Romance Fiction posted July 9, 2017 Chapters:  ...33 34 -35- 36... 

This work has reached the exceptional level
Shana begins to answer Philip's question.

A chapter in the book Perennials of War

Chapter Elf part zwei

by barbara.wilkey

Is Anderson a gallant knight? Can he recover Shana's family's stolen relics and heal the wounds of genocide?

Philip leaned forward in his chair and his eyes met Shana's. "I know I'm sticking my nose in your personal business, but I'm curious. Your father didn't seem to be overly interested in getting this painting back. Why is it so important to you?"


Chapter 11 part 2

"I'm not sure you'll understand." Shana released a deep breath and adjusted herself in the overstuffed chair. "I guess I need to go back to the beginning."

"It's usually a good place to start." Jeff grinned.

"You're incorrigible." Helen refolded the dishtowel she held.

"Okay." Shana patted a couple of times on her knees. "Here it goes. Haim and Avigail Kohlberg, my great, great, grandparents arrived here from Germany in 1931." She used her fingers to count the greats. "When they left, they hid their art collection in a safe at Tomas' house, Haim's brother. Tomas was arrested during the Kristallnacht, November 9, 1938, and sent to Dachau. Neighbors sent word to Haim that this had happened. I've read the letter and it said his house was completely destroyed. It has since been passed down through the family that while arresting Tomas, all the art was stolen. There were paintings and sculptures."

Jane sat beside Shana. "Emily's coloring. I have a few minutes. Please continue."

"That's the important background you need to know. How I became interested is through their son, Elijah. He was also born in Germany and was four when his parents brought him here. He married Ruth, who also emigrated from Germany as a child. They gave birth to David, who married Hannah. Hannah is still alive and lives with my parents."

"This is worse than The Book of Matthew and all the begotten." Jeff grinned.

"Close, but probably closer to Genesis and the genealogy of Abraham." Shana laughed. "Now, move to the present, or at least in the twenty-first century." She glanced at Jeff. "You with me?" After he nodded, she continued, "While I helped Great Grandma Ruth and Grandma Hannah snap beans and shell peas, I listened to family stories that went back to Germany. I loved listening to family lore." She paused and dabbed her eyes.

Helen offered Shana another tissue.

"I'm sorry. I miss those times." After a brief pause, Shana continued, "For my sixteenth birthday present, my great grandparents and grandparents took me to Germany and taught me more about family history as we visited each place my ancestors lived and worked."

Shana looked into space as she continued, "We visited Munich and the street where Tomas lived. His house had been destroyed, but another has been built on the same plot. We were able to visit the Jewish Museum in Munich. It had just opened a few months before we arrived." She took in a long slow breath and blew it out equally as slowly. "I saw Dachau. This is where Tomas was murdered." She paused.

Everybody was silent while Shana composed herself.

"Do you still have family in Germany?" asked Jane.

"Nobody knows for sure. If they survived the Nazis, they would be distant relatives. We've tried searching, but so far nothing." Shana turned her head as a noise came from the direction of Emily's bedroom.

"I hate missing this, but I better check on her." Jane left.

"We spent a long time in Frankfurt. We found the neighborhood where Haim and Avigail lived and of course visited the Universitat Frankfurt Am Main where he taught literature."

"It sounds like you speak fluent German," said Philip.

She shook her head. "I do speak German but it's far from fluent, but I speak fluent Yiddish."

"Don't you teach high school literature?" Helen pointed to the books Shana's father had left.

"I do. Just like my great, great, grandpa Haim."

"That part of history repeated itself. I hope the rest doesn't. Where else did you visit?" asked Jeff.

"Auschwitz, Poland." Shana stared at the floor. "There and at Dachau my skin crawled." She rubbed her arms. "Sitting here, even thinking about the horrors that happened at those places cause me to chill. It wasn't only the Jewish, but the Roma."

Jeff asked, "Who were Roma?"

"Gypsies," answered Philip.

Everybody waited until Jane sat, again. "Everything's okay. Emily's watching a movie. Please continue."

"I guess I need to mention there was a difference in a concentration camp and an extermination camp," continued Shana.

"Before you go on, how many concentration camps were there?" Philip raised an eyebrow.

"If I remember correctly, there were twenty-two." Shana chewed on her lower lip. "The extermination camps had the specific purpose of mass murdering Jews and other victim groups. Somewhere around three million Jews died in these camps."

"And the concentration camps?" Jeff tapped his foot.

"Concentration camps claimed thousands of victims. Imprisonment in them meant inhumane forced labor, brutal treatment, hunger, disease, and random executions." Shana paused to keep her voice under control. "The first inmates were Nazi political opponents, but then different people." Shana used her fingers to highlight different people. "Jews, Gypsies, people with different sexual orientation, and people with disabilities were sent."

"Basically anybody the Nazis didn't like or understand," added Philip. "It probably included Jehovah's Witness, Roman Catholics, or anybody who exhibited any socially deviant behavior."

"Correct." Shana continued, "The inmates worked twelve hour days at hard physical work, wore rags, never had enough to eat, and the risk of corporal punishment was imminent. Those who couldn't keep up were murdered. There was a name given to these people, Muselmanner, or living dead because of their appearance. They resembled round-shouldered skeletons." Tears rolled down her cheeks. "I'm sorry. I can't go on." She left the room.

I know this is long, but family tradition plays heavily on who Shana is. Please enjoy and I hope the video works.

Characters so far:

Shana Kohlberg -- a 25 year old high school English literature teacher -- she's trying to get her families painting back

Anderson Sharp -- often called Drew -- 31 years old -- works part-time on Wall Street -- a billionaire from Texas oil wells

Dmitry Bezrukov -- one of three Russian men in black suits

Jeff Burk -- takes care of Anderson's cars and important security details.

Helen -- Anderson's cook

Jane -- Anderson's housekeeper

Philip -- Anderson's butler -- close friend and confident

Kyle -- Anderson's dog walker

Axel -- Anderson's lead German shepherd

Thor -- Anderson's second German shepherd

Romeo -- Anderson's third German shepherd

Aaron Kohlberg -- Shana's older brother

Ivan Kuznetsov -- formally Ivan Morozov, I accidently chose a real person, so I have changed it present day owner of the painting.

Patricia -- Anderson's ex-wife

Emily -- Anderson's five year old daughter

Isaiah Glassberg -- Anderson divorce/custody attorney.

Jeremy -- Jane's second-cousin twice removed, NYC undercover cop.

Hannah -- Shana's cousin, the same age. Married within the past year and just had a baby

Joshua Colton -- Art Museum's curator

Benjamin Kohlberg -- Shana's father

Book of the Month contest entry


Thank you Google Images for a photo of a German inmates of a Nazi concentration camp. I want to thank you for the generous support you give me. I truly appreciate it.

I leave tomorrow on vacation. I'll be gone until July 28th. I am hoping to post but I can't promise. Some of the places we'll be visiting doesn't have Internet service. No, I'm not going to a third world country, staying right here in the US. LOL
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