Chapter 10: Jew
We don’t notice something until it has been pointed out to us, and then we see it everywhere.
Ivy hadn’t noticed that Kiel had such a large Jewish population until then. There was a large community on the east side of the city, near where Julia lived; but it was quite far from the coast, where Ivy’s house was. They had a lot of businesses downtown though, near Mr. Schmidt’s clinic.
Yesterday had been Uli’s birthday, he had been so happy to have finally turned fourteen. Although his parents didn’t celebrate his birthday, Ivy gave him a little gift box. He opened it and found inside a birthday card and two cinema tickets. Ivy’s parents had given her the money for it.
They went that same day to watch the new movie at the local cinema. It had been alright; although in Ivy’s opinion it could’ve been better if it had contained a little romance.
The movie had been about a Jewish man that had previously lied about theft crimes he committed and a German man who had been wrongfully convicted in his place. In the end, the innocent man’s family, who never gave up on him, came forth with evidence that proved his innocence and the Jew’s guilt. He was set free immediately and the Jew was sentenced to life in prison.
“He deserved it! A good man never lies, that Jew was a liar and a rat,” Uli exclaimed as they left the cinema.
“Do you think it’s just like they say Uli? You know, at school, and like they say on the newspaper and the radio? That they’re all like that? Do you think it’s true they’re the reason our country has suffered so much?” Ivy asked him.
“I do, I mean, so many people can’t be wrong, can they?”
“Yeah, you’re right. They’re weird people anyway. I notice that now, they dress so differently from everyone else, like they want to be noticed or something,” she said.“That’s true, but that’s not what bothers me, it’s how they only talk to other Jews, as if normal people aren’t good enough,” Uli told her.
“I asked my parents what they thought about them.”
“And what did they say?” Uli asked.
“Mom said that all men are innocent until it’s proven otherwise, and dad said that whatever the authorities say is true, because they know things we don’t,” she replied.
“My dad says the same, that the Führer knows best and we must listen to him.”
As they were walking home, they saw a police patrol and a military car parked in front of a tailor shop. A man who must have been the tailor was being forcefully brought out, with a police officer on either side of him holding his arms and his hands already handcuffed. “No please, I didn’t do anything, I swear!” he pleaded.
“Look,” Uli pointed to the shop’s window. Ivy saw that the word Jude was spray-painted in red alongside a large Hakenkreuz.
As one of the police officers shoved the man inside the patrol car, the other spoke to the Nazi officer observing the scene. He was leaning on his car and taking swigs from a large canteen that did not look like it contained water.
“I’m telling you we have no more room, I don’t know where we’re going to put him,” the police officer said to him.
“You’ll find a place. As long as it’s behind bars... I don’t care.”
“What part of no more room do you not understand?” the police officer asked him.
“Are you going to continue questioning my authority? Is your life worth it? Or are you going to do your fucking job?” the Nazi officer replied.
“No sir. Have a good day, sir,” the officer said through gritted teeth and he got in the car with his partner and the detainee, then they drove off.
The Nazi officer noticed Ivy and Uli standing there and said “And what are you looking at? Get lost!” and he took another swig.
“Come on, it’s getting late,” Uli grabbed her hand and they kept on walking toward her house. Ivy looked over her shoulder at the window once more and wondered if the officer meant prisons were full of Jews, and why so many of them had decided to become criminals as of last year.
Spring came and went with more arrests of Jews. When Summer came around, Ivy spent hers reading and attending Bund Deutscher Mädel meetings while Uli spent his vacation in Münich, with his grandparents. Now they were back in school, this time everything was different though. When they walked inside their 8th grade classroom, there were two Nazi officers standing alongside a modestly-dressed woman with one long, blonde braid.
Once everyone was settled in, the professor introduced herself as Professor Berger, their Biology teacher. Right away, the Nazi officers delivered a short speech on how the nationwide curriculum had been improved upon and ordered all the pupils to report any professor they thought was being disloyal to the Reich in any way.
Ivy and Uli had the same classes but sometimes at different times. The only classes they had together were Mathematics and Biology. Their other classes were Physical Education, Language, and History.
In history class they were taught that Germany was defeated in the Great War due to Jewish spies who sabotaged the nation. The Treaty of Versailles was a device that countries jealous of Germany’s power and glory had implemented to attempt to diminish their mighty nation. And the greatest downfall of them all, the United States’ stock market crash had been caused, as well, by Jewish sabotage. They learned of how strong and powerful Germany had been up to the current century, and how everything was in the works for their return to former glory.
Biology class was about the study of different races. In that class the students were taught the meaning of blood purity and the importance of maintaining it in order to have a nation populated only by a master race. They learned about the features that constituted the Aryan race or master race. A race which consisted of two sub-races: Red Nordid or rosy, sometimes freckled, pale people and White Nordid or easily tanned, slightly golden-hued people rather than pale, both of Nordic descent. Both with straight or structured noses and round to square facial structure, of taller bone structure, eye color ranging from dark brown to light blue and hair ranging from smooth black, brown, red, to pale blonde.
Pale blonde with blue eyes was the most common combination, and often the poster image. The majority of Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Northern Italy, Germany, Northern France and England’s population (among others) consists of Aryans.
In this class Ivy and Uli learned that Uli was the literal image of a pure White Nordid, with his hair and eyes being so light, and his skin always slightly tanned. Ivy was more of a Red Nordid but truly a combination of both, described by their professor as a southern German beauty. It was very flattering to say the least, but Ivy did feel secretly jealous of Uli’s and other students’ superior hair, since hers was a dark blonde, almost light brown. Still, she was aware that wasn’t as bad as being from the Jewish race, Negro race, or being mentally ill, and for that she felt lucky and blessed.
Mathematics class had taken an interesting turn, to say the least. The math certainly became more complicated now they were older, but the math problems seemed to all have an edge. All the problems were like these:
‘A plane on take off carries 12 bombs, each weighing ten kilos. The aircraft makes for Warsaw, the centre of international Jewry. It bombs the town. On take off with all bombs on board and a fuel tank containing 1500 kilos of fuel the aircraft weighed 8 tonnes. When it returned from the crusade, there were still 230 kilos of fuel left. What is the weight of the aircraft when empty?’
‘In addition to the Skull Index and the Face Index, the Profile Angle is also important in the racial evaluation of people. The Profile Angle is calculated from the “German horizontal” or the eye-ear plane to the profile line from the base of the nose and the surface of the upper jaw. One refers to a skull as “forward,” “middle,” or “level” jawed. Based on this standard, identify the profile angles of the following skulls...’
‘The construction of a lunatic asylum costs 6 million marks. How many houses at 15,000 marks each could have been built for that amount?’
In Physical Education class the boys had to practice digging trenches in the mud or have boxing matches. Knocking out the opponent and insulting the weaker boys was encouraged, and Uli and his closest friends excelled at both.
In the girls’ class they had to run, jump, and practice gymnastics. It was all starting to remind them of their Hitlerjugend meetings, and after a while none of it was as fun as it had seemed at first.
So much discrimination in one chapter! It was quite overwhelming to write. It was also tricky to view the world from the perspective of two characters who are being so brainwashed. Some of my colleagues and friends are Jewish, and it’s needless to say how insane it is to get in the mindset of a Nazi supporter, especially when planning this chapter. It gets worse, bear with me and keep in mind that I don’t believe in discriminating, segregating, or even judging other people. I apologize for the crude language, but if I clean it up it just won’t be realistic.
Jude is Jew. Hakenkreuz is Swastika.
Math problems examples are real.