A European Jew

When the Jewish survivors left Europe after the war, one would think that no Jew would want to remain behind on that blood-soaked continent. Gustav Winkel was an exception.

The heavily accented Austrian Jew loved Austria and could imagine living nowhere else. Even after all the crimes his fellow Austrians committed against him and his people, after his family and friends were slaughtered by fellow countrymen, he could not bear to abandon the beauty and culture of Austria for the crassness of America.

“Never in my life,” he would say, “will I leave my Vienna strasse, my Café Vienna where Freud, Einstein, Stalin, Trotsky, Hitler and Mussolini all enjoyed a cappuccino. There is more class in one dirty brick than in that whole empty cowboy ranch of a country.”

He was a man who appreciated opera and was one of the few who could appreciate the Nazis playing classical hits while concentration camp inmates were being shot.

“It provides context, context! Don’t you understand the aesthetic? One may abhor the atrocities while appreciating the beauty.”

He had fond memories at the camps of smelling freshly baked strudel which the Nazis would order every morning.

“Ah, nothing like German baked goods!” He would say as he shoveled his waste away from the bunker.

Gustav was a simple man but with greatly refined tastes. That was the main reason why he chose to remain in the fatherland even after liberation. He said the English of the liberating soldiers hurt his ears. He requested a Nazi for the melodious German language.

He now resides in Austria and does not see himself leaving for the foreseeable future.