The Jews were poking around in the rubble which still had to be uncomfortably hot. The big dome that had been in the center had come crashing down into the rubble while the iron beams that had held it up stayed intact with some twisting of their original shape. I looked up at the fire blackened girders and thought it looked like a giant black spider crouching there in the remains of its nest.
A large cart was parked near the ruble, but not to close as the heat and smoke still being generated by the smoldering rubble would have spooked the horses. They were not happy about being there anyways and were restless, stamping their feet and nickering. I figured the Jews had been dragooned into going through the rubble, to search for, and recover any valuables, as everyone knew the Jews hid gold and silver in large amounts in their synagogues.
We strolled over just as a couple Jews came out the rubble carrying a black bundle. It was suspended in a blanket that they held at each end. They were crying, the path of the tears clearly outlined on their soot covered faces. They walked up to the cart, carefully lowering the blanket in, then one of them let go of his side, so the bundle rolled out the blanket, pieces of black ash flaking off as it came to rest on top of the others in the cart.
“Oh Jesus” said Dieter, “Oh my fucking Jesus.” Yeah, that was a fairly accurate description of the only person who might be able to change what we were looking at. The black bundles were the charred remains of the Jews who had been burnt alive last night. Only up close were they recognizable as human. On some of the blackened bodies lying in the cart I could see the white glint of teeth and bone. The bodies had their legs pulled up, making them appear to be kneeling, their hands were raised up in supplication to a god who must have been busy elsewhere.
Hans whispered “It looks their praying.” Suddenly I was angry with all of them. They were so fucking dumb! What the hell did they expect? Especially considering what had we had been doing in Poland. This was nothing new, just the same old shit only a little rawer.
“Yes Hans, all Jews become good Catholics when faced with being roasted alive.”
“Really?” Dieter asked surprised.
I just nodded my head "Yes." I knew I couldn’t stay there for a minute more or I would lose control of myself. I could feel the anger rising inside. This was the bad anger. The red hot, stabbing, irrational killing kind of anger. In a matter of seconds it would overwhelm the walls I had so carefully constructed over the years to contain it. Then it would sweep through me washing away the facade I had built up over the years. I had to walk away, get away at once while I could. I turned away from them and began walking. I could hear Hans calling to me “Willie! Willie! Come back.” I didn’t even turn around. Instead I broke into a run, ‘Go! Go! Go!’ the voice inside my head was screaming. I passed the Sergeant who had warned us to wear our masks. He began laughing, the laughter quickly dying when he saw my face as I went past him. He turned away from me.
I kept going until I got to my bike. I mounted it and began pumping the pedals hard to build up speed. I pedaled, uncaring and unseeing, forcing the bad anger back down. If I was going to be angry, the cold anger was best. With the cold anger I could read situations, weigh my options, and react correctly. The cold anger helped me survive. The red anger was my childhood enemy. Listening to it had taken me to the institution run by the Premonstratensian order where I learned that I was filled with sin. They taught me, with their punishments, that if I wished to survive then I must keep the red anger hidden.