As the Red Army rolled across Poland towards Berlin during the cold winter of 1944/45 it came to the notorious death camp where over a million people were exterminated, most of them Jewish on 27th January 1945. The horrors of what was being whispered about in the lands free from Nazi oppression, but being denied, was now proven.
This weekend, listening to the stories of those who survived the horrors of the Holocaust, the overwhelming message is not one asking for us for revenge those murdered, but for us to remember what happened and not to let history repeat itself.
Some years ago I wrote a short story in commemoration of all those who lost their lives in these darkest of dark places and of those who sacrificed their lives fighting for freedom of speech, religion and our way of life.
A printed copy of this story has been accepted for inclusion in the library of Yad Vashem Holocaust, Jerusalem. I put it here for all to read and if you wish to download it, there is a pdf at the bottom of my Novels & Short stories page Just click on the pdf.
The Walls Of Truth
The Interrogator sat behind a large desk contemplating the features of the man seated across from him, and smiled. The man did not react.
The man had no idea of where he was or how he had got here. This was a new experience for him. They, whoever they were, had allowed him to keep his uniform, but he was aware that it needed cleaning and pressing. There were some stains down the front of his shirt and he wondered how they had got there. He wanted a clean uniform, but more to the point, the respect due to someone of his position.
The room was unlike any he had ever known. The light suffusing the walls gave no glare and contained no colour. The desk reminded him of the one in his own study. It was set in the middle of the room like an island, leaving a space all around it allowing access to each wall. His study had been lined with books with the door hidden within one of the bookcases. He wondered how the door to this room was hidden within the light washed walls. Presumably the intent was to create a feeling of privacy and exclusion from the world outside in order for him to think and formulate his next move. He was, after all, a world leader and it was necessary to be secluded from all but his close subordinates.
He looked at the individual sitting opposite him. This person reminded him of himself before. The man stopped, unable to bring the events that had led up to his being here. Then he remembered. It was before he had realised the world needed someone with vision to bring it back to sanity; before his mother had died.
The Interrogator waited. The man seated before him had an expressionless face. The set of his jaw suggested that haughtiness lurked behind the blank expression; the dark eyes gave no hint of emotion. This passivity might have irritated another, but the Interrogator knew how such a personality would be able to distance himself from any immediate interaction with his surroundings. How else had he lived with the consequences of his personal ideals?
The Interrogator thought of all who had suffered under this man’s regime. The Interrogator sighed. There were many alleged crimes to ponder before any consideration could be given to any form of penalty.
“Tell me about yourself.” The Interrogator’s voice was warm and melodic, inspiring and inviting confidences.
The man knew all about the power of the voice. He too had inspired thousands. Not for him the trap of the smile and the quiet, subtle voice; the gentle tones designed to produce a confession. Besides, he had nothing to confess.
He in turn, studied The Interrogator. He remembered various members of his own cabinet who had sat before him in a similar position to that in which he now found himself. He refused to break eye contact with the person opposite, even though he thought he could see hundreds of hands mirrored in the Interrogator’s eyes, all reaching up – pleading. Momentarily, he considered what might be his fate if all those skeletal hands could reach him. He comforted himself knowing that they were figments of his imagination, nothing more.
“It is all documented.” His response was clipped
“But I want to hear your viewpoint.” The dulcet tones were soft and gently questioning as expected, inviting him to tell his story.
This puzzled the man. Through the power of modern technology he had been seen by millions; his every appearance had been recorded; so why did this Interrogator want to hear it from him. Everything he had said had been listened to by a grateful nation, he had been the subject of cinema newsreels, newspaper articles, radio programmes. The people had elected them their leader – they understood his vision of how their country would become the dominant world power because they had listened to what he had told them. His cabinet members all had their areas of speciality, they had been chosen specially. Their belief in hi, had ensured the reality of his vision.
“I only ordered what I believed was necessary.”
