All the dialogue will be in Dutch and German, to add perfect authenticity. Now, not to confuse the English readers, I will "subtitle" the story in the method as shown below:
" Dit is hoe het zal zijn."
(This is how it will be.)
I hope that it will be suitable for my readers, and I hope it will not confuse anyone.
Also, there will be very mature situations, including murder, language, etc, as well as graphic war violence pertaining to Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. If you at all feel nervous reading such scenes, you have been warned.
And to my Dutch and German readers, if you see any non-historical information pertaining to accuracy and setting for both the Netherlands or Germany, do not hesitate to let me know.
Reader discretion is advised.
"Ze komen eraan, ik zeg het je, ze komen."
(They're coming, I'm telling you, they're coming!) the store owner said as he wrapped up some meat for his regular customer, who he generally considered his best friend.
That man was Klaus Kanker, who will lay our scene.
"Ik geloof het pas als ik het zie."
(I'll believe it when I see it.) Klaus said as he grabbed his meat off of the glass counter top. His comment slid off as almost cliche. Nazi Germany had been threatening the Netherlands for years now, so the verge of invasion was always a concern, for the paranoid citizens of course. But Hitler considered the Dutch to be part of the "Master Race", so they didn't fear annilation as much as, say, the French, or the British, or the Americans even. It wasn't something that came across as threatening. However, the Dutch did fear the Nazis in general, as they were very intimidating.
When Hitler had taken over Germany in 1933, the people of Germany had actually felt a kind of hope. A kind of rejuvination of some type. After World War I, the entire country was in a bad depression. Most of the towns were completely destroyed, much of the farm land and country side had been turned into trenches, and all the jobs were gone. In short, the people had no hope, no reason to go on, no real feeling that they should continue with what they were doing, because it made them feel terrible to even consider the possiblities of their future. But then, then a man named Adolf Hitler came along.
Hitler was pretty much the last one standing. He proposed the nationalsozialistischen Deutsch Arbeiterpartei or the National Socialist German Worker's Part, Nazi for short. He had the autoban built, as well as beefing up the enitire Geramn military with his creation of the Wehrmacht.
However, Hitler truly had a secret plot behind all. It all started with the building of "work camps" in places such as Dachau, Austchwitz, and other areas like that. Hitler proposed the "super race", better known as the "Master race" of the Vaderland (Fatherland). He considered blond haired, blue eyed males to be that race, and that they should be protected in order to form a super race to take over the world. All these "Aryans" were being round up and put into either high military positions, or into "Hitler Youth," a regiment of young Nazi soldiers, specifically trained to one day fight for the Wehrmacht.
Now, on the flip side of that coin, Hitler believed that certain people were unfit to inhabit the "Vaderland," and should be exterminated in order to make room for the Super Race. These people included the Jews, Russians, Poles, gypsies, hanicapped, and the Jehovah's Witnesses. He believed that all of these people need to be killed, as he thought they had no right to get in the way of his take over. The common belief in Germany as well was that Jewish bankers caused World War I and the Depression, so all the blame was shifted to them. And being Jewish was not an easy thing in this time in Europe. They were forced into practical isolation by the Nazis, and strict laws caused them to have to hide in their homes, out of fear of being killed by the Waffen-SS troops that patrolled around the cities of Germany.
Here, where the story is currently at, in the Netherlands, Germany had not yet taken over. Hitler was much more preoccupied with France, Russia, Britain, and America. He considered the Netherlands to be so small, so insignificant, it was almost not enough to cross his mind. Also, the Germans and Dutch have always had a love/hate relationship,similar to the United States and Britain.
But here in this little delicatesean, in the middle of the bustling city of Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, one man, one single man, will change the lives of hundreds of people in the future. But he would never know it until years later.
"Ik weet het niet. het is zo lastig. een minuut dat ze hier zijn, een minuut dat ze er zijn. ik zoek een invasie binnenkort. het is slechts een kwestie van tijd."
(I don't know. it's so tricky. one minute they're here, one minute they're there. i look for an invasion soon. it's only a matter of time.) the meat keeper said as he leaned over on his counter. The white paper hat on his head was begininning to fall off, and his apron was ruffled slightly from the neck tie under it. The face of this man was of much worry. His slicked-back parted hair was a dark blond, and his eyes were very deep blue.
