|A Sight of True Majesty
By Matthew Carson
How many Jews can you fit in a Volkswagen? I heard that joke a lot growing up. Jews in America think that they have it rough. I don't
believe that I have met an American Jew that was interred in a "camp" as a child. I don't believe that I have met an American Jew that
had to bury the pale pink and bloated bodies of their country men in the name of racial purity.
The first time that I heard that horrid joke, I was ten years old. It was a Tuesday afternoon and one of the camp's officers had just
driven by in his new Volkswagen. Two guards were standing by the road and saluted him as he passed. The younger of the two turned
to the other and asked that ludicrous question. That was the first time that I ever struck someone out of anger. The older guard
stopped me from being executed, saying that if he shot me, he would have to take my burial detail.
Very little has changed. Now, people pummel you with lawsuits instead of the heel of a rifle. I remember that young soldier well; as well
as I remember every soldier in that verdant place. I remember the look on his face when I turned up on his doorstep. I remember the
satisfaction that I took from the fear in his eyes when I showed him my serial number. I remember the feel of his blood on my hands
as I gouged out his eyes with my thumbs. I remember his pretty wife walking into the room as I dropped his lifeless body to the floor.
She screamed louder when I smiled at her. That was the first time that I visited one of my jailers.
Every visit after seemed easier and easier. The police didn't seem to be looking too hard for me. I guess they felt something like
sympathy for my crimes. I visited every guard and officer that showed me cruelty in my time in Hell. It was a small camp so my list
wasn't very long. In fact, I have only one more visit to make; the colonel who had driven by in his shiny new Volkswagen that day.
I still remember the look on his face that bright sunny Saturday as he ushered the bulk of my friends and family into the "showers". I
remember that he tried to keep a cool exterior. He could not however, hide the smug glint in his eye. I remember how devastated I felt
when I read the news that he and every other swine that kept us in that pen of despair was pardoned of all their crimes. I remember
the first time that I bought a gun. It was a Ruger; the same model that the German officers carried. I remember saying to myself, this is
for him. This is for that blonde devil and his silver forked tongue.
As I walk up to his house, all is quiet. There are no sirens; there is no sign of the police anywhere. Yet I feel as if I am walking through
water. As if each step is hampered by the weight of the air around me. There is a single light shining in the house. It looks to be the
dining room. This is good. This means that they are seated for the evening meal. This means that they are all together. I have to
wonder if he is expecting me. He has to have read the news about his compatriots.
I walk up to the door and I feel the air freezing around me. It's as though I am the embodiment of the spirit of death. I feel as God's
wrath upon the Egyptians, except that I am not simply taking the first-born. I check the front door and it is unlocked. As quietly as I
can, I open the door and hear the sounds of laughter and conversation just down the hall. It's a new house and the floorboards have
not yet developed any squeaks, so I am silent as I make my way to the dining room.
I step into the doorway and the casserole dish that his wife was holding shatters upon the floor. No one cries out, not even his teenage
daughter, they all simply stared at me with a mixture of fear and expectation. They had been keeping up with the news. They knew that
I was coming for them. They simply did not know until now, who I was. I pulled the gun from my pocket then lifted the sleeve on my
left arm. His son gasped when he saw my serial number.
As I cocked my gun, he asked that he might have some final words. I nodded.
He said, “Please, if you have any mercy, spare my family. They had nothing to do with what happened to you and they are the only
salvation that I have in this world.”
I thought about it for a moment then said, “One. I will give you the same consideration that you gave to my grandfather. Choose the
one that will live.”
The son immediately jumped up and insisted that I spare the daughter. I nodded, and then shot him in the head. His wife screamed.
She crumpled to her knees and cradled his shattered head in her lap. She cursed me as she shot venom at me from her tear filled eyes.
I said, “Don't fret, Fräulein. You will see him soon.” Then, I ended her light.
I remember the sound of a single shot from behind me. I remember the horrible pain as it ripped through my chest from my back.
The last thing I remember is the look on the officer’s face as my final shot ripped through his throat. It was the most satisfying thing
that I have ever beheld…a sight of true majesty.