“Interesting.” The Interrogator leaned back, amused that man appeared to be playing for time. If so, then that was an easy game to play: he was in no particular hurry. They sat looking at each other.
“What was it that you believed was so necessary?”
The man shuffled in his seat. His left hand trembled involuntarily as he folded it under his right, silently cursing himself for the show of weakness.
The Interrogator smiled slightly, the crack in his victim’s armour was small, but it was there.
“The nation needed strong leadership; the people demanded we bring order to chaos!” He was pleased his voice sounded strong. “I had a vision and the people heard me.” The man smiled, gaining in confidence at the familiar sound of his own voice.
“It was a vision that some would consider provocative.”
“No,” The man was emphatic “not if the people thought so. It was their democratic decision to accept my ideas: they did not need to do so. They voted because they believed in the vision.”
The Interrogator nodded. This rhetoric was similar to others who used similar arguments in a vain attempt to save themselves. These others were little fish wriggling on hooks, hoping to be saved by blaming someone else. It had been a vain hope that this man would accept responsibility for the crimes committed in his name.
“My officers were all of a similar mind” the man continued. “They knew that to make a strong nation we had to take drastic actions.”
“I built an army over six years that they could be proud of; this restarted the economy, put food in their bellies and gave them back their self- respect!” The man continued, confident in the logic of his argument.
The Interrogator leaned back. This was true, 90 billion had been spent re- arming the nation and, at the time, had done everything the man said.
The wall facing the man fluttered into life and a newsreel showed a younger image of this individual standing in an open top car being driven through cheering crowds, all roaring their delight in seeing their glorious leader.
The man smiled at the memory of the day shown in this newsreel footage. That had been a glorious parade. He had put on his army uniform that morning determined to be seen as the dear and glorious leader of the whole army. He had sworn an oath that he would continue wearing the uniform until complete victory or death. Besides, he was entitled to wear it; he had served in the trenches during the Great Madness. It was the events during the peace that had followed that had determined that he was the one to bring the country back to its rightful place on the world stage.
The Interrogator considered what had been said and found that, for some, there might be something acceptable in this argument, even though nothing of the reasons of the man’s so called ‘vision’ had yet been revealed. It was true that strong leadership required strong actions, but at what point did strong leadership turn into dictatorship?
“So why Poland?”
“Bah!” The man’s left hand began to shake again, this time with fury. “It is always the same: everyone says that we invaded Poland, but they started it: they were a parasite in the body of other nations! They had to be purged.”
So far the Interrogator was being given a history lesson, albeit from a warped viewpoint.
“For what purpose?” The question was a fair one. The Interrogator wanted to know just how much planning had gone into the invasion of a sovereign country.
“Poland started the war with Germany. They had to be taught that we are the master race. The by-product meant that we had a bargaining tool to keep Russia out of the war.”
The Interrogator winced inwardly. The man was displaying no remorse or, indeed, any emotion. The wall behind continued to play what appeared to be newsreel footage of the rise of the National Socialist Party during the 1930s. On the screen, the man strutted through all the major cities together with all his generals all dressed in their smart uniforms, and it appeared that everybody loved him.
“The people realised that the fate of the Reich depends on me alone. They know that if they don’t follow me, Germany will be destroyed!” The man was enjoying educating this menial. “I gave France twenty-nine opportunities, but finally we came through the Ardennes and into France. The other generals did not see the brilliance of this move.”
The Interrogator knew better. What had been described was the early days of the war and the man had hesitated. Twenty-nine hesitations meant that France had survived. If the German army had swept through France as it had swept through Poland, Europe might now be a very different place.
The screen flickered again. This time showing the parade through Paris.
The man enjoyed again the sweet revenge of making the French generals sign their capitulation in the very same railway carriage that had been used to humble Germany in 1918. That moment had been a particularly honeyed one. He brushed an imaginary speck of dust from his knee.