"Ik denk dat je een beetje gek, de heer Van Wilmer. U bent dwaas."
(I think you're a bit crazy, Mr. Van Wilmer. You're being foolish.) Klaus said as he also leaned down on the counter, being playful and coy with his friend, Rodrieck Van Wilmer, the main cook at the local deli on this particular street.
"Gewoon kijken en zien, Klaus, zal de nazi's hier voor morgen komt voor ons."
(Just watch and see, Klaus, the Nazis will be here before tomorrow comes before us.) Rodrieck Van Wilmer responded, as he tilted his head at his dear friend and walked back to the cash register to tend to some other customers.
"Ik zal er zeker om wakker te worden en je bellen als ze dat doen."
(I'll be sure to wake up and call you if they do.) Klaus called back, placing his cupped hands around his mouth. The two would always tease each other like this. They had done so since they were children, and now was no exception.
"Ik zal niet naar huis!"
(I won't be home!) Rodrieck called back as well, through a well defined smile. It was that one thing about him that stuck out. It possibly his slightly prominent overbite, but that wasn't just it. It was his entire personallity. Like he was so goofy and paranoid it was funny.
Were have we seen this before? Or technically speaking, where will we see this? I believe you know who I am talking about.
"Wat, hete date vanavond of zo?"
(What, hot date tonight or something?) Klaus asked him, as he started to giggle. They both had always had their little crushes, growing up together. Now Klaus was married to his, but Rodrieck was still in search. So in search to the point where Klaus would constantly tease him for it. It was one of those friendly gestures that only good, best friends can do to each other.
"Ha, ik wil!"
(Ha, I wish!) Rodrieck gaffawed as he put some customer money into his cash register and closed it again, making all the typical dings and chimes a cash register usually makes."Hoe dan ook, ik moet vanavond laat werken. Je weet wel, schoon."(Anyway, I have to work late tonight. You know, clean.)
"Schoon te maken? U heeft niet schoongemaakt je eigen zelf in vijf jaar!"
(Clean? You haven't cleaned your own self in five years!) Klaus replied with a big laugh as he clapped his hands. The two eighteen year olds laughed together after a while, sharing a nice friendly banter. If one didn't know better, one could swear they were twins. Just two, great guys. Trying to make it in life, one step at a time. And in the midst of a major war, they could still find ways to be humorous and funny.
"Ja, ja, zoals ik heb niet gehoord dat een voor ..."
(Yeah, yeah, like I haven't heard that one before...) Rodrieck responded, shaking his head at Klaus's comment. But one could not ignore the fact that Rodrieck did take care of himself, as best he could. He was overall a good guy, and was just trying to find his place in this world. Just like all of us today. Just looking for that one place, that one niche where we can take off.
"Hey, wat doe je morgen middag?"
(Hey, what are you doing tomorrow afternoon?) Klaus asked.
"Niet veel, waarom?"
(Not much, why?) he responded, ringing up another customer at the counter.
"U wilt over te gaan naar de nieuwe afbeelding? Ik hoor "Gone with the Wind" speelt."
(You wanna go over to the new picture? I hear Gone with the Wind is playing.) Klaus asked, hoping to get his friend to go somewhere.
"Tuurlijk, prima. Maar u betaalt deze keer."
(Sure, fine. But you pay this time.) Rodrieck said, as he pinched and moved his fingers to immitate money.
"Goedkope kont, kunt u niet betalen voor een ding?"
(Cheap ass, you can't pay for one thing?) Klaus asked. Rodrieck was always very tight with his money, and rarely would he let a mark out of his sight.
"Goed, goed, ik zal betalen voor de tickets. Maar je moet het eten te kopen."
(Fine, fine, I'll pay for the tickets. But you have to buy the food.) Rodrieck said, being forced to make a compromise. Somehow, he was always made to compromise with Klaus. It was almost as if Klaus was a bully, taking the quarter jar away from those who earned it in the first place.
"Geweldig, tot dan."
