Dream of: 22 October 1995 "Jewelry And Jews"

I seemed to be watching a movie, but felt as if I were in the movie at the same time. The movie was the story of a German family which had hid some Jews in the German family's house during World War II. In the movie, I was a young German boy about 14-15 years old who was a member of the German family.

Although I didn't distinctly see the Jews, I had an image of a couple of them. One was a thin frail black-haired woman (probably in her late 30s). The woman's daughter was a pretty, frizzy and black-haired girl about my same age, with whom I felt a particular affinity. It was unclear to me exactly where the Jews were hiding in the house, but I was well aware that they were there and I knew just how dangerous the situation was.

The movie showed how that while I was returning home from school one day I encountered some Germans and I managed to offend one. After leaving them, as I proceeded on to my home, I sensed that I had done something wrong, but I couldn't quite place exactly what I had done or what the ramifications would be. Once I had reached my home, as I was sitting in the living room, I heard a knock at the front door and I heard someone outside the door say, "Die Polizei!"

A woman who was my mother was also in the living room and she immediately went to the door to open it. She knew if she showed any hesitation in answering the door the police would think she was trying to hide something. I was unsure the Jews were in their hiding place, and feared some tell-tell sign around the apartment might give us away.

Having gained entrance, the police, wearing high, black leather boots, marched into the living room. Some smaller children who were my brothers were also sitting in the living room. All of us played our roles perfectly, not letting the police discern that we knew anything.

The police moved through the living room and into the rooms at the back of the house. Unsure where the Jews were hidden, I thought how frightened they must be, and how they must be holding their breaths in fear, knowing the consequences if they were discovered. Hearing the police in the back room, I thought the police must be going through the whole house, emptying drawers and throwing our belongings all over the floor.

The scene on the movie screen changed, flashing forward to a point in the future. A man was holding a transparent plastic sack of jewelry and money which had been taken from my family during the raid, but the Jews hadn't been found and the police had overstepped by taking the valuables from us. There were still some rules which the police were obliged to follow, and by taking our possessions, the police had violated the rules. I thought my family would be able to get the valuables back, and the police would be chastised.

The action on the screen returned to the home where the raid was still taking place. A tall, wry, bespectacled man wearing a trench coat came from the back rooms and spoke to me. He resembled a man I had seen in an Indiana Jones movie. He asked, "We have one other question. After you left us, what time did you get home?"

He was referring to the time when I had been returning home from school and I had met and offended the other Germans. He explained that there was a half hour during that time when my whereabouts were unaccounted for. I replied, "Ah ja, das stimmt."

I began trying to think up a lie as to where I had gone; I had to give a good explanation for my whereabouts during the half hour in question. If it were discovered that I was lying, the consequences could be severe. Although nervous, I thought I could pull it off.

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