The screen flickered to a coastal scene where men in uniform were huddled on a shallow beach. Stukas screamed out of the sky, peppering them with machine gun fire; battleships offshore replied – pounding the area behind the beachhead with shells whilst small boats took as many men as they could carry back to the larger ships. There was death and destruction on a huge scale. The hinterland was littered with abandoned tanks, armoured cars, weapons and bodies: it was an army in full rout.
The Interrogator watched as the man followed the scene being played out on the screen. Disbelief flickered across his features at seeing the success of the huge relief force made up of little ships of all sizes rescuing the embattled army from the beaches and ferrying them to the British navy vessels further out of range of the shore batteries.
“This was not meant to happen.” His response was clipped. “The army were slack, but you haven’t shown how quickly we over-ran Belgium, Norway, Holland and Finland.” The man switched the subject and concentrated on the success of the blitzkrieg. The wall responded and the scene changed to one showing the Panzer divisions racing across the countryside. The man relaxed: it appeared the technology responded to his thoughts. If this were so, he could show how, by acting decisively and not going through the ridiculous charade of declaring war, a true leader changes the world.
The Interrogator allowed him his moment of self- satisfaction before changing the scene to one of resistance. Single acts of defiance as railway bridges were blown up just as German troop trains were crossing; unexplained explosions in railway sidings, telephone lines being cut, the general attitude of the citizens of the occupied countries to their occupiers.
“It appears that not everyone shared your vision?”
The man wondered whether his thoughts really had controlled what appeared on the screen, or if it was just a coincidence. The Interrogator must have a control of some sort. He decided to ignore the visual prompts and again switched the subject.
“The British did not play the game: they were badly led, so I ordered my Luftwaffe to bomb them into submission.” A night scene showing an aerial view of a city in flames appeared and, this time, the hum of engines and the krumphf of exploding bombs could be heard. He had thought of a scene and it had appeared on the screen and this knowledge comforted him. Whatever the technology, it was working in his favour.
The scene changed to a daylight one. High above the Kent countryside a Spitfire hove into view, its guns snapping at the tail of a Junkers 88. A Messerschmitt 109 chased the Spitfire across the sky, the two caught in a bitter dogfight. The Messerschmitt burst into flame as another Spitfire opened fire; the orange ball twisting and turning as it hurtled to earth.
The man shook his head as if denying what he saw. He was not prepared to accept the Spitfire was a far superior aeroplane to any in the Luftwaffe. Goering had lacked the balls to finish the job. He should never have allowed him to have command of the German air force.
“It was clear that I had to cut off any support to the British so I ordered a second front. Do you realise that within twenty days the glorious SS flag flew over the city of Minsk?”
Again, the switch of subject when the man did not like what was on the screen in front of him.
An image of the SS flag fluttering above a building flickered briefly, then switched to one of burning oil wells with the swastika flying over them.
“That plan was created by my genius. Now we had access to the oil fields. My generals wanted Moscow, but they were brought to heel. We went against Moscow in the October.”
The image changed to one of snow and ice and men suffering. It was hard to tell which side they were on, but it was apparent that the Russian winter was taking its toll of these soldiers.
“Tactically some might have considered the delay going against Moscow a mistake.” The melodic neutral tones had no effect and the man waved his hand in dismissal of such a thought.
“I had other things to occupy my mind. There had been an attempt to kill me, but it was clear that the Gods had saved me in order to complete my vision. What you must understand is that to keep the enemy on their toes you must fight, fight, fight! So I declared war on America.”
The man squinted at the relaxed figure on the other side of the desk. He was surprised that the Interrogator was not reacting at all to what was being shown or what he was being told. Clearly, he would have to explain to this moron what was perfectly obvious to anyone of any intelligence.
“To make an army fight with greater determination, you must first cut off all lines of retreat.”
“Most tacticians throughout history would disagree.”
“You sound like Rommel and his friends. They came to me with such a story, but they listened to me and understood.”
