Eighteen

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Xlibris Corporation LLC, Nov 1, 2008 - Fiction - 162 pages
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Karl Helmut Mueller loved one person in his entire life and it was Gertie Guthmann, the beautiful Jewish girl next door, in a time when contact between Aryans and Jews was forbidden. When Gertie was brutally attacked by three drunken SS officers, Karl swore revenge. Although his first revenge attack misfired, SS Colonel Hinnich, Karl's first target was so impressed by the young man's bravery that he took Karl under his wings, thus Karl Helmut Mueller's life would become a symbol of any German who was blinded by opportunities to climb the social and political ladder during the Third Reich. Colonel Hinnich, the new Commandant of the Dachau concentration camp is a feared man, even Himmler himself disliked the cruel Colonel. Because he is feared, his new protégé, Karl is also feared. Karl goes with the "flow" and with his inner demons unleashed, he soon realizes the power he was given and he takes every opportunity to use it, even if meant that his own family was destroyed in the process. He takes brutal revenge on Hinnich for the rape and murder of his forbidden love, Gertie, and he also fulfills his promise of revenge on Major Weiss, Gertie's second rapist and his wife. The second revenge brings out a savagery Karl never knew that he had in him. Following Himmler's orders, Karl travels to Berlin and during a brief visit in the town of Magdeburg; by chance he meets and spends one intimate night with a pretty young local girl, Gretchen Bach, who reminded him of his only love Gertie. This chance encounter brings hope into Karl's life that he had not lost all his humanity and that he is still capable to be gentle and loving. In the meantime, Karl became a poster boy for Aryan purity throughout Europe; his pictures were everywhere in cities and towns, from restaurants to pharmacies. His next duty orders takes Karl into the Ukraine where the young man, promoted way ahead of his peers, takes second Command to the elite killing machine the Einsatzgruppen and assists in mass killings of Jews and Ukrainians at Babi Jar, where he encounters a Jewish family, the Patinkins. After personally executing the father, the older daughter and he was about to shot the mother, the woman curses Karl with the number "18", the age of her murdered daughter. The Patinkin's younger daughter Irina is being saved by their next door neighbors who claimed her as their own. After the war Karl escapes capture by the Americans when he makes his way to Argentina. Supported by former Nazis and their sympathizers, Karl cannot stop his killing nature. After an unsuccessful attempt to contact Gretchen in Germany, Karl learns that Gretchen moved to New York, in the US with her wealthy American husband and son who was also named Karl Helmut. Karl makes a daring move to enter the United States, to claim Gretchen and the child that Karl believes is his back. He patiently waits and watches Gretchen and her family until he feels that the time is right to approach Gretchen. But perhaps things are not as they seem and Karl is being forced to face his brutal past and place his future into the hands of strangers.

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