Sunday, December 1, 2019

"Don't Tell the Nazis"

Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch is the acclaimed author of over sixteen picture books and novels. In 2013 she won the Silver Birch Fiction Award for Making Bombs for Hitler and the Red Cedar Award for Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan's Rescue from War.

She applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Don't Tell the Nazis, and reported the following:
From page 69:
I stepped from behind the bush and walked toward the voices.

The Germans who weren’t from Germany: Volksdeutsche refugees. A few were tossing loose soil from a mound onto what looked like a freshly turned garden. Other shovels were neatly piled to the side.

Most of the Germans were calmly sorting through mounds of clothing. Shirts here, jackets there, hats there. As a shirt was picked up and shaken out, then folded, I couldn’t see a bullet hole, and there was no blood. All of the clothing seemed undamaged. But where were the Jewish men?

And then I noticed a familiar face—Frau Schneider, but her daughter, Marga, wasn’t with her. Frau Schneider was picking through the clothing along with several men and one other woman. One of the soldiers who had been handing out shovels yesterday stood among them, giving orders. They all seemed so calm, just concentrating on sorting the clothing.

So these people had been sent out here first to dig what looked like a garden ready for planting, and then they were sorting clothing? Very odd. And what would they be planting in the middle of the woods?
This excerpt is a good representation of the growing realization of what the Nazis are really up to. Days before this, the townspeople of Viteretz had been relieved by the arrival of the Germans in June 1941 after living under brutal occupation of the Soviets since September 1939.

They think the war is over.

But this scene shows that is these Nazis are not not the civilized Germans the townspeople were expecting, and that the war is far from over: it has just taken an unimaginably horrific turn.
Visit Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch's website.

--Marshal Zeringue