The Interrogator nodded. Similar conversations with others had confirmed that the generals had tried to convince this man that his strategy was more than flawed – it was suicidal. Unfortunately, his ability to talk people into believing his warped vision of the world might be described as hypnotic. Those who had attended the rallies said it took a lot of determination not to be sucked into believing everything that was said. They had said that the effect was difficult to describe. Even now the man spoke with such absolute conviction that the Interrogator could understand that, for some, it would difficult to resist the hypnotic tone.
“Tell me, what were your reasons for continuing the battle of Stalingrad?”
“Pah!” The man slammed his fist on the desk making the Interrogator jump. The man was surprised. He had not expected a physical reaction. “The Generals did not obey my orders! It was their fault! The Army betrayed me!!”
The Interrogator took a deep breath. It was clear that soldiers under this command were considered as nothing but cannon fodder. The man leapt to his feet:
“Who are you to be asking all these questions?” he shouted. ” I do not need to justify myself to anyone!”
“You need to justify yourself to me.” The Interrogator’s voice was soft and low. Gone was the melodic gentleness, replaced with a hint of menace. The man neither caught the nuanced change of voice, nor the subtle change in the body language. “What about your niece?”
The man stopped waving his arm. “She was beautiful.” The question had caught him off guard and brought memories of being with her. He sat down, remembering her soft brown hair and pure, unblemished white skin. Unthinking, he ran his fingertips up and down his arm in a cruel parody of the way he had done to hers when they were alone.
The Interrogator could see these memories on the wall behind where the man was sitting. The young woman winced as the man’s fingers touched her forearm, but she said nothing.
“That is not in dispute; however, she was your niece.”
The man tilted his head wondering why he was being asked to examine his relationship with the girl. She had had to answer to him just as everyone else did.
“She died young, didn’t she?” The Interrogator prompted.
“She committed suicide.” The response was clipped. The man pulled himself upright and sat stiffly in the chair. The Interrogator noted this simple statement was not tinged with sadness, and raised an eyebrow in questioning disbelief.
“Did she?” The question was designed to prompt more long buried memories.
The man shifted in his seat. His niece had been beautiful and had listened to him, understanding his words. She had looked so much like his mother; her brown eyes had twinkled in the same way as hers and her long hair was the same chestnut colour. She had even worn it in the same way as his mother, just to please him. He remembered how cross he had been when she had cut it all off without his permission. His hand twitched again and a muscle in his face echoed this involuntary response. The man wondered how the Interrogator seemed to be able to see into the darkest recesses of his memory.
The wall he could see suddenly showed a room and the man recognised his niece’s bedroom. The sun streamed in through the windows and he watched as she sat in front of her dressing table reading a letter. He assumed it was one of his because she lifted it to her lips and kissed it. He so missed the way she had hung on his every word.
The door of her room swung open and a young man entered, closing the door behind him. He turned the key. His niece turned, rose and went towards the newcomer; they embraced, and the young lifted her on to the bed. The man sat immobile as he watched them making love.
It had been reported to him that his niece had been unfaithful. His personal secretary had further reported that the young man was very public with his thoughts regarding his master’s ideas. He remembered how he had ordered the young man be removed from his niece’s society and how, some days later, how his secretary had reported that the youth had been removed. His secretary had also reported that his niece had been so heartbroken at the young man’s disappearance that she had committed suicide. The remembered sadness of hearing this news flooded through him once again. Being with her had been as if he had been with his mother. He wondered why he was being asked to remember this event.
The scene changed again. Soldiers burst into his niece’s room, grabbed the young man and beat him to the floor. The man began to push himself out of his chair. This was not as it had been reported. His secretary had told him that they had arrested the youth away from his niece’s flat.
