Trafika Europe 1 - Northern Idyll
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Not long after the Anschluss, Hitler had declared his

intention to “free the Sudeten Germans” from Czechoslovak

“oppression.” The Nazis themselves had probably touched

off the violent riots of the past few days. Rudolf was

convinced that an invasion was imminent and that neither

Daladier nor Chamberlain would raise a finger to stop it.

The Munich Agreement, negotiated only a week after our

wedding, would prove him right. Kurt, oblivious of this

kind of tension, rose to offer a toast of his own: “To Adele,

my beloved wife! To our honeymoon in the United States!”

I gave him my most radiant smile. As far as he was

concerned, Princeton would soon send funds for a second

ticket, despite the abruptness of our marriage. I thought it

unlikely. I protected his unconcern, since all he wanted was


I sipped my broth, stifling a wave of nausea. Whenever my

mother, who had noticed my malaise, looked at me

quizzically, I would pat my stomach distractedly. She didn’t

catch on. Kurt must have ascribed my unaccustomed lack

of appetite and silence to my emotions. He wouldn’t have

noticed if Hitler had been dancing on the wedding table.

Having eaten our frugal meal, we left the Rathauskeller for

a walk under a light rain. As we passed the little wooden

stands where they sold grilled bratwurst, my father

grumbled inopportunely, “If money was so tight, we could