Journal Entry One-August 4, 1939
It all began with the car radio.
My name is Benjamin Bauman and I was an orthopedic surgeon in Tampa, Florida. That was then. The now has me stuck, playing a character in a past reality, and I can’t get home. I’m still hopelessly clinging to the last vestiges of this being a nightmare, but its accompanying imagery is far too real.
I began compiling notes for this journal in a Berlin hotel room, hoping somehow, some way, my story would survive and find its way into the hands of the people I love—or someone who might find believability in a tale that most would perceive as little more than the insane ramblings of a Hitler minion. Most likely, I’ll be dead when or if that happens, but at least I’ll die with the faint hope that my family might discover what happened the morning I went missing. With death a distinct possibility, I will embrace candor when describing my feelings, both then and now. This journal will include no sugarcoating, only my version of the truth—a truth blended with decency and despicability. For I have partaken in both.
Without question, if this document were discovered I would be accused of treason. Conviction and punishment would be swift. I’d be brutally tortured to the brink of consciousness and mercifully put to death by a bullet or rope. I say ‘mercifully,’ as I fathom a torture that will leave me begging to die.
After death, some fear they will be sent to hell. Others believe there is no spiritual hell, only hell on earth. Fortunately, I’ve yet to acquire firsthand knowledge of life after death, but I can confirm without question that there is a hell on earth. My evidence to that account is simple. A short time ago, I became its newest resident.
All journal entries will be written in English, my native tongue before, but now deemed my second language since my “relocation.” Recollected conversations will be in paraphrased quotes. By attempting to bring my interlocutors to life, I’ll be seeking to choreograph a reality from the unreal and a possible from the impossible.
Despite my surroundings, I have been able to extrapolate some good from this virulent reality. I also believe that if that good had not presentenced itself with expeditious availability, I most assuredly would be dead by now. I may have been sent to hell, but I was granted a slice of heaven.
After being propelled here against my will, I became aware of my plight for mere seconds before I was knocked unconscious. When I awoke, I was informed I was a high-ranking chief surgeon and Chief of Staff in Germany’s most “prestigious” hospital. I occupied a position I knew nothing about in a place where I knew nobody, yet everybody knew me. My early survival was buttressed by adaptation and luck. My current survival requires the same foundation.
As one would expect from a trip to hell, I found myself in a world filled with lies, hate and enigmas. Potential enemies were everywhere, continuously jousting for a chance to gain favor with this hell’s Satan, a Satan so vile that he will be held responsible for the death of millions of innocent people, including six million of my own kind.
In my old life those deaths took place many years ago. In my new life they have yet to occur. This journal is a sprinkle of the old with a detailed account of my new life… as a Jewish Nazi in a regime known as The Third Reich.