An officer slapped his niece across the face and punched her in the stomach; she fell back on to the bed. A soldier rifle butted the youth to the floor as he rose to defend his lover. She struggled to rise and pull the soldiers away from the young man, who was being kicked and punched as he lay on the floor. A single pistol shot rang out and the girl fell backwards on to the bed, a red flower of blood staining her chest. The snap of the pistol shot made the soldiers stop. The youth lay groaning on the floor and the soldier holding the pistol lifted it, aimed at the young man’s head and fired. The head exploded showering the room in fragments of blood, bone and tissue. The headless corpse lay inert on the bedroom floor.
The man sat stunned unable to believe what he had just seen.
“So it was suicide was it?” The Interrogator asked; the tone of voice was ironic.
“I was told that was the case; I had no idea. Is this true? Is what I have just seen what truly happened?” The man’s voice was a mere whisper.
The man’s reaction was clearly genuine, there was no doubt of that, in which case perhaps there was hope, but that would depend on whether he accepted ultimate responsibility for the all orders he had issued.
“Why would I lie to you? I have nothing to gain by lying.”
“I was told that he had resisted arrest and there had been a tragic accident and then my niece had committed suicide over his death.”
“Are you telling me there were no direct orders to kill them both?”
The man sat with his arms crossed holding himself and rocking backwards and forwards “I only said that it would be better if she did not see him again and that he was to be taught a lesson.”
“Did you say this directly to anyone?”
“I wrote a letter telling her that his ideas were a rebellion against the fatherland and that I wished her to stop seeing him. My secretary set spies on them and I learnt she was still seeing him, despite my wishes.” The man hugged himself tighter “she was so like my mother” he whimpered.
The Interrogator looked at the snivelling individual sitting opposite him. Aware of the scrutiny the man shook himself and regained his composure. To show vulnerability was to show weakness. He could not show his enemy weakness. His people understood him: they had listened.
The wall behind the Interrogator flickered again, this time showing a night-time view of a stadium filled with people. Columns of light stretched upwards to heaven in vertical pillars all around the stadium perimeter. The floor of the stadium was filled ranks of devoted followers and shadows stretched across them. These shadows resembled lightning bolts. He remembered how he had thought these would make good symbols for an elite troop. His Minister of Propaganda had incorporated them as insignia for his elite Storm Troopers, the best of the best, the most feared of all the army units. Men who had no problems with conscience, they did what had to be done. Men he could trust.
“Recognise this?” The Interrogator waved his hand and the scene changed. This time all four wall screens flickered into life. Hundreds of people stood behind barbed wire, dressed in striped pyjamas. They said nothing, but every pair of eyes asked a thousand questions.
The man shifted his position to make himself more comfortable. His leg hurt and his right arm ached from his shoulder to the wrist.
“It was necessary to purge the people of any defect that would affect the future race. Sometimes that meant moving them into a separate place, or even removing them completely.”
“And you believe that was acceptable?” The Interrogator asked.
“It was necessary.” The man relaxed, confident the Interrogator now understood. “After the Great Madness it was clear that we had become tainted both physically and spiritually. It was necessary.”
The Interrogator remembered hearing these speeches and wondering how this man had come to power because if anyone analysed these words they were nothing but a litany of hate. But his interviewee had come to power and had attracted others like him to help wield the whips of dictatorship. The Interrogator was intrigued to know if his prisoner had ever visited any of the ‘labour’ camps, but no flicker of recognition of any of the scenes crossed the impassive face seated before him.
“These camps were built to house a labour force. We needed their labour and in return, we housed them. I do not concern myself with such trivial details.” The man smoothed his hair back across his head and wondered when this ridiculous questioning would end. The Interrogator was irritating, even more so because the man thought that physically, he appeared to resemble his own younger self, except this individual was unable to grasp the concept that to rule the world one first had to rid it of those who were impure and there were no more impure people than the Jews.
“My ministers all understood my ideology. All I had ever needed was to voice a thought and they understood and acted upon it. The greatest threat to my utopian world were the Jews, the dissidents, the gypsies, the homosexuals and the negroes. Anyone with a deformity, either physical or mental, should not be allowed to exist” he shouted, then paused to take a breath. “The perfidy of the Jews necessitated their destruction. If my own nation were to be put to such a test, I would not shed a tear. It was the survival of the fittest.”
