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PostPosted: Mon Oct 4, '10, 6:30 pm

Dr. Braudenhoff opened the surgery room and there were some assistants
waiting for him.

"Dr. Braudenhoff, are you ready?", asked a nurse.
"Well, how can I be ready for such a thing?" he mumbled "Anyway, bring her in."

So an assistant went to the room where Stella was. Seconds later he called another assistant to help him bring her. It was a difficult task, as she was fighting; trying to flee from them, as if she had already known what was about to happen with her. When she saw the doctor, she stopped fighting, and the assistants released her, so she fell on her knees. She was in despair and looked with her beautiful sad blue eyes to the doctor.

Dr. Braudenhoff felt many shivers down his spine. Everyone was silent, waiting for the doctor. Few seconds passed as if they were million years. Many thoughts passed in his brain and he was so confused that he couldn’t even realize what was happening. But after some seconds, the conscience took control of his mind again and after a long sigh, he said:

"Put her on the table."

And he looked to her briefly. She was mumbling "legyen szives, nem, nem", which means something like "Please, no". He closed his eyes and she noticed a sole teardrop falling from his eyes before he turned his back to her.

The assistants put her on the surgery table, tied her very tightly, which caused her to scream a little. Dr. Braudenhoff picked up a scalpel, but he didn’t know what to do. He didn’t know, but suspected that they wouldn’t give her any anesthesia. He remembered some of the studies he made about anatomy, besides the terrible vision of the wounds of the soldiers in the battlefield and made a brief plan, to try to make the girl survive, while testing some variations of his special technique. And them he opened a little her clothes to uncover her side and after cleaning her skin, "Her soft skin" as he thought at the time, he after long hesitation, he started to cut her skin. With the pain caused by the scalpel tearing her skin, Stella screamed so loud that the legs of the doctor shook. He almost dropped the scalpel. He stopped five seconds, took a deep breath and started again, but she screamed again so loud that this time his hands became weak and he dropped the scalpel indeed.

"I can’t do this! I can’t do this way! Will someone please give anesthesia to her?", said the doctor as he moved toward a chair in the corner of the room. Stella kept on screaming and he was becoming completely mad (more than he already was).
"Doctor, we don’t usually waste the anesthetics this way… ", a nurse started saying.
"To the hell with what you usually do! If she continues screaming, I will cut everything but what I am supposed to cut. This may include your hands. Go fast with this."

He was accustomed to the screams of wounded soldiers, but this time was different. He was operating someone healthy (and he was somewhat fascinated with her). He was so disturbed that he tried to drink a glass of water, but he turned the glass and the water was spilled on the floor. He left everything when he saw the assistant injecting something in the patient’s veins and she diminishing the screams till she remained completely silent.

"How is she?", asked the doctor, afraid that the assistant had given her potassium or chloroform.
"She seems to be alive."
"Well" a brief pause ensued, as the doctor thought "What a good answer. Everything I needed!" And continued "let’s resume the work."

And it was a difficult task for the doctor. First because of all the ethical and moral conflicts disturbing his mind. Second because he didn’t know exactly what to do. "She is here for me to experiment with!" He was disturbed and anxious, but he was trying to do the best he could. "I´ll try to block this vein and link to that other in the shoulder. Many wounded soldiers die when shot in the chest, below the shoulder…" "Poor girl, what am I trying to do with her?" "I hope everything goes ok." "Damn! The bleeding is lasting more than I thought!" "Lord will never forgive me…" "If only a Soviet tank knocked down the walls of this room…" These thoughts were disturbing his mind, among many others, including some that he was ashamed of, but that were constantly returning to his mind. Dr. Braudenhoff was clearly touched by the beauty and the innocence of the Jewish girl, and the thrills of a forbidden romance contributed to his attraction, but the thought of being shot along with her made these thoughts disappear. And in a confusion of thoughts and the tiredness of such an operation were finishing when he announced with a sense of relief:

"It’s over. The operation seems to be successful! One assistant and one nurse, please, stay monitoring her. The others can rest. Any problem, you can call me. Let’s see if she reacts well and we can start saving our soldiers. Watch out for any problem with blood flow in her left arm. Well, I’ll rest. See you later."

And the doctor left. It was a sense of relief. It seemed that the operation was successful. His mind wasn’t anymore set on Stella, but in the lives he could save in the battlefront. He only agreed to do the experiment because he felt he could improve his surgery technique without killing the patients and in order to help his fellows. In fact his acceptance was the only excuse he thought acceptable to such vile act.

He was tired and went to his room. He was willing to take a nap and then return to his duty. It was 10 o’clock already and he didn’t really see the time passing. He was a little bit concerned about Stella, but 'If God helps, she will be fine'. He rested for some time, but it was difficult to sleep after the previous happenings of the day. When he was about to sleep, an officer knocks on the door and says:

"Dr. Braudenhoff, there is an important phone call to you."
"Ok, I’m going."

