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man,’ ” she said. Her arms were loose but her hands were fists at her side. “But there was a word shaker, too.”
One of the Jews on his way to Dachau had stopped walking now.
He stood absolutely still as the others swerved morosely around him, leaving him completely alone. His eyes
staggered, and it was so simple. The words were given across from the girl to the Jew. They climbed on to him.
The next time she spoke, the questions stumbled from her mouth. Hot tears fought for room in her eyes as she
would not let them out. Better to stand resolute and proud. Let the words do all of it. “ ‘Is it really you? the
young man asked,’ ” she said. “ ‘Is it from your cheek that I took the seed?’ ”
Max Vandenburg remained standing.
He did not drop to his knees.
People and Jews and clouds all stopped. They watched.
As he stood, Max looked first at the girl and then stared directly into the sky who was wide and blue and
magnificent. There were heavy beams—planks of sun—falling randomly, wonderfully to the road. Clouds
arched their backs to look behind as they started again to move on. “Its such a beautiful day,” he said, and his
voice was in many pieces. A great day to die. A great day to die, like this.
Liesel walked at him. She was courageous enough to reach out and hold his bearded face. “Is it really you,
Such a brilliant German day and its attentive crowd.
He let his mouth kiss her palm. “Yes, Liesel, it’s me,” and he held the girl’s hand in his face and cried onto her
fingers. He cried as the soldiers came and a small collection of insolent Jews stood and watched. Standing, he was whipped.
“Max,” the girl wept.
Then silently, as she was dragged away:
Jewish fist fighter.
Inside, she said all of it.
Maxi Taxi. That’s what that friend called you in Stuttgart when you fought on the street, remember? Remember,
Max? You told me. I remember everything. . . .
That was you—the boy with the hard fists, and you said you would land a pun...
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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