The walls flickered as if responding to the tension building in the room.
“Can you justify your orders?” The questioning voice was calm and low.
“Why should I justify them? I do not answer to anyone; I am their leader!” His voice had risen to a shout. He was angry. No-one questioned his authority. No-one!
The Interrogator looked away and studied the walls. Hundreds of people pressed against the wires entrapping in the camps. He gave an involuntary shudder at the brutality of the dehumanisation of these poor wretches brought about by the orders of this human. Every one of them had died and every single one deserved an answer from the man who had ordered their deaths. This individual had to atone for for his bloody vision.
The walls flickered again and scenes of tanks driven by Allied soldiers being greeted with crowds of happy people, flowers being thrown with joy at the arrival of the liberating troops flowed across the walls. German soldiers surrendered. were rounded up and herded into POW camps – and all were treated humanely.
Young boys attempting to defend a ruined and smoking Berlin against the might of the Red Army intent on reaping revenge for the siege of Stalingrad and all their companions who had died in the war.
“Why are you keeping me here?” The man’s voice was clipped. He had regained some composure. “I am not used to this sort of treatment. When your superiors learn of your treatment of me, you will be sorry.”
“Treatment? Do you think you’ve been mis-treated?” The Interrogator was mildly amused. “How? Have you been beaten up? Starved ? Perhaps confined against your will – like them?” The Interrogator waved his hand at the walls where now row upon row of silent witnesses stood silently listening; and waiting.
The man thought about this for a moment. It was true, he had not been beaten or starved; he had not tried to leave so could not say whether he had been confined against his will. Even though he could not see a door he was sure there was one, otherwise how had they both got here.
“What about all the innocent people who suffered for your vision?”
“There are no people who are completely innocent!” The man shouted, angry that the questioning was continuing. “They need to be taught that we are the master race!”
“Tell me your plans for after you had achieved the purity of your chosen race.”
The man ignored the question since it was obvious to any fool with half a brain as to what would happen. Germany would be greatest empire the world had ever known. He looked at the walls; everywhere he looked, people looked at him accusingly.
His niece’s face looked out at him as if pleading for something. She was so like his mother. He missed his mother’s kiss; his niece had kissed him like his mother and held him close until his nightmares had gone away. The man again clasped his arms and rocked back and forth whimpering as he nursed these precious memories of his mother. Life had been so simple when she was alive. She had made everything simple, she had loved him. She had wanted him to be an artist and she had believed that it was as an artist he would make his mark on the world. She had known he was destined for great things, but she had died and left him and then his niece had done the same.
The Great Madness had taught him that great things required great deeds and great vision and to do this he needed the help of men with ability and similar vision. The victors of the Madness had behaved badly and loaded his nation with debt, leaving the people with no pride and so many restrictions that Germany could never recover. He had given his people back their pride, put food in their bellies. This was enough reason to follow him and they had; for the past twelve years they had followed him.
The walls continued showing terrible visions of skeletal people all looking at him as if he were responsible for their plight. He wanted them to go away; it was not his fault they were locked up. His ministers had been the ones who had built the camps and done the locking up. The rest was only rumour; these walls were telling lies. He had never described how the world was to be rid of the Christ killers. The abominations on the walls were not of his direct ordering. Goebbels, Himmler, Bormann; they had wanted them dead. Eichmann – yes, it had been Eichmann who had ordered them dead – he had come up with the best ideas.
Speer. Yes! Speer had been his architect and had designed the buildings required for the Final Solution. The details of the Final Solution were for others to work out, he was a man of vision – others had delivered the details. Speer had been one of these detail men and he had been the one responsible for the design of all the camps. Had they all been questioned too? Perhaps they were trying to implicate him in their guilt! This thought tugged at the corners of his mind. If so, where were they?
