Trafika Europe 1 - Northern Idyll

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 peace. 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


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