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PostPosted: Mon Oct 4, '10, 4:35 pm

The truck arrived early and the trip was dull. It lasted four hours, and Dr. Braudenhoff was very bored. Lots of Military outposts, roads with nothing other than Military installations, cars, soldiers, etc. Since the Allies started the counterattack, the front was more and more approaching the original German territory, so the military defenses were being built. He didn't know where he was going and people with him refused to say where he was going, so he decided to sleep. He was taking a nap when the truck driver announced they had reached their destiny. The place was impressive. A great area surrounded by high walls and protected fences. Guards kept their eyes to every movement inside. Sounds of men working and machines could be heard from outside. Lots of people in uniforms, with the hair completely cut, working without rest. Dr Braudenhoff almost fainted at the disgusting smell of burned flesh. He was somewhat horrified.

Then Commander Histlenheimer came to greet him. The last thing Dr. Braudenhoff wanted to see was the sarcastic (he appeared to be a slug to the doctor this day) figure of Histlenheimer. The commander wasn’t too tall (Braudenhoff was 1.83m while Histlenheimer was no more than 1.65m ) and had a thin face. His well-combed black hair, little mustache and sarcastic smile made him appear to be the stereotype of the crooks of the movies, although Histlenheimer himself had nothing of a crook. Dr. Braudenhoff knew him for many years, but he started to dislike the presence of the commander recently. It was nothing personal, but the way he used to present the news. He soon realized where his friend has put him, but he didn’t know what he was supposed to do, because while people generalize, great part of the Germans were not acquainted with the government policy of promoting the elimination of the people considered unworthy of living. Dr. Braudenhoff imagined that the konzentrationslager were merely forced labor fields.

"Good afternoon, Dr. I hope you are content with your new occupation."
"Yes, sir. I am very excited". - This very excited was so ironic that the commander became serious.
"Here you will work for the glory of the Arian race and the Third Reich. My friend, here you will have the opportunity to become one of the greatest physicians of the World. You will be famous all over our country when we win the war. All women will want to marry Dr. Braudenhoff and all the boys will want to be like you."
The commander tried to be friendly and he knew that he was exaggerating, but he was concerned about his friend.
"Well, commander, I don’t believe so, but I’ll do my best to help our people." – replied Dr. Braudenhoff, showing little interest.
"I’m sure you will."

The two men, along with an officer who was taking Dr. Braudenhoff´s luggage went inside the camp, and while they were heading to the hospital, Histlenheimer showed his friend the camp, without mentioning the gas chambers and the incinerator. He knew Dr. Braudenhoff was a very competent and honest physician, and that he would be horrified if he knew exactly how the camp worked. He preferred that the doctor discovered by himself. Although Histlenheimer knew that Dr. Braudenhoff wasn’t an ingenuous person and that had already heard about the final solution to the Jewish question (though he didn't know what in fact has being done), he knew that his friend would never become a great collaborator like Mengele. He also knew that Dr. Braudenhoff could even collaborate with them, but the way should be very indirect, as his friend would never agree to murder people (at least knowing that the person would die).

"Look, in that building, we can produce hundreds of guns per day. The work is uninterrupted and these guns supply our armies in the borders. We are beginning to counter-attack the soviets. Our army won a battle in Poland with guns produced here." - said the commander, trying to light up the doctor and himself too, as he knew the real situation of the fronts.

Dr. Braudenhoff was more interested in the bad aspect of the prisoners. "If they were better treated, they would manufacture ten thousand guns per day". As they walked, Histlenheimer talked lots of things, but Dr. Braudenhoff couldn’t remember anything after 5 minutes. He was not interested, as he knew the Allies were reconquering some of the occupied areas in France and in Eastern Europe. He knew also that lots of people were dying in the fronts daily and he didn’t know what use he could have in such a place like that. Ok, he knew that there were people working, but the apparent administration of the camp was a disaster. The workers were in such a bad condition that they spent all their energies trying to be alive. He didn't know the extent of the horrors in a concentration camp before entering one.

He arrived at the hospital, inspected the installations. Though the hospital was rather small, the equipments were good, the installations clean. There were some other nurses and assistants. He was designed as the Chief Doctor of the little hospital. There were another hospital, which was greater, but this one seemed to be arranged especially for him, and it was in fact arranged to a new kind of activity never done before at that concentration camp. He didn't know why, but he suspected of something odd. Histlenheimer was proud of his friend, but Dr. Braudenhoff didn’t care. He was tired of everything and wanted to rest. So he went to his room and Histlenheimer left, saying he would return in fifteen days. From this day on, Dr. Braudenhoff had freedom to work and would only report directly to Histlenheimer.
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