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The Victor Who Knew Too Much

by Rita Widmer

Dedicated to professor/advisor Dr. Edward N. Peterson and his friend, who lived this story. Also dedicated to all who suffered through the concentration camps, and to all my online WENN friends who are Jewish.

Dr. Peterson lived in Germany after the Second World War as a member of the U.S Army when they occupied it, and spied on the Russians after the war. During the war he was stationed in France and spent his first days at the frontlines on Christmas Day, 1944. He is married to a German woman who grew up during the time of Hitlerís rule. He has written six books about his experiences, including one called Limits of Hitler.

Disclaimer: The characters belong to Rupert Holmes, AMC, and the actors who play them. The story idea belongs partly to Dr. Peterson, and partly to me.

All comments are very welcome! Anyone who would like to put this on their site or print it is very welcome. Please just tell me.


Victor sat at the bar with a beer in his hand. He hated playing Jonathan Arnold, but knew he was doing very important work for England. He thought about the task facing him tomorrow. He was scheduled to tour a concentration camp. He took another drink from the stein and thought about everything he had heard about them, but it didnít help.

Very little was known about the camps. As an American traitor, the Germans were willing to show off their higher plan for society. It was made clear to Victor that none of what he saw was to make it to the airwaves, but that was fine with him. He had other plans for what he learned.

Little did they know that he would be giving the information to the English. He ignored the constant thought that if anything he learned tomorrow leaked out, it could mean a slow, painful death for him.

He finished his drink and paid for it. A very dangerous project was somehow made easier by the thoughts of Betty suddenly filling his mind.


Victor's alarm went off. He groggily stepped out of bed. He was not looking forward to this. There was a knock on the door, and he went over to open it. In the doorway stood an SS man.

"Are you ready yet, sir?"

"Just a few more minutes," Victor answered. At least he spoke English.

The train trip was long and hard. Victorís legs were too long to fit anywhere comfortably. He was warned not to ask any questions, so he decided to take a nap.

After they got off the train, the SS man disappeared. He was quickly replaced by a new SS.

"Welcome, sir," the man said in German. Victor just nodded in agreement. They drove off in a car. A half-hour later, they arrived at the camp. A tower loomed over them, and barbed wire surrounded the grounds.

His driver talked with another SS man as Victor waited in the car. He looked around, mentally noting the guard dogs and the soldiers carrying guns.

He was interrupted by the new SS officer. "I hope today will bring you valuable information on our camp. We will show you all the important places."

"Thank you," said Victor in reply.

They first place they visited was the living quarters of the workers. The barracks were empty as everyone was out in the fields. Bunk beds built three units high lined the walls. The bedding was made out of hay, with only one sheet. There was no privacy for anyone.

Most of the tour was only some Nazis offices, and nothing worthwhile, but at the end of the tour he was taken out to the fields. He had only seen a few prisoners along the way. Ahead of him was a ditch for something he didnít know, with hundreds, maybe thousands of prisoners working in it. Men and women of all ages were nothing but skin and bones, their clothing hanging loosely on them.

"Would you like to see something?" asked the SS man. Victor didn't answer. The man took it as a yes. The man flicked his cigarette over the fence. "Come here!," he yelled at one of the prisoners. The prisoner was barely over twenty years old, if that. "Go fetch my cigarette over there on the other side of the fence."

The boy looked at Victor for help. He hoped that the man could do something. Ever since he got there, he had never seen someone out of uniform before. He knew that no matter what he did, he would die. Victor wanted to help, but he knew that it would kill them both, and none of the information would ever get to England.

The boy headed towards the fence. A shot rang out and the boy flew up against the fence, dead. The man said aloud, "Dumb Jew, should have known better then to try and escape."

Victor was surprised at the cruelty of the statement. How could anyone do such a thing to another human? He was shown out of the camp, and headed back to Berlin. That night, he tried to reach his correspondent, but he was nowhere to be found. Victor tried to reach someone higher up, but he didnít get a response back. He tried to sleep, but kept having nightmares of the scene in the fields.


The next morning, he headed to work to find his boss waiting in his office. He knew something was wrong when he also saw two men standing next to the desk.

"Victor Comstock, welcome to Berlin. That is your real name, isn't it?" asked the boss.

"No, sir. It's Jonathan Arnold," Victor replied, hoping he could convince the man otherwise.

"Calling me a liar? Not a good thing to do. You'd better behave, or your correspondent will die."

Victor didn't say anything. He was too afraid of what would happen. The boss continued to enjoy Victor's silence. "We have a job for you to do back in the United States. Just like you we have a Ďtraitorí to the Third Reich. You used to work at a place called WENN, correct?"

"There are no traitors at WENN, sir. They have nothing to do with me. Leave them alone."

"Again, Mr. Comstock. One time I can deal with, but twice is too much. These two men will just have to teach you a lesson."

The two men came at him, and Victor tried to use his boxing knowledge, but he wasn't strong enough to take both. When he came to, he couldnít remember anything that happened after he was knocked cold. He was on the phone, talking with Betty. Her voice was soothing. It seemed to be reaching some part of him that he had almost lost. He hoped she would be able to save him.

He walked down the corridor at WENN. Just being there calmed his restless mind. It was a long time since he was there, and he missed it very much. He walked into Studio A. Betty stood there, and with happiness and relief pouring over him, he spoke first. "Hello, Betty. Iím home."


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