Were they in rooms such as this one?
The Interrogator watched as the man struggled with his thoughts. Was there an atom of remorse to be seen for the hundreds of crimes committed against humanity on this man’s order before judgement was pronounced and sentence given. The walls told the truth and each and every one of these victims required atonement.
“How dare you question Me! I WILL BE OBEYED!” The man slammed his clenched fist onto the desktop as he leapt to his feet. “THIS INTERROGATION IS OVER.”
The man strode to the wall and found the door; feeling the smooth surface his hand finally found and tried the knob of the door handle. Nothing happened. The handle would not turn. The man pulled again, and again, and again, rattling the door in frustration, horrified to realise that he was trapped.
The Interrogator snorted in derision.
“You do not leave this room until I say so. Sit down.”
The man turned, his hand still on the door handle. His vision for Germany had so nearly succeeded except for the stupidity of people like the Interrogator.
They had sent armies against him. Air forces had bombed his cities; these same bombs had destroyed his factories; the people had begun to question his rationale. Some had even dared to attempt to assassinate him. Those who had dared raise their voices in opposition had been made an example of as a warning to others.
He squared his shoulders and pulled the hem of his jacket to straighten the creases. He slicked back his hair and clicked his heels together.
“Release me! You will rue the day you put ever questioned me. No-one has ever had the audacity of treating me, me – the leader of the master race – like this.”
The Interrogator smiled. “For someone like you, judgement is easy.”
The man looked at the Interrogator in disbelief. No one questioned him, let alone make statements of judgement. His left hand trembled; this happened more and more these days and the headaches were becoming more frequent making it difficult to think.
The walls flickered again, this time showing his various ministers either in hiding, on the run or those that had been captured were now interned – in separate cells. His Air Marshall lay on his bunk as if asleep. The Interrogator informed him that he would never waken. Likewise, his Minister of Propaganda had taken cyanide and his wife had killed all their children and then herself.
But what of Eva, his wife of only a few hours? What had become of her? The walls flickered again showing her lying dead in the bunker. He had forgotten, but the sight of her body reminded him that he had shot her.
“They’re dead?” The man’s tone was one of disbelief. He looked down at his tunic front and realised the marks on the front of it were splashes of dried blood.
The Interrogator stood up. It was time to leave this individual with the evidence of his ‘vision’.
As the man watched the final moments of his life play out 24
on the walls, the Interrogator made his decision. Just as they could both see all the victims of this madman, the people seen on the walls could see only the man. If he were to speak, they could hear him.
The Interrogator had spoken with each one and knew that what each of them wanted to hear this man give every one of them, individually, one word of contrition, one word of remorse; to hear him say that he was wrong. The Interrogator looked at the pathetic individual who had systematically set about ridding the world of a whole race race, of those with disabilities, differing political views to his or who loved a member of their own sex. The man stood looking at the figures before him. His whole stance was one of defiance and denial.
For now, the world was now safe, but unfortunately there would always be another evil genius to take his place. This building housed all of them that had gone before. All that was left for The Interrogator to do was to turn the key to this particular room and throw it away, just as had happened with all the others.
The door closed quietly and now outside in the corridor, the Interrogator ran a hand round the edges of the door and watched the security technology seal the opening so that each doorway became invisible.
Walking down the corridor examining the seals on each of the cells the Interrogator left the prison block. To leave any cell all any inmate had to do was to show remorse to each and every one of the millions of people who had died as a result of the orders of that inmate. The Interrogator had asked questions of each of the occupants and the victims had watched the trial. They were the ones who would now pass sentence.
That would take time, even unto eternity.
This short story is dedicated to all who fought against the Nazi oppression in World War 2 and those who lost their lives on Hitler’s altar of hate.
Because of their diligence and sacrifice we walk free today.
Melanie V Taylor July 2017.
© Melanie V Taylor 2013 All Rights Reserved.