• “Heil Hitler!” The class exclaimed in unison. The teacher excused us for the day. As kids were running out the door of the classroom, I was waiting for Lisal to get her books together. “Come on! As soon as you get your stuff together the British will get here!” I joked with her, trying to make her day better. But we both knew this day was going to last forever for her. Her family found out that her brother was killed in Africa. “Annika, the British will never get here. We will win, and all the traitors of Germany will go to the camps.” Lisal hissed with venom in her words. I cringed when she said the word traitors, it made me think of my father.

    A couple weeks ago, I found out that my father and some other people were plotting to kill Hitler. If I told anyone this, the Gestapo would shoot us. Or sent to the Concentration Camps, like Dachau. Death would be a luxury compared to the camps.

    We started down the hallway to my little brother’s class, we were both walking in silence, it was getting very awkward. We made it to my brother’s class, and walked inside. All my brother’s classmates were gone, the only people in the room, besides me and Lisal, were Davy, Davy’s teacher, and the headmaster of our school. The headmaster turned his head toward us and waved us to come closer. When we both came he halted us both with his hand raised up. “No. Not you. Fraulein Zeller, come and sit.” The headmaster pointed to a seat next to my brother. Davy’s head was hung down, as if he was going to cry. We said our goodbye’s and Lisal left. I sat in the seat that was reserved for me. The headmaster and Davy’s teacher were staring at me. The headmaster was the first to speak. “Annika, right? Is there anything you would like to tell us?” I became very confused, and scared. Did they know? And how did they know? Did Davy hear papa say anything? “I… I don’t know what you are talking about headmaster…” Terror ran threw every word that stumbled out of my mouth. Davy’s teacher looked frustrated at what I said. “We heard something, Fraulein Zeller… Are you sure you haven’t heard or seen anything? Think carefully Fraulein Zeller…” I shook my head no. I looked at Davy again, I saw tears slide down his face. The headmaster’s head lowered, then he lifted it up and walked to the class door. “Herr Zeller, Fraulein Zeller, please follow me.” He murmured in a lowered voice that sounded if he was disappointed at someone, like us. He didn’t look at us when he spoke to us. My body felt as if rocks were crushing me. I got up and Davy’s little hand found mine. We followed the headmaster’s steps down the hall. I looked to my right, and saw the big doors that led outside. I had an idea, but it might not work, but what did we have to lose? I held Davy’s hand a little harder to get his attention, he looked up at me with scared eyes. I looked into his eyes then I turned my gaze to the doors. He nodded, with that action he gave me, I picked up Davy and ran towards the door ignoring the cries to stop.

    I slowed down near the Elbe river, I put down Davy and continued to walk down a street that I thought might be safe. “Annika, where are we going? Where is momma? And papa? Are we going to be ok?” Davy asked. I guess it was 20 question time, I had to tell him something. I stopped near a tree and sat down. “Davy… We are going to go home. We’re just going to take the long way there. But know this Davy, if you see the SS or the military, and if I’m not around you. Run, don’t listen to them if they say to stop. Just run.” I hugged him and kissed his forehead. I pulled away from him, he looked scared. “Come on, we’re going into the city.” I stood up and took his hand and we walked on down the street.

    Ten minuets later we were in the outskirts of the city. I looked around and saw the streets empty of human life, I pulled Davy with me to a bread shop. The sign said open, but no one was inside. “Annika… Where is everyone? Where did everybody go?” Davy asked with an inaudible voice. “I… Don’t know…” I muttered. All of a sudden, multiple shots rang out. I felt Davy jump. It didn’t sound that far away, or that close. I picked up the pace of my walk and pulled Davy with me. Davy pulled back. “We are going to the guns? Why? Don’t we want to stay away?” He sounded scared. “Davy trust me, please.” I said with a calming tone. He nodded. We walked to the area we heard the shots fired. A crowd, probably all the people of the city was here. They were all circled around a military truck. An execution was happening I just knew it. I had been to one of these before, everyone had to come to see this, if not, you went to a camp. I went through the crowd with Davy by my side. I found a familiar face in the crowd and stopped to ask him who was being executed. “Excuse me. Whom is it?” I asked in the most formal German I knew. The man turned to look at me and turned white, as if he had seen a ghost. “Annika… It’s your father…” He whispered with sorrow in his words. My heart dropped, I felt shame, sadness, pain, to many emotions in my body at once. I dropped Davy’s hand and went through the crowd to the opening. I saw the SS and men tied up in a line, waiting for their turn. I saw a familiar face in a Hitler Youth uniform, he was in my class before, but I do not remember his name. A commander was standing near some SS officers with guns waiting for the Youth to clear and bring in another man to be executed. The Youth pushed a man in the way of the guns. It was my dad, he looked into the crowd and saw me. He smiled, and looked back into the eyes of the officers that were going to end his life. The commander cleared his voice. “Ross Zeller, you have been under arrest of plotting to kill the Fuhrer. You have been named a traitor and will now be sentenced to death by gun fire. Do you have any last words?” My father shook his head. “So be it. Officers, ready? Aim. F-“ I ran out and hugged my father before the commander said his last word, I couldn’t let him die, he shouldn’t die. “Get her out of here... Now!” I heard the commander say. Someone pulled me away from my father, I tried to fight away but couldn’t, a low whisper of a voice said something to me. “Stop, or you will get killed too, Annika.” I recognized that voice, Mich, he was in my class before he turned eighteen and joined Hitler’s Youth. “Then so be it.” I said with venom in my voice. I pulled away from his grasp and ran back to my father. I took a deep breath and started to sing the national anthem of Germany. That was also treason, it went against what Hitler said. I kept on singing it and others started to sing along with me in the crowd. “Shut her up.” The commander said to the officers, but they did nothing, they didn’t know what to do. “Fine I will.” He said. He pulled out his pistol and aimed at me. If this was my last moment of my life, I had to make it last in everyone’s heart and soul. I shouted with the last breath I had. “Hitler die Henker!” And my world went black.