And he rushed to the other room, where the telephone was. He was sleepy, and felt he would not understand any word, but when he heard the familiar voice on the phone, he became totally awake.

"Dr. Braudenhoff, it is Commander Histlenheimer." - "as if it was necessary to say", thought the doctor. "First I would like to congratulate you for the work you have done today. And I would like to know how the things went."
"Commander, it wasn’t easy to operate a healthy person, but it seems like everything went well…", answered the doctor.

And Dr. Braudenhoff told many details of the surgery, what he had done and why, told about the hopes of helping the wounded soldiers. Histlenheimer wasn’t much interested in the details, mostly because he wasn’t a doctor and he didn’t understand many things, but he liked very much the doctor and realized that if he kept on listening to him, the confidence of the doctor would increase. Then he asked:

"And what are the conclusions you reached, Wilfred?"
"Commander, it’s early to give a response. The patient is resting and we will monitor her reactions in the coming weeks to determine if the treatment is useful."
"Oh, well", a tone of deception filled the commander’s voice. "I thought you would have results…"
"How could I have some result in such a little amount of time?" The doctor's irritation was growing again.
"I thought you would dissect the body to investigate the effects…"
"DISSECT?" The doctor burst up in rage. He waited a few seconds to continue, fighting with himself to not hang up the phone or offend the commander: "How can you say this? The soldiers will be dissected immediately after the surgeries in the battlefield? So how can I evaluate the results by dissecting her body?" This time he was more ironic than his fellow.
"Sorry, Wilfred. It seems you haven’t got the spirit of the things yet. Well, I wish you good luck. Thanks for your cooperation."

As Commander Histlenheimer hung up the phone, he felt pitiful for the friend. He had never seen the friend so irritated. But Braudenhoff´s behavior was an exception and if it was not his influence, the doctor would have already been imprisoned or executed.

Dr. Braudenhoff didn’t have time to answer. It was definitely the best thing that could happen to him. He was so mad that the results would be a disaster. "HOW CAN HE EVEN MENTION A THING LIKE THAT? I´M NOT A MURDERER! I´M NOT A MURDERER!" The doctor almost cried of rage. Histlenheimer was destroying his life. The Germans were destroying his life. He wished that the Allies bombed everything and killed everybody. "It would be better to the World". He was tired of everything. At this time, he had lost the will to sleep. And he decided to wander through the blocks of the concentration camp, but that was not a good idea, since the image of Jews working, tired, hungry, sick and beaten for nothing made him feel worse. There was a good smell of plants, but he knew that hours later the bad smell of burned flesh would cover the camp. The day was almost dawning, he was depressed and he decided to return to his room when a nurse rushed to him alarmed:

"Dr. Braudenhoff, please, come to the medical center in a hurry to see this! We were searching you." said the nurse, with short breathing, after running after the doctor.
"Wha… what happened?", asked the doctor as his legs shaken. "What happened to her?" he thought.
"Come, doc, we don’t know anymore what to do."

And the two went in a fast pace to the medical center. As he approached the medical center, he could hear low screams that became louder and louder as he moved towards the entrance. When the nurse opened the door to him, the screams where so loud that for a second the doctor stopped in despair. "NO! It is Stella!" Then he rushed to the room while he started to hear loud bumps in the wall among the screams.

When he entered the room, he became shocked. The girl was on her knees, beating her head in the wall and she screamed so loud that the entire block could hear. She was feeling such a strong pain that she was trying to kill herself beating the head in the wall. Dr. Braudenhoff screamed "STOP! STOP!" but she couldn’t understand. She could imagine what he was trying to say, but she wouldn´t stop anyway. He walked towards her and tried to pull her, but in the anxiety of the moments, Stella reacted punching the mouth of Dr. Braudenhoff. The punch was strong so his lips start to bleed and he became stunned for some seconds. She fell on the floor with his pull and laid over her left arm, holding with the right arm the place where he had operated.

She continued screaming, but less loudly than before, because she saw that the doctor was injured and she was afraid of him. She thought she would be tortured and killed. In her imagination, the doctor was the only person who could save her and if he became angry with her, every hope would be lost. So she stared at his eyes crying. For a second, Dr. Braudenhoff looked in anger to her, after all he was a huge pile of nerves, but realized that everything was happening because of her despair. So he went closer to her and held her in his arms. She did not protest and stopped screaming. She was afraid of him, but she was feeling somewhat comfortable too. As the doctor carried her to the surgery table, she moved her head towards his chest, as if she was a daughter seeking for the protection of his father. He looked deeply at her eyes, but in a second he was leaving her in the surgery table, where the assistants were tying her in the table. She started screaming again and the doctor was asking her: "What happened, what are you feeling?". But she didn’t understand and didn’t answer, except with incomprehensible words among screams. Dr. Braudenhoff was becoming mad when he left to the room next to the surgery room, where she was. He abandoned his body in a chair and wept in silence. His sanity had almost gone. His happiness disappeared forever and he would never ever have any peace in the rest of his life.
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