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Unformatted text preview: her was much milder. Being a live-in
housemaid in a wealthy part of Munich, she was most likely bored of children, but she was always capable of at
least a few smiled words in Liesel’s direction. She had soft lips. A quiet voice.
They came home together on the train from Munich, and it didn’t take long for old tensions to rise up.
A SHORT HISTORY OF
HANS HUBERMANN VS. HIS SON
The young man was a Nazi; his father was not. In the opinion of Hans Junior, his father was part of an
old, decrepit Germany— one that allowed everyone else to take it for the proverbial ride while its own
people suffered. As a teenager, he was aware that
his father had been called “Der Fuden Maler”—the Jew painter—for painting Jewish houses. Then came
an incident I’ll fully present to you soon enough—the day Hans blew it, on the verge of joining the party.
Everyone knew you weren’t supposed to paint over slurs written on a Jewish shop front. Such behavior
was bad for Germany, and it was bad for the transgressor.
“So have they let you in yet?” Hans Junior was picking up where they’d left off at Christmas.
“Take a guess—the party.”
“No, I think they’ve forgotten about me.”
“Well, have you even tried again? You can’t just sit around waiting for the new world to take it with you. You
have to go out and be part of it—despite your past mistakes.”
Papa looked up. “Mistakes? I’ve made many mistakes in my life, but not joining the Nazi Party isn’t one of
them. They still have my application—you know that—but I couldn’t go back to ask. I just . . .”
That was when a great shiver arrived. It waltzed through the window with the draft. Perhaps it was the breeze of the Third Reich, gathering even
greater strength. Or maybe it was just Europe again, breathing. Either way, it fell across them as their metallic
eyes clashed like tin cans in the kitchen.
“You’ve never cared about this country,” said Hans Junior. “Not enough, anyway.”
Papa’s eyes started corroding. It did not...
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This note was uploaded on 01/17/2014 for the course ENG 99 taught by Professor Michal during the Winter '13 term at CSU Sacramento.
- Winter '13