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Frozen Blood In Snow (standard:drama, 5242 words)
Author: Paddy65Added: Apr 25 2004Views/Reads: 1891/1271Story 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

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. 

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