"Now, how did the Holocaust happen?" Craig barked, swinging round on her good leg like a pivot and stomping towards the whiteboard. She hauled her stiff leg bad-temperedly after her, scowling at the effort. She wrenched the lid off a pen and viciously scribbled down,

"How did the Holocaust happen and how did the Nazis get away with it?"

Stabbing the dots over the 'i's and slashing the 'T's. Then she swung round again and confronted the class, black eyes glinting malevolently. Twenty doubtful faces stared back at her. A lone hand rose at the back of the classroom. Craig's eyes snapped onto the girl who stared determinedly back.


"The holocaust didn't happen though," Helena said. "It was a conspiracy made by the Russians to discredit the German Nationalist Socialist Party."

Craig's eyes hardened into black stones in her disfigured face. Snatching her cane she began to slowly advance on Helena, bearing threateningly down on her. Her nostrils flared as she drew in short, sharp breaths.

"Where did 6, 000, 000 people toddle off to then?" she demanded.

"I… they didn't exist… it was a fixed statistical error…" Helena said nervously.

"Didn't exist?" Craig snarled. "Didn't exist?"

She turned and made her way back down the gangway to the front of the class.

"6, 000, 000 people," she said, glaring around her. "6, 000, 000 people did not exist. You know what it is? The worst insult you could do to someone. Exterminate them in their millions then say everything that 'happened' to them was a sham. 6, 000, 000 fathers, mothers and children killed. Their screams of agony echoing throughout History, silenced and said they never existed."

She had reached the front of the class, beads of sweat glistening on her forehead. Her lips twisted tightly shut to stop herself from panting with the strain all this exercise had on her leg.

"Photographs," she snapped, "eye witnesses, confessions and buildings… all passed of as 'propaganda', 'liars', 'false' and the ruins bulldozed… all as if they had never existed. Quite frightening when you think about it."

The bell rang but no one moved. Craig, with a last resentful look at the class concluded,

"Never ever take anything at face value. Never just believe something because that's what you've always been told. Class dismissed!"

The class shut their files, stood up and began to quietly leave the classroom murmuring amongst them and shooting strange glances at their teacher, merging into the river of children in the corridor and swept away out into the quadrangle.

Craig lowered herself painfully into her chair and stretched out her bag leg like a piece of dead wood. She was a terrifying teacher. Her fierce temper and stubborn refusal to stick to the syllabus chosen by the Board of Governors left her department exasperated and the rest of the school confused and curious. If she enjoyed vexing them though, Craig did not show it. She remained constantly foul-tempered. Whether this was because of leg or some other private reason, no one knew. But she commanded a lot of respect among staff and pupils. She had served as a sergeant in the army during the Iran war. The amount of nuclear weapons used in that war, had left a scorch mark over the Middle East like a cigarette burn, which could be seen from space. She had been shot in the knee rendering her permanently crippled and unfit for service. Grudgingly she walked with the aid of a simple walking cane when making her way across the campus.

The most timid of her pupils feared her, the bolder were intrigued. She had a certain, unique knack of making her classes interesting and never dull. She would, if she was feeling particularly vindictive treat her class to a provocative psycho-analysis of their teachers, including that of the headmistress and also a viperous yet entertaining rant about the sixth form prefects, all of whom she intensely disliked.

"Doyle!" Craig suddenly barked as the last girl was leaving. She turned back.

"Yes, Miss Craig?" Evelyn asked.

Craig thrust at her an essay with a large 'A' and the sparing comment, 'Good' scrawled across the top of the first page. Evelyn stared at it in surprise.

"I liked it," Craig said shortly, after a short, embarrassed silence, uncomfortable at giving so much praise.

"Thank you," Evelyn smiled, still staring in disbelief at the paper.

"Go on then," Craig jerked her head to the door. Evelyn began to go, and then hesitated.


"Miss Craig. The holocaust didn't happen."

There was defiance in Evelyn's voice but her resolve wavered as Craig met her look with a blank, nasty stare.

"I'll talk about it on Friday," Craig said.

"It's just…" Evelyn began, knowing she was fast outstaying her welcome. "It's what we all know. It's what we've always been told. It was the greatest lie in human history."

"You're right," Craig said. "But it still is."

Evelyn looked uncertain but as Craig said no more she moved to the door again.

"Evelyn!" snarled Craig. "Something for you to think about. Has anyone ever told you anything you weren't sure was true yet you believed it because it was the easiest thing to do?"

Evelyn paused again. Her hand had been lightly resting on the handle, now her fingers curled round the cool metal and clenched it.

"Go on, get!"

She fled from the classroom.