Silversmith found his gaze drawn to a corner of the Mediterranean where sea met desert. A memory of his father’s voice echoed in his mind. May my tongue cleave the roof of my mouth if I forget thee, if I prefer not Jerusalem over my chief joy. His father had given up his dream of tending orange groves in Palestine, but had longed to visit it one day.
Silversmith found wondered if he might have had the chance if only Adolf Hitler hadn’t suddenly gone toes up back in 1940.
He might have actually gone ahead with his crack-brained scheme to invade Russia with the Brits still on their feet. In fact, if Hess hadn’t redirected the whole plan toward the Middle East and forced Britain to make peace by flattening every army that was still fighting, the Yanks would have been dragged into Europe. Germany would have lost the war. The Brits wouldn’t have lost their Asian colonies to Japan and elected a fascist government in disgust with everyone else. Ireland would still be a free republic, and Dad could have seen Jerusalem.
Silversmith shook his head, hearing his father reply in his Lithuanian accented Dublinese. Sure and you have to send an Irish Jew into space as a card-carrying Nazi to get crazy ideas like that.
Silversmith’s father had died before Ireland was annexed back into the United Kingdom, which had at least spared him from being shipped off to starve in Madagascar with the rest of the Jews. And let you hide the fact that you’re half Jewish yourself, don’t forget that. You have to be a party member to work at Peenemünde, and us kikes don’t get past the door.
Thanks for reminding me, Dad. And thank God for the poor sods who tried to make a stand in the public record office and got it burned down around them.
He jumped at the sound of breathing behind him. He pivoted to see Henkel. Damn, he never used to be this nervous.
“Good day, James,” said Henkel. “The majesty of the Reich is breathtaking, isn’t it?”
Silversmith nodded. “Extraordinary.”
Next week: Henkel
Full story available from Amazon in Kindle format.
Cover by Manda Benson