One Angry Man

September 1, 2007
By Jessica Feuerstein, New City, NY

I am dripping with sweat and shaking, the same way I felt when I last saw my beautiful wife, Sylvia. The witness is on the stand saying, trust meÓ and I am instantly brought back to that horrible moment, another hot, humid afternoon in 1940 when I was saying my temporary goodbyes to Sylvia. Heir Schmidt had promised me that they were moving my beloved Sylvia to another hiding spot. Trust me!Ó Heir Schmidt swore, you will meet up in Austria and I will arrange for the two of you to safely travel to the United States.Ó Of course, I trusted my dear old friend. Why wouldnÕt I? After all, we had done much business together and celebrated many holidays and special events together as family. After the war began, we were still close. I was his banker, the most clever money- man in the village, and handled many of his secret funds overseas. We shared many secrets over our fifteen-year history. Of course I should trust him. Goodbye Sylvia. You are in good hands. This will be the last time we need to separate and when we meet in Austria, we will be safe and have the rest of our lives together.Ó As Heir Schmidt whisked her off into his car, I did not realize that those were the last words that I would utter to the love of my life.

I never saw my beloved Sylvia again, and also never trusted anyone after that moment. I was wealthy, respected and had many friends, especially Heir Schmidt. But none of this could save my Sylvia. She was taken to a camp,Ó never to be heard from again. She was born a Jew and when the line in the sand was drawn, Heir Schmidt found himself on the Nazi side. Friendship and business were tossed out the window in order to save himself. He sold his soul to save his skin. Trust Me,Ó the witness is saying and I am thinking, I will never be able to trust again.

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