The next morning when they were called back in, the officer was anything but congenial. "I received a telegram today from Vankirke. Anton Van Deysen was found dead last night in Anneke Zeigler's home. So, I sent your descriptions in. Ms. Zeigler checks out, but you," he said, pointing to Nikolai, "were identified as Nikolai Rosenberg, an escaped Jew." He sat down a stack of papers, "I'm handing both of you over to the SS."
Nikolai and Anneke soon found themselves packed into a dark, airless van with about twenty other people. The road wound on and on until the van came to an abrupt stop. As they were herded out of the van, a distinctive smell emanated from a nearby pit: the stench of decaying flesh.
Nikolai held Anneke's hand tight in his own as the guard shoved them towards the pit's edge. Anneke was shaking in fear; fear that Nikolai refused to show. The smell of death overwhelmed them. The guard laughed to his buddy. "Hey! Let's see how many go down with one bullet. My bet is only two gives a clean kill."
His buddy called back. ''You're on!'" He yelled at Anneke. "Put your head against his chest and hold still."
Anneke did as she was told, knowing there was nothing else she could do. Nikolai wrapped his arms around her and whispered,"I love you, Anneke,"
She replied in a broken whisper, "I love you too, Nikolai." Then she felt the cold metal of a gun barrel against the skin of her temple. Her every muscle tensed in anticipation of the shot she knew would end her life. She could hear the guard slowly squeezing the trigger, and in her mind she begged for mercy. Then mercy came.