Unformatted text preview: ple at 45 Himmel Street sank with relief.
Some clenched their eyes and opened them again.
A cigarette was passed around.
Just as it made its way to Rudy Steiner’s lips, it was snatched away by his father. “Not you, Jesse Owens.”
The children hugged their parents, and it took many minutes for all of them to fully realize that they were alive,
and that they were goingto be alive. Only then did their feet climb the stairs, to Herbert Fiedler’s kitchen.
Outside, a procession of people made its way silently along the street. Many of them looked up and thanked
God for their lives.
When the Hubermanns made it home, they headed directly to the basement, but it seemed that Max was not
there. The lamp was small and orange and they could not see him or hear an answer.
“Max, are you there?”
They originally thought the words had come from behind the drop sheets and paint cans, but Liesel was first to
see him, in front of them. His jaded face was camouflaged among the painting materials and fabric. He was
sitting there with stunned eyes and lips. When they walked across, he spoke again.
“I couldn’t help it,” he said.
It was Rosa who replied. She crouched down to face him. “What are you talking about, Max?”
“I . . .” He struggled to answer. “When everything was quiet, I went up to the corridor and the curtain in the
living room was open just a crack. . . . I could see outside. I watched, only for a few seconds.” He had not seen
the outside world for twenty-two months.
There was no anger or reproach.
It was Papa who spoke.
“How did it look?”
Max lifted his head, with great sorrow and great astonishment. “There were stars,” he said. “They burned my
Four of them.
Two people on their feet. The other two remained seated.
All had seen a thing or two that night.
This place was the real basement. This was the real fear. Max gathered himself and stood to move back behind
the sheets. He wished them good night, but he didn’t make it beneath...
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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