19 June 2015

Published June 17, 2015 by rochellewisoff

Flowers from the Hill Thoreau

Undersea St. Thomas 4 Meme

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 The following photo is the PHOTO PROMPT. Where does it take you? Tell me in a hundred words or less. 

It seems a small thing to ask, but when posting your story, even if you’re using more than one prompt, please post the prompt as well for that sense of connection. 

PHOTO PROMPT - © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

PHOTO PROMPT – © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields


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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 99

CROSSFADE

            Ornate chandeliers bathed Vienna’s Burgtheater stage with light. A young actor took a final bow and his father cheered, “Bravo!”

            Afterwards in his dressing room Johann pleaded, “Bitte, Papa, come with me to America.”

            “Soon, Johann.”  Papa tied a scarf around Johann’s neck. “Soon.”

***

            Had Papa perished in Mauthausen-Gusen, Buchenwald or Auschwitz?

            Johann fingered the remains of the threadbare scarf in his pocket. What would Papa make of him now; an orphaned Jew in a Wehrmacht uniform standing in front of television cameras repeating the catchphrase he had heard for twenty years of searching, “I see nothing! Nothing!”

           

 

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145 comments on “19 June 2015

  • All I can say is wow! You are fast becoming one of my all-time favorite authors. You draw me in with even just 99 words! And I remember Schultz! I vaguely remember his story, as well. You give me pause to ponder.
    And your book is one of the best I have read all year. Is it listed in Bookreads?

    Like

    • Dear Betty,

      This is the kind of comment that every author covets. Of course this little Schultz is a whole lot of supposition and fiction. I only know his family perished in the Holocaust.

      I don’t know if Please Say Kaddish for Me is on Bookreads. It is listed on Goodreads. Any and all reviews are appreciated. 😉 Your words make me smile. I thank you and Havah thanks you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Irene,

      My story is a lot of supposition and fiction. However, before Hogan’s Heroes, John Banner made a living playing Nazis and villains. I’ve always wondered if it was cathartic for him or brought some kind of closure.

      Thank you for such a nice comment.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • It was like a voyage of discovery. Not familiar with the show I googled Hogan’s Heroes, found John Banner, googled to find he was Johann Banner… You can’t say I don’t get my horizons widened at Friday Fictioneers, and at your page in particular. Nicely done!

    Like

    • Dear Sandra,

      I never know with the old American shows how many of them reached overseas. And what better compliment for a writer of historical fiction than to know a reader widened her horizons. 😀 Thank you for such a wonderful comment.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Nice piece., Rochelle. One of the best scenes in Band of Brothers is when they rip through the town and make the indifferent citizens bury the dead of the neighboring concentration camp. The episode was called Why We Fight. There is a scene in my novel where a polish Jew has smuggled out film to show to American airmen that was pretty hard to write. It never ceases to amaze me, this cruelty of which we are capable.

    Like

    • Dear Dale,

      According to history, John Banner lost his family in the Holocaust. He himself spent time in a concentration camp in 1938 but was released. I didn’t know that anyone was ever released but apparently he was considered a political prisoner. Not likely to turn. Too many.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

      • I afmit I didn’t Google him like the others but was still hoping…
        I did know a woman who was released and moved to Montreal. My father grew up going to their store… she was a tough old broad, Mrs Stringer. Of course as a boy, Dad and his friends tormented her and her husband – as innocent of what they had survived boys would – they used to call them “Schtunks”… the stories Dad would tell…

        Liked by 1 person

  • I’ve learned many new facts from your stories, Rochelle. I know part of a story may be filled in by imagination, but you’ve given links to many pieces of factual information as well. Well written as always. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Like

  • I know we used to watch The show together, but until you told me, I never knew the history behind the character of Shultz. I should, however, never be surprised to be amazed and informed by your stories. I still don’t understand how you create these amazing stories in 100 words. Super job.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Ansumani,

      Thank you for such nice comments on my story.

      As for the sequel it’s pretty much complete and won’t be out until December. For the present I’m just working to spread the word on the first novel. I hope you’ll get to read it, too. 😉

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Phyllis,

      I haven’t watched many of the reruns in the past few years although they do abound. It always fascinated me that Col Klink and Sgt Schultz were portrayed by Jews. I wonder if it wasn’t somehow cathartic for them to portray Germans as buffoons.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

        • Dear Phyllis,

          I’ve no doubt the Jewish men who portrayed the Germans in Hogan’s Heroes got some kind of satisfaction. and certainly, there were and are a lot of Jews in the film industry.
          I’m pretty sure Bernard Fein, co-creator of HH was Jewish, but can’t find anything on Albert S. Ruddy the other co-creator one way or another.

          Shalom,

          Rochelle

          Liked by 1 person

  • Excellent, you just never know where the road leads. And yes comedians are some of the most injured, but cover it beautifully.
    Your prompt didn’t speak to me until I saw it on my desktop, in a much smaller size, then I had it.

    Like

  • Dear Rochelle,
    Upon my first visit here this morning, I didn’t know what to say. Fortunately, I am in a roomful of writers, and Bjorn has said beautifully what needed saying.

    Touching story.

    Peace,
    Marie Gail

    Like

    • Dear Patrick,

      Of course, some it’s true. John Banner was an Austrian Jewish actor who did escape the Holocaust. His family perished. According to what little I could dig up, he made a living playing Nazis and villains. But when he landed the part of Sgt. Schultz he became one of the most beloved actors in America. .

      Sorry you were deprived on the other side of the pond. 😉

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Wow, never knew the story or the actor, but this is (as usual) thoroughly fascinating, both in the snippet that’s true and the layers you’ve added on top. What a strange position to find himself in.

