 

Some that lived through hell

 

Please do not forget what has happened in this World! It could happen again!

 

Ann Frank

As I look into those happy eyes, I ask God why did he let the Nazis take away so many just like her?

 

Table of Contents 

The Last Supper: *

The midnight raid: *

Tim: *

Timothyís greatest fear: *

Timothyís new houseguest: *

The night of broken glass: *

Christmas without my parents: *

The parade of the dead: *

Hans was my pipeline to the outside world: *

My food supplier: *

Marie: *

It was almost over: *

Freedom, or is it: *

Tim alias Karl: *

Karl (Tim) meets his new (0ld) neighbors: *

Dr. Von Gould: *

Doc listening Device: *

Tim the baker: *

Tim meets Fritz: *

Hilda: *

Tim: *

Tim opens up: *

Hilda secret: *

Fear strikes us all: *

Hans and Marie, without me: *

A crossroad in Timís life: *

Fritz with a Nazi ID: *

Hilda: *

Hilda and Doc Wills: *

Good bye Dr. Von Gould: *

Christie goes to Work: *

Hans the Pipeline: *

Alone at the Bakery: *

Searching Docís house: *

Hilda recovered: *

Mutti is alive: *

The Gestapo: *

The heat wave: *

The explosion: *

Fritz is on the move: *

Papa returns home: *

Hans moves out: *

Marie: *

Marie and Tim: *

Tim: *

Christie is kidnapped: *

Dinner with Mutti and Papa after six year: *

The Nazis are fleeing: *

Marie opens up to Christie: *

Christie: *

The Village is falling apart: *

The Tavern: *

The Allies had circled the Village: *

With the war in Europe over, life goes on! *

The Money in the safe: *

Our trip to America: *

The wedding: *

Alone with Christie: *

Christie and my hideout: *

Managing the estate: *

The trip to the Alps: *

Things had started to happen and quickly: *

Welcome Home: *

Time is passing to fast: *

Another milestone of life: *

Ann Frank 

BooksByWilly@charter.com

Written and Published

By

William W. Wynne

Copyright © 2002 

Edited August 2007

booksbywilly@charter.net

 

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