During all this another group of Jews had arrived, and the SS, with the help of the Rabbi and his assistants, were beginning the process of checking their papers against a master list of names. The Lieutenant waved us in, along with the other posts, as we were needed to watch the new arrivals more than a road with absolutely zero traffic on it. We were positioned in a ring around the new arrivals, and I found myself standing with Hans about ten feet from the SD officer and his little command group.
The groups of Jews continued to arrive until we had ten groups of twenty. They must have rounded up some of them from the neighboring villages. It was not a large enough town to have that many Jews. The sun was up for real now and it was starting to warm up. At least it didn’t look like rain which it had been doing a lot of this summer. I was glad we had canteens as it was easy to get thirsty even if you weren’t moving around much. The helmet didn’t help, and either did the wool uniform. Two hundred pair of Jewish eyes watched me drink which made it all the more enjoyable.
The fat man reappeared leading his troops. Instead of a company, a light platoon would be a more accurate description of the actual size. They were a fearsome looking bunch. The only difference between them, and the men we had sitting down in front of the church, was that most of them had shaved in the last couple weeks. Four or five men in the militia had grown the Fuhrer mustache to demonstrate their solidarity with us and to distinguish themselves from the Jews an other undesirable rabble.
They were armed with German army rifles, a couple of ancient shotguns, and a few carried clubs. The entire lot, including the Jews, could benefit from a shave and a shower. The need for a shower had become very noticeable as the breeze had shifted and we were now downwind.
“Filthy pigs” Hans said. Startling me. I looked at him and nodded. “Filthy Jewish pigs” he repeated it this time, with the emphasis on the filthy, and the addition of Jewish. I guess he wanted to make sure I understood which group he was talking about. He spit on the ground to further empathize his disgust. “At least they could bathe. Look at us, we’re soldiers and we still find time to bathe.”
“Yeah” I replied. “It’s a good thing for us they are walking out of here and not riding in our trucks with their dirty Jewish germ ridden asses on our benches.”
His reply was a stunned “My God!” I laughed and added “Well it looks like we won’t be needed. The Teutonic knights have arrived.” He thought that was funny, very funny. So much so that Sarge later chewed his ass out for laughing while on duty.