(Great, see you then.) Klaus said, as he stood up straight and walked over to the door.
"Wacht, wat tijd?"
(Wait, what time?) Rodrieck cried out from behind the cash registar, sticking his head up to find his friend in the crowd.
"Uh, aanvang op drie."
(Uh, show time's at three.) Klaus said as he walked toward the big glass doors that stood at the front of the building, welcoming in new visitors."Tot ziens."(By now.)
(See ya.) Rodrieck said as he waved, going back to his job. Rodrieck was such a hard worker, no matter how goofy, and always maintained a hard profile, day in and day out. He knew when to be serious, knew when to be goofy. He knew how to act in most occasions. He had mastered the art. After so long, it just came naturally to him.
Walking out to the street, hundreds of people walked up and down the busy sidewalks of Rotterdam. Klaus Kanker walked out and was greeted by the American song I'm Sittin' on Top of The World by Al Jolson. The song really set the mood for the entire scene, as everything was wonderful in the little street. Merchants up and down were selling their items and food. Dusty old VolksWagens and American Fords made their way up and down the cobblestone street, hopping us and down, up and down to the beat of their own drum. Men and women alike strolled their way around, in suits and dresses. The smell of sausage and beer filled the light and careless air, as the late spring sun was almost ready to start setting below the horizion. Not much else to say, really. There is not much to say. It was just a wonderful little scene, this area. The connected stores, all alike with their big glass windows and aluminum awninings that hung over the sidewalk, a place where both the children and adults alike had fun. Red, white, and blue striped Dutch flags blew rapidly in the wind as shop owners swept their sidewalks, and greeted their customers with a certain happiness not seen anymore today. And it's a shame.
Vandaag is een grote dag!"
(Today is one great day!)Klaus said as he skipped down the side walk, happy as he could be. The sun really shinned out from his heart, and the big grin on his face only proved even further his joyous feelings. He didn't even know why he was happy. He just was. He didn't care about Hitler, or Nazi Germany, or the World War that was going on all around the Netherlands. None of that bothered him. All he cared about was how he was going to live his life, and how he was going to be successful with it. Eighteen years old, and nothing but aces. He had a beautiful wife, a newborn son, and a great job working at a chicken factory. Only one thing could make this picture any better.
"Hey Klaus, wat is er aan?"
(Hey Klaus, what's going on?) a voice called out from beyond the confines of a small brick building, just outside of Klaus' perifial vision. It was a voice so unique, yet so foreign.
"Wie is dat? Wie genoemd?"
(Who's that? Who called?) Klaus called out, as he turned around several times, trying to find who was trying to communicate with him. He just couldn't find out, but he really knew. It could only be one person. And it was the person Klaus wanted to see the most right now.
"Simon, ben jij dat?"
(Simon, is that you?) Klaus said, as he looked to his right to see a man leaning out a big window that was postioned in front of the store. He was a tall, skinny man with rust-colored hair, and a scruched up 1920s train driver cap, and the gray wool was well wrinkled. He also wore a white dress shirt with the seeves rolled up, as well as green slacks that adjusted to his tall heigh perfectly. He leaned out of the window, wih his elbow on the pane, and his torso curved out and looking out.
"Ik hoop van wel!"
(I certainly hope so!) he said as he made a goofy facial expression, moving his hat up and down by the visor, effectively greeting his old friend."Hoe gaat het mijn vriend? Hoe ben je geweest?"(How are you my friend? How have you been?)
"Oh, ik heb zo goed als ik kan doen, denk ik. Er gaat niets boven het zien van een oude vriend die bij uw stemming te brengen."
(Oh, I've been doing as well as I can, I suppose. Nothing like seeing an old friend to bring your mood up.) Klaus said, smiling, as he leaned his tired shoulder on the window pane next to his friends. The two exchanged a handshake before they got down to business.
"Je een biertje?"
(You want a beer?) Simon said, looking his friend dead in the eye. After all, the lettering on the front of the building did read "Simon's Bier."
"Wil je er een? Je weet dat ik zou een wilt!"