    Like

    • Dear Jennifer,

      One of the things that I love about writing historical fiction with the operative on fiction is putting a real person in a ‘it-could-have-happened’ situation. 😉 John Banner was one of three Jewish actors in the series who portrayed Germans.

      Stranger still played villainous Nazis before landing the role that made him one of Americal’s most beloved actors.

      Thank you for taking the time from mummy-ing to read and comment.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Wow, all that from this chandelier!

    My mother never wanted us to watch Hogan’s Heroes. She was a child in Occupied Paris and did not see anything funny about the Nazis. I didn’t understand as a child, but I see her point now… 😐

    Great story. I still am amazed at your imagination. I’ll be scratching my head over this one for a few days…

    Like

    • Dear Lily,

      Finding actual historical details for this story was a bit of a challenge. The most truthful things about the story are that John Banner was an Austrian Jew who lost his family to the Holocaust.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Wow! Who knew behind that jolly face of Sgt Schultz lay such a sad story of Johann Banner. Great story puts a lot of things in perspective. We take so much for granted in our lives without realising sometimes how lucky we are.

    Like

    • Dear Subroto,

      I couldn’t find a lot so I interjected and imagined what must’ve filled mind from time to time. The fact is that he did lose his family in the Holocaust I just took it from there.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Dear Rochelle

    Your excellently told snippet of fictionalised history, brings to mind a Jewish woman who lives in my town. During World War 2, her family were executed and she lay buried under their bodies for many hours, not daring to move. This same woman went on to become a famous pop star in Germany. She has recently written a book about her experiences.

    I agree with what you said in one of your comments: that comedians are often depressives underneath. In fact, often it’s the laughing depressive who is most likely to commit suicide. People will say, “But, he was always so happy and joking. You’d never have known to look at him!” Having worked with depressives, I’m always worried by someone who is too full of jokes.

    All best wishes
    Sarah

    Like

  • Dear Cecila B. DeMille,
    Sgt. Shultz would have made excellent upper management material. Hell, I’m only lower middle-management and I’ve always looked up to him. There’s a lot to be said for knowing nothing. It’s served me well for fifty-nine years.
    The light may be on, but no one is at home – Tom

    Like

  • Wow! His role as Schultz was as a German prisoner-of-war camp guard? I learn something new every week from you. Well, I think his parents would be proud. I read about him and he said it was about finding goodness in every generation. We always need that, don’t we? Excellent, Rochelle!

    Like

    • Dear Amy,

      I believe John Banner’s family would have been proud of him. I read those articles, too. He sounds like a dear man. I did know when Hogan’s Heroes was a current program that he was Jewish as was Werner Klemperer (Col. Klink) and the other German officers on the show. Even then I felt that it was poetic justice.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Eric,

      This was a story that took a lot of digging and conjecture. The only things I knew for certain were that John Banner was an Austrian Jewish actor whose family perished in the Holocaust. Although he made a living playing German villains and Nazis before HH, I think his greatest revenge was Sgt. Schultz. How we loved him.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Each week you take us on a journey, Rochelle, with your stories and then the stories behind them. I watched the show for ages, but never knew or thought about the back story– I was too young at the time. Fascinating!

    Like

    • Dear Dawn,

      Of course I have a few years on you. 😉 I also had a Jewish mother who had a penchant for pointing out every Jewish actor in the media. I understand now why it was so important to her that her daughter remembered where she came from.

      Thank you for your sweet comment.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • I didn’t know the show either, but I’m certain that parts of it can be found online. I’ll see if I can find it. I don’t know how actors do it. It’s such a heartbreaking story.

    Like

  • Hi Rochelle,

    I’ve only seen a few episodes of Hogan’s Heroes, but I do remember that character. I had no idea of the actor’s connection to the Holocaust, though. Wow.

    You really sucked me in on this one. Wonderful work, as usual.

    Take care,
    Emilie

    Like

  • Again, I’ve learned something new! (Having never grown up in the US, I didn’t watch Hogan’s Heroes, and now I think I should do so.)
    As always, your utter clarity, precision and deep compassion shine through in your story. Well-done!

    Like

  • I should put a reminder on my smart phone to check your prompts more regularly. I find reading your story is the best way to show just how much can be put in so few words!! You weave so much in this piece and it was fun seeing an old episode of that show…used to watch this long ago.

    Like

    • Dear Oliana,

      Your lovely comment makes me smile, as does coming to your blog and seeing your beautiful words about Please Say Kaddish for Me..

      I have fond memories of Hogan’s Heroes and always knew the Jewish connections. I’ve watched a few of them lately and I still find them entertaining. I can’t say that with a lot of programming from that era.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

      • I learn so much with your historial fictions, Rochelle. As for your novel, I still have vivid memories of the last attack…like a movie in my mind’s eye. Reading some parts, I actually jolted upright and gasped aloud on the bus. That says a lot about your writing…the reader is totally lost in the story and becomes part of it.
        Shalom, Cheryl-Lynn

        Like

    • Dear Jan,

      The accent was authentic. From what I’ve read, until he landed the part of Schultz, John Banner played a lot of villains and Nazis. I’m happy that we remember this man as lovable.

      Thank you for coming by with such nice comments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle, I didn’t know about Sergent Schultz either – but it is so interesting. I always thought he played the part perfectly. Every once in a while, I see re-runs of Hogans Heroes and I remember being a kid and laughing at the stupid Nazi’s. Very, very good story as usual Rochelle! Nan

    Like

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