Dream of: 13 January 1997 (2) "Aufgeben"

Two fellow soldiers and I were in a battle against a group of 20-30 German soldiers, apparently during World War II. We had been fighting in a wooded area, and the three of us had been holding our own, while steadily retreating, against the German soldiers. When my two comrades and I came upon a house in the forest, we decided to take refuge there, and fend off the Germans from the house. We gathered together our equipment and hustled inside.

The house was a large two-story affair, complete with basement and attic. It seemed as if it would be an excellent place to withstand the Germans, and we even found food stocked in the kitchen. I felt as if the three of us would be able to manage quite well here for quite a while.

My optimism was short-lived. It didn't take long before I realized we were completely out of ammunition. I couldn't believe it, because I had been sure when the three of us had entered the house we had carried in an adequate supply of ammunition. I soon discovered that although we had brought in several boxes of chocolate-covered malt balls, we had somehow lost all our ammunition. I searched everywhere I could think. In the kitchen I found yet more chocolate-covered malt balls, but no ammunition. The situation began to look bleak, and I realized if we were attacked, we would be unable to defend ourselves.

I began thinking about surrender. I didn't know what my two comrades would think of the idea. They were both younger than I, in their early twenties, and they seemed to look to me as the leader. Yet I didn't know if they would be open to the idea of surrender. In fact I didn't like the idea myself, and I continued to try to think of ways to avoid it. I thought there might be somewhere in the house where we could hide. Perhaps we could go to the attic and hide under the insulation. I realized the idea wasn't feasible. What if the Germans set the house on fire? In fact, it suddenly occurred to me that even if we did have ammunition, it still might be possible for the Germans to burn the house down, and us with it. It looked more and more as if surrender was the only option.

I began thinking of how I would go about surrendering. I spoke pretty good German. We could prepare a white flag which I could hold out the window. I could then holler out, "Wir mochten aufgeben," or "Ich mochte aufgeben." The main word which kept going through my mind was "aufgeben" which I knew meant "to give up." That was the word which I needed to make sure the Germans heard.

Hopefully it wouldn't be that bad. I thought the Germans would probably give us adequate care. I had heard of atrocities where prisoners were simply taken out and shot. I didn't think the Germans would do that. I hoped my being able to speak with them would help. Clearly the experience wasn't going to be pleasant, but at this point it seemed like the only option open. Without ammunition, we had no choice.

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