His first assignment was to enter the ghetto. His eighteen year old mind, easily and malevolently conditioned, urged him to rid the parasites that stole his father’s business, his family’s inheritance. His blue eyes, intelligent and strong, were full of rage. He kicked in the door of one house, then another, forced women to pack, men to dance, children to polish his boots. He pulled beards and called names, taunted. He pushed bodies, large and small, sick and healthy, young and old, in separate lines. He stuffed them in sweltering boxcars.
The train departed. A camp is the best solution, he thought. Gather and destroy, leave no trace. His crooked smile, like the badge on his arm, motivated his blindness.
Arriving at camp, yellow stars were replaced with stripped pajamas. Old men and women, the sick, children, were immediately marched into the forest. He volunteered to go. He was the first to squeeze the trigger. His memory of humanity was erased by angry metal.
He and his comrades soon realized that gas and fire were more efficient. Bony forms were herded into a dark room, promised a shower. Water transformed into a white cloud. There were screams. Fists pounded the door. Finally, the cloud hovered over the silence. The forms were piled into ovens, burned. He watched the smoke become one with the sky. His soul fought him to change, but unsuccessfully. He couldn’t see right from wrong, good from evil.