Zion Island 13.

Reichsarchiv.  Nachlasse Bach-Zalewski.  Private files–Miscellaneous.

 

Sipo-SD IV-B-4.

Partial transcript of a recorded conversation, Theresienstadt, Madagascar, 14 August 1952.

 

(excerpt).

…..

AG[1]: There’s something else.  The piano player from Rick’s.  You’ve heard him?  Course you have.  You love the night-life.  I met him at a party.  There were a lot of people there and a lot of booze.  We ended up in one of the little groups late in the evening.

 

PR[2]: You ended up in the same group or he was working his way toward you?

 

AG: Dunno.  Could have been.  Turns out he’s not French or German either, the “Graf” aside.  He’s a Russian, one of the refugees.  Grew up in Shanghai, then the family moved to France maybe twenty years ago.  He speaks French and Russian, but also English and German.

 

PR: What’s he like?

 

AG: Smart.  Big talker, but not so much boasting.  More like he can run on and on with stories.  Lots of them funny.  Sort of puts you to sleep, like the doctor before an operation.  A feygele[3] I think.

 

PR: So why tell me?

 

AG: He wants to meet people.  Says it’s lonely being so far from home; says the Germans aren’t too interesting.  Said it in a way that might make you think he didn’t like them—without coming right out and saying so.  Also, he wants to see something of the island.  He says the steamer from Shanghai stopped here on the way to France when he was a boy, but he never got off the ship.

 

PR:  OK, I’ll tell them.  Try to avoid him until they decide.

 

[1] Abraham Gancwajch: b. 1902, Czestachowa, Russian Empire.  Head of Office to Combat Usury and Profiteering in the Resettlement Community.

[2] Perec Rachman, b: 1919, Lwow, Polish Republic.  Interned by Soviet Union, 1940.

[3] Yiddish: a man who is believed to be gay.

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