(Want one? You know I'd want one!) Klaus said as he chuckled. Beer was always something Klaus could go for, especially this time of the day.
"Geweldig, een biertje komt eraan!"
(Great, one beer coming right up!) Simon said as he reached his left hand down and pulled out two brown bottles of high-priced beer, handing one to Klaus.
(Thanks.) Klaus said as he grabbed the bottle with his hand. The bottle was quite cold, and the change in temerature was almost enough to make him drop it. But it was beer, and Klaus would never, ever do something as stupid as drop a bottle of beer to the ground.
(You're welcome.) Simon said as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a bottle opener. He pushed the metal device back and forth, pusing the metal cap off the bottle, releasing the bubbly fizzy sound that the tall beer bottle made as the trapped air was released from with in it. He passed the opener to Klaus, who repeated the steps previously mentioned.
The two sat there, sipping their beers, not making eye contact or talking, but simply looking around the town, spying all the things that were going on about the city. All the different people going by. The music blarring over the crowd. Now it was In The Mood by Glenn Miller. The town was very fast paced, and the people moved even faster. It seemed like it could practically be another Amsterdam, in a way. Rotterdam is a port city, so you have to figure all the shipping and trading that goes on. But beyond all that, it was just a normal Dutch city with normal Dutch people, like our good friend Klaus Kanker.
"Dus Simon, heb je gehoord?"
(So Simon, have you heard?) Klaus asked, taking a long swig of his beer.
(Heard what?) Simon asked, also taking a large swig. His was longer though, and boy did he savor every flavor.
"Je weet wel, over Duitsland en de nazi's."
(You know, about Germany, and the Nazis.)
"Ik weet niet, hoe zit het met hen?"
(I don't know, what about 'em?) Simon said, taking a sip as he moved his eyes up and down the street, as if he was suddenly more paranoid now than before.
"Ik heb gehoord dat ze moeten om binnen te dringen of iets dergelijks."
(I heard they're supposed to invade or something.) Klaus responded, looking down the street as he saw a woman with a very nice figure. He and Simon both followed her movements, their jaws open. They both looked back at each other with a smile, and sort of chuckled, at the very idea of it.
"Nu waar heb je het gehoord gek stront als dat?"
(Now where did you hear crazy shit like that?) Simon asked, looking at Klaus with a very funny face.
"Rodrieck Van Wilmer me verteld."
(Rodrieck Van Wilmer told me.) Klaus said, sipping the last bit of the beer he had left.
"Rodrieck Van Wilmer? Je kunt niet luisteren naar wat hij zegt. De man is gek!"
(Rodrieck Van Wilmer? You can't listen to anything he says. The man's insane!) Simon said, throwing his empty bottle over in the basket next to the window. And it's true. Rodrieck Van Wilmer did have a reputation for being "crazy" in the town. He had claimed to see "aliens" as well, and even claimed to be abducted. Have the things he said, he made up. So no one in the city knew when he was being serious or not.
"Ja, nou, wat als hij gelijk heeft? Wat als hij toch gelijk geweest?"
(Yeah, well, what if he's right? What if he's been right all along?) Klaus asked.
"Rodrieck Van Wilmer toch? Ik zou graag die dag te zien."
(Rodrieck Van Wilmer, right? I'd like to see that day.) Simon said, being sarcastic. The alcohol was already starting to settle in, and cause him to become quite drunk, even after only one beer.
"Je kijkt en ziet. Het zal gebeuren voordat je het weet."
(You watch and see. It'll happen before you know it." Klaus said, throwing his beer bottle away as he stood up straight, stretching out his arms.
"Ja, ja, ik hoor je."
(Yeah, yeah, I hear ya.)
"Nou, ik zie je later Simon. Ik moet het hoofd naar huis."
(Well, I'll see you later Simon. I have to head on home.) said Klaus as he moved infront of the window, to fully address his good friend.
"Goed dan, tot ziens vriend. Ik zie je later."
(Alright then, goodbye my friend. I'll see you tomorrow.) Simon said, waving with his left hand, though it was a wonder that he could still lift it up.
(Goodbye) Klaus said as he waved back and went down the street, heading home.
Though many things would change on his way back.