Passing for ChristianPublished
My landlord is convinced I am a Jew.
No matter how much I study being Christian, something small always trips me up.
I need to leave Germany, but Christian guards are savvy to every trick, grilling people like me to make certain we really are the Christians we say we are.
Each time I think I am ready to take that test, I panic.
I pray for guidance, not as a Christian, nor even as a Jews, but at a desperate girl, having faith that God didnít mean for any of this to happen and that he will eventually help save me.
I am luckier than most in that I look German.
On the street people nod at me as if I was one of their own.
This has kept my landlord in doubt. He fears that I might really be German after all, and to report me would get him in trouble.
But I know he never stops watching, waiting for the moment when I will slip up. I hope to secure passage out of the country before this happens.
Maybe he guesses this, and I see in his eyes that he has made up his mind to talk to the authorities after all.
So ready or not, I must test my Christian study even though I am not clear on how God could be made up of three things or how we all suffer from Original sin.
The guards at each check point will grill me. They will not ask the same questions, and I wonder if I can keep up the front until I reach unoccupied France or England.
I make up my mind to leave and study all night before I do, hoping what I memorize will be enough. I think about my landlordís face and how stunned it will look when he finds I have gone.
But I am after all only human. So the confusing details of my Christian study lulls me into sleep. When I waked, I hear pounding on my door and the harsh voice of the Gestapo calling for someone to open up.
I hear my landlordís voice directing them to where I live.
I feel incredibly trapped.
I calm myself before opening my door.
When I do, I notice how fooled the Gestapo look at my appearance, and their sharp glances they give my landlord.
The officers tell me they have heard Iíve applied for an exit visa and have a few questions before I leave.
I am so very tired and stumble over questions to which I already know the answers.
My landlord says, ďsee, see, what did I tell you?Ē
I am all mixed up inside: Jew Christian, German. I do not know what I am.
The Gestapo tell me I must go to headquarters for further questioning.
They say it is routine.
I know it is not.
And maybe I am relieved at being caught, no longer needing to live a lie or a double life as Jew and Christian.
And, with a laugh, I think at least I am rid of my snooping landlord.
I no longer need to know how Mary can be a virgin and mother at the same time.
I no longer need to worry about keeping up experiences.
And the Gestapo assures me I will soon join my parents in a camp called Auschwitz.