Slaughterhouse 6 Million.
It’s irrational, I know, but he gave off an odour which took me back to the camp. Perhaps I just recognised him and I created his smell that stopped me in my tracks.
The person in question looked very distinguished and indeed was heralded as a paragon of virtue and as an example to us all. But that is not how I remembered him.
I was eight years old and confined to the Belson Concentration Camp when he took the whip to my mother. It was possibly inadvertent as far as he was concerned, it just happened to be my mother that the lash landed on. He proceeded to carry on and flail at all and sundry in the row of prisoners lined up to be ‘washed.’ With blood running down her face was my last glimpse of her. My father escaped the transition of the gas-chamber by standing up to an S.S. guard and was shot dead on the spot, but I now spotted my mother’s striker all these years later.
I realised I had been holding my breath and let it out in a rush. I felt unsteady on my legs. I am old, but he is at least 10 years older and looked in good health. My immediate reaction was that it was unfair. God is definitely not on my side in this case. How could this barbarian look so well with the sins he had accrued in that diabolical camp? I vowed he wouldn’t look well in a very short time, regardless of the consequences to myself. I felt an energy surge through me. He had he given me a new lease on life just when I had been preparing to meet my maker even though I knew now he had deserted me?
I was young again. My impending demise which I had nurtured for so long was a thing of the past. I was filled with joy, the joy of retribution. Aches and pains that had been with me like ‘old friends’ had vanished like the psycho-somatic encumbrance they were.
My wife had long since gone. Now, I realised, unable to bear any longer my inability to leave the past behind me of what I and my family had suffered. My children occasionally contacted me, but didn’t want to burden me with their difficulties of coping in this modern world. I wanted to ring them now and shout for them to heap their woes upon me, but I didn’t have the time. There was much planning to do.
In spite of the past pall hanging over me, I had flourished. In fact, financial considerations had never been an issue with me and I amassed much wealth very early after the war had ended. Now I lived with a cook and house-maid in a large remote house on a large estate. I immediately dismissed the two women with a very generous remuneration for each of them. It was an amicable parting, but I assured them both that it was final. I didn’t anticipate that I would still be around to need their help in the future. However, I did make sure the cool-room had plenty of supplies just in case my mission was lengthier than anticipated.
I didn’t try to mask my purchases as I expected to be finished before any long arm of the law was engaged in seeking me. I bought a special table with straps from a manufacturing sex shop. Apparently, these are popular with some Dominatrix as an alternative for their clients instead of being placed in corners wearing dunce’s hats.
I bought scalpels and the equipment that was carried upon a ‘code-blue’ cart in a hospital to keep patients alive.
I didn’t need to soundproof my cellar but I did relocate the wine-bottles so they wouldn’t get sprayed with blood. I was ready for the next task that would bring this monster into my grasp.
I searched as to where he had been and how he had escaped justice from the hands of the international policing bodies, or even the Israeli’s, but he obviously had.
He had become a rich man, no doubt due to a plausible tongue and the charitable organisations he had infiltrated under a different name than the one I was familiar with. In the camp, he was known as SS-Hauptscharführer Luis Weber but was now Lukas Wagner. But he didn’t fool me.
He had a large family, and from my investigation of them hadn’t inflicted any similar kind of chastisement on them as they seemed to be quite happy. In fact, one member of his family had attended the same school as my own son and according to what I had discovered was not prey to the same infliction of punishment, albeit in a more restricted form, to younger students. My quarry had chosen to disguise himself with benevolence.
I savoured my hunt. I was rejuvenated not only in mind but physically. I exercised and employed a martial art exponent that had been used for ‘Wet-Work’ in clandestine services to train me to a level of competence to be ready for any adverse contingency. I was bursting out of my skin in exuberance and well-being.
My foe didn’t recognise me although I placed myself in his path during the various charitable events he promoted and attended. In fact, at one time I even asked his advice as to the best charities to get involved with, but not a hint that he knew me. I mentioned to him at one of the events about supporting released prisoners, but still with no hint of recognition from him.
Although he was in his eighties, he jogged to keep fit. He often chose a park with a lake in the centre of it to jog around as it became dusk. It was on one of these nights that I waylaid him close to a dense cluster of trees and bushes by way of an incapacitating syringe to the neck. I eased him into the bushes and retrieved my car and loaded him into it when the coast was clear of people and drove home.
He was still unconscious when I strapped him onto what was to be his last resting place whilst I went to his home.
Although he was rich, he lived modestly and in a small home by himself. His wife had died recently and he had no one else living with him. I chose to break into his home to uncover the subterfuge that would be hidden away there. Leopards don’t change their spots.
I searched and brought back all the papers I could find of his business dealings and charitable engagements to confront him with. I was even able to open his safe and discovered many papers including his will.
When I returned to my home, I found him awake. I gave him water, I did not want him to die too soon. Ignoring his questioning, I put tape over his mouth and proceeded to connect him up to all of the technology that would keep him alive under any torment that he was going to experience.
I was reluctant to start straight away, I didn’t want this occasion to end. In a way, I was grateful to him. He had enriched my life and was now in a position to balance the books and pay for the fiendish treatment which had terrorised my mother as he marshalled her into the gas-chamber.
Ignoring his pleading eyes, I addressed him with his real concentration camp name and then settled down to go through his papers. So that he had no illusions as to why he was in his captive state, I would give a running commentary as I uncovered more and more iniquities.
I had fitted him with colostomy bags to take care of his ‘comfort’ needs. If he got ‘bed-sores’ that was just too bad for him; uncomfortableness was the order of the day.
It was many hours of muteness on my part later that I discovered my mistake and the remainder of my life to be filled with remorse. Indeed his original name had been Weber, but Helmut Weber. He had changed it to disassociate from his vicious and monstrous twin brother. This brother had been killed by the released prisoners when the Allies had liberated the camp. Helmut had chosen to take on a task of repentance for his brother, and all the evidence that Erik Wonstern could find supported that.
‘But what am I going to do with all this stuff I bought,’ he thought, ‘Surely I can’t let it go to waste?’