A disturbed man seeking justice in an unjust world.
- Friday, October the Seventh – The journal of Niklas Fleischer
My first memory is the firebombing of Dresden, Germany. My father, Adelbrecht Fleischer, was an ex-S.S. agent; former scum that served the all-encroaching arm of Adolf Hitler, our great Führer. My father did terrible things. Hideous things. And yet he cared for my mother and I as though he were a normal human being. He lied to us, he did. He lied about what he did to innocent people when no one was looking; the unspeakable horrors he inflicted in secret. If I had known of these things, I would have gladly killed him with my own two hands.
When the air raid sirens began to wail all over town my mother took me in her arms and we ran to the nearest shelter. Then, I did not understand what was happening.
Mutter! Mutter! Was geschieht?
Seien Sie still, Niklas. Wir müssen zum Schutz laufen, um sicher zu sein.
Not soon after the steel doors had been drawn shut, the bombardment began its deadly, booming drumroll. Lights flickered and went out, and dust sifted down from the concrete ceiling. A steady, droning hum could be heard as the great bombers made their passes for what seemed to be an eternity. I remember being frightened that the shelter roof would not hold; that we would be buried alive beneath tons of rubble.
We were fortunate, however, and the eternity finally ended with three great, thunderous blasts. The sirens had stopped long ago, and the silence was immense; crushing. Then two boys pushed open the doors, and my mother and I walked out onto what has since been described as a barren moonscape. The empty skeletons of once beautiful buildings stood brooding over mountains of rubble and the bodies of those who had not made it to the shelters. Fires raged around us, and many were weeping for loved ones who had been caught in the storm.
Warum haben sie dies, Mutter getan?
Ich weiß nicht, Kleine. Ich weiß nicht.
Wo ist Vater?
Seien Sie noch, kleines. Ich gehe finde ihn.
Those were the last words my mother ever said to me. She left me with neighbors and went off in search of Father, stepping carefully through piles of corpses, flames lighting the way. And not three hours later, the bombs began to fall once again.
I was hauled into a shelter by one of the neighbors, shouting for Mother. She had not yet returned.
The bombers once again droned overhead, now intent on striking Grosser Garten, the massive park where hundreds had gathered to escape the fires. Within minutes flames had rippled across the grass, and hundreds of screaming men, women, and children burned alive in Churchill’s firestorm. And the small artist’s town of Dresden had truly become a hell.
For the final hours of the terror, fighter planes circled the town, cutting down anything that dared venture out of a shelter. Through the chatter of heavy machine guns I asked over and over, talking to no one in particular:
Wo ist meine Mutter? Ich wünsche meine Mutter!
My guardians would reply:
Ihre Mutter wird, Junge gegangen. Sie kommt nicht zurück.
From that point on I realized: The real world is nothing more than bad men doing bad things to innocent people.
I was five years old.
~ actio personalis moritur cum personal ~