A New Friend 

Devils of death descended upon Europe announcing devastation, destruction, and disaster. 

Stefan worked as a librarian in the State Library in Munich. But now the Library remained shut. Books burned; intellectuals and writers hounded and chased out of Germany. He could rescue very few books and hid the treasure from the prying eyes of the Nazis.

He sank on his chair and pulled out a book to read. It was of Oscar Wilde’s –

“Keep love in your heart.

A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.”

A paroxysm of sorrow engulfed him and he mused – how long would the war continue? How many more would be slaughtered? How could hatred overpower the power of love? What had happened to his nation?

BOOM! A bomb exploded in the vicinity and the splinters smashed into his window pane. He scurried to the window and saw huge clouds of smoke billowing out from the building across the road. It stood naked with its left half hollowed out. Devouring flames soared high up in the sky. Next to it stood another building with a huge Swastika painted on it. He shuddered with fear and disgust.

In the night, there was a huge commotion. Angry boots stamped, doors torn down and gunshots fired. “KILL THEM! KILL ALL OF THEM!”  yelled someone. Alarmed, Stefan looked out of the window and immediately understood what was underway. He rushed through the tunnel, also now used as a bunker, connecting the building across the road. He pushed open the back door. Bullet marks studded the walls, window panes smashed, doors broken and blood splattered on the floor. Two corpses laid on the floor of the living room – a man and a woman, brutally shot on the head. Blood gushing out of their wounds.

Luckily the murderers had gone. He shook his head in disbelief at the gruesome scene and started towards home. A cupboard door creaked and sobs wafted in the dead silence of the gory night. He turned back and stared at the cupboard. Two sea-grey eyes stared back at him from two gunshots. He pulled the door ajar and saw a face huddled inside with clenched fists clouding the lower arc of it. It´s lips tensed and stretched in fear and the eyes wide open in shock. It was a girl´s face. A Jewish girl. Her name was Anna. Perhaps 8 years old.

She looked into his eyes. He looked into her eyes. Two eyes tried to comfort the other two drowned in the sea of fear and anxiety. The warm and gentle waves of his eyes leaped out and merged into her deep sea-grey eyes. But how could she trust a stranger, in these uncertain times? Two friendly arms raised and beckoned her “come child, come, I am your friend, your new friend”. He pulled the girl gently, hugged her, stroked her hair, and fondled her face. Anna looked somewhat composed.

Angels of love smiled.
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