Post 69 – Is this weird woman lusting after Adolf?

My flight to Athens is diverted to Munich and we’re told that we’ll need to enjoy a twenty-four hour stop-over. Well that’s maybe good news if you’ve got some time to spare, which I haven’t. But the cab driver is an affable fellow and before we reach my stop-over hotel he tells me that we’re in the city’s main square at Marienplatz, ‘and that Mein Herr is our famous Glockenspiel. So I glance up at the crazy bunch of miniature figures that dance occasionally. The centre of Munich is indeed impressive, but I need some fresh air, so when I’ve checked into my hotel I go to look at the English Gardens. Already, there are groups of Germans in lederhosen quaffing massive glasses of beer in the rather agreeable green space, so I get myself a sample ale and sit at a small wooden table beside a flower bed. I’m reading a European edition of the New York Times when an attractive woman stops by with her coffee.

‘You are English?’ she asks.

More Irish American, ma’am, I guess. But I just nod with a smile.

‘So – if I may join you … yes?’

Of course – we might be able to talk about the state of the world, or Munich.

‘Hitler liked this city,’ she tells me. ‘And especially here in what we call the English beer Garden.’

Really – well, I’m not sure if I want to talk too much about Adolf or the Holocaust or the experiences of brave survivors like Primo Levi.

‘I am Brigitta,’ she tells me, and I guess she’s somewhere in her thirties. So I say I’m Phil, which gets me a welcoming smile.

‘And you know Phil that these are not good times for us just now?’

OK – Greece is imploding and Putin’s getting ready to topple the Ukranians, while Islamists work on how they might nuke the rest of us in the West. But I guess it has been worse.

‘Of course it has,’ Brigitta retorts sharply. ‘And we dealt with it, Phil.’

Oh my God … is she saluting Adolf here in the Munich Beer Gardens?

‘You think that because we are Germans we are somehow an evil nation that must be destroyed … yes?’

No – absolutely not. Angela Merkel is a decent woman, surely … and whatever about the past … well – it was seventy years ago.

‘I tell you something, Phil,’ Brigitta says, and I’m freezing because she’s leaning towards me and one of her neatly manicured hands is resting and then squeezing on the back of mine. ‘Our world is not good now,’ she says again. ‘There are people out there who need to be brought into line … and I think maybe quite ruthlessly … because otherwise we are doomed.’

This is one tough fraulein cookie I’m dealing with, and I’m trying to work out how I might slip my feet from under our table and perhaps make a run for it. But suddenly Brigitta is smiling and one of her hands is gently stroking my trembling wrist.

‘I have a penthouse studio near here,’ she tells me. ‘It has good views over Munich and you might like to see my paintings?’ Suddenly, Adolf seems to be fading away but I’m in a difficult situation. For if I reject Brigitta’s invitation  she may become belligerent and shout at me. What might my war-time hero Primo Levi have done, I’m wondering ? But my mobile is ringing, so I improvise a conversation. ‘OK …’ I tell my editor in New York. ‘I’m leaving now … and I should be back at the airport again in an hour … yes, of course, sir … absolutely!’

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