A powerful scream filled the empty room and in a flash his hand smashed through the glass window. He couldn’t look himself in the face. This time, his hands were stained red with his own blood. He stared at them, and images of the women and people he had just been reading about swam before his eyes. His breath quickened, and his hands began to shake violently. In the shards of glass left hanging in the window, he saw the right side of his body.

He got only halfway up his body, before his eyes became locked on his upper arm. The red band with the bold, black swastika printed on it captured his full attention.

Vergib mir Kameraden, Forgive me comrades?” whispered SturmmannFranz Dresner. His words filled the empty room. His mind was racing.

As the glass in the window shattered, so too did his façade. A rush of emotion surged through him. It was empowering, invigorating. Inexplicably, he felt his sympathy and sorrow slip away.  It was quickly replaced by waves of pride, anger and superiority.

As he stared at the soiled papers in disdain, he suddenly realised how many different styles of handwriting covered the papers in the damp pile. He wondered how many authors had died here and bequeathed their testimonies of torture to the next? His eyes darted around the room in a manic fashion and an incredulous look flashed across his face. He went around the small, cluttered room, pulling the papers and boxes off the shelves. Once everything was on the floor, he proceeded to collect all the papers, in large heaps, placing them unsystematically on the table.

At this point, something occurred to him. That what he had spent the day reading were not diary entries, nor were they just the scribblings of women. They were much more.

The End

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