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|Frozen Blood In Snow (standard:drama, 5242 words)|
|Author: Paddy65||Added: Apr 25 2004||Views/Reads: 1863/1257||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Some historical fiction of nazis and communists in the pre-hitler weimar republic.|
Frozen Blood in Snow The year was 1929. It was a typical January Berlin Tuesday. Political ferment, like the snow falling outside, unrelentingly blew through the air, caking the streets and soaking everyone who stepped outdoors. Tension so thick you could cut it with a knife. Nay, the tension was the knife. It could cut you. There was general uncertainty and little hope for the future. It was clear that extremists on both the right and left were tightening their firm grips on the city, leaving the shaky Weimar Republic in jeopardy, barely ten years into its infancy. I was an American émigré painter, who had moved to Berlin from the cozy Middle West eight years before. To me, the Berlin art scene was endlessly bolder than the landscapes and city scenes found in America, especially the Middle West, which was bone dry of any abstract understanding of art. The seething political atmosphere and post-Great War hardships of 1920's Germany undoubtedly played a large role in the boldness and emotion of Berlin art. It (the politics) also was quite interesting and was another reason I came to Germany. Indeed, by the end of the decade, German politics was becoming so damn interesting, it could kill you. The Communists and the National Socialists were steadily gaining seats in the Reichstag, as well as unyielding control of the Berlin streets, while the more democratically inclined, centrist parties were clearly losing power. The brutal brand of coercive politics engaged in by the extremists of the left and right invariably contributed to their recent political gains, as the rest sat helpless. Theirs was the politics of intimidation, brutality and street-fighting, often against one another. However, no one was immune to their violent proclivities and ends-justifying-means doctrine of collateral damage. To sure, however, their hatred for democracy was only exceeded by their hatred for each other. That Tuesday, as was becoming more and more typical for me, I sought a respite from the boiling Berlin political chaos, as well as the snow, in a coffee shop on the north end of town. I just wanted to sit by myself, drink coffee and smoke some cigarettes while nosing through a good book; anything to divert my attention from the vicious ideological melee one can a call Berlin. It was no coincidence that the book I chose to read was 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, a work I had never read, but assumed had nothing to do with politics. I peered out the window. The snow had tapered off a bit. I had my nose deep inside the book as well as my eyes, ears and soul. I found a safe haven with the odd-looking sea life. The octopi, eels, squid and other multi-appendaged aquatic creatures had no ideological inclinations. I swam with them on the hunt for my next meal, dodging coral and understanding that politics has no place 20,000 leagues under the sea. After a good thirty minutes submerged, a young man, floppy and gawky, who looked older than he actually was by dint of a long, scruffy beard, disheveled hair, and world-weary bags under his intense eyes, came over to my table. He looked underfed; seemingly, to me, because of a harried lifestyle and poor diet rather than destitution. “Hello, my name is Holger Ottenbrauer,” he said. “Do you mind if I sit here?” I looked around the room and saw that the normally half-empty coffee shop brimmed with customers. There were no vacant tables. “Raymond Stommel,” introduced I. “Not at all.” He took his seat and immediately pulled out a red book. It was a biography of Rosa Luxemburg. I watched his intense eyes as they swam around the pages, barely blinking. I then turned my head back to swimming with Jules Verne and my sea creature friends. After about twenty minutes down in the murky depths of the ocean which, I might add, included an incident with a giant squid, another man approached the table. He was a blond, tall, and burly man with brilliantly blue eyes. Handsome and young, but not in such a way that I still could not call him gruff. In fact, his physical stature intimidated me somewhat. Click here to read the rest of this story (507 more lines)
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