The Sale: Microfiction


Antoš Frolka [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Gerda clutched the bill-of-sale in her hand, glancing with smug satisfaction at Rose Zukerman’s amethyst ring that now sat tightly on her own fleshy finger.  Franz had purchased it for her, along with the Zuckerman’s house. Gerda had always coveted that elegant townhouse with the piano (that she couldn’t play), the many books (that she would never read), and the china (that would end up broken).

They had gone to the Zuckerman’s early this morning, even though it was a Sunday. Gerda was afraid that some well-connected Party official would get the house first. They’d offered Dr. Zuckerman a fair price. Better than being thrown out, she had sniffed, when the doctor had hesitated at the offer, a sum that was far below what the house and its contents were worth.

Dr. Zuckerman was no longer allowed to treat Aryans, and most of his Jewish patients could not pay him. He could not afford to live in this splendid house, even if he was permitted to stay in it. Gerda chose to forget Dr. Zukerman’s gentle kindness. She chose to forget how he had traveled in a blizzard to treat Franz for pneumonia. Gerda brushed aside the thought that now their medical care would come from Dr. Höss with his trembling fingers and schnapps-scented breath.

I’m not a monster, Gerda thought. We’re giving them the day to pack up some personal items and food. The image of the two little Zuckerman girls with their honey-colored curls who had clung to their mother’s skirt stayed in her mind; she wondered where the family would go. Well, it’s not my concern. They’ll be with their own kind.

She understood that the hook-nosed caricatures of street posters bore no resemblance to the educated, cultured Zuckermans. But still she thought with pride that now true Germans would get their due. The Führer would make Germany great again.

She urged Franz along. She didn’t want to be late to church. She wanted to pray to God for their continued good fortune.


This is for Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge , but I’ve gone over the word limit. The prompt was the painting above by Antoš Frolka of a couple going to church.


58 thoughts on “The Sale: Microfiction

  1. Pingback: The Sale: Microfiction — Yesterday and today: Merril’s historical musings – Albspirit Post

  2. Wow. Fantastic. I do fear that this is where we are heading, tiny step by tiny step. Have you read the Winter Men (I think)? It’s about how people convince themselves that they are not evil, they are just good people forced to act by circumstances.

  3. You’ve done it again, Merril. The story not only is gripping in its descriptions, it packs an extra wallop because it hits so close to home. I’d love to see this published more widely. Huffington Post perhaps?

      • I imagine you have, Merril. Woody and I marvel at how much safer we feel living in such a remote, isolated place as we do, than we did living in Philly. And that was on the good old days. We must stay alert, speak up when we can, and speak out when we must. I’ve written down the two titles mentioned earlier by you and one of your commenters. Susan, I think? They sound like important reads.

  4. Pingback: Microfiction challenge A Satisfied Couple: the entries – Jane Dougherty Writes

  5. I hope God turns a deaf ear to her (and “them.”)
    This was very poignant and current, too. I think of the terrible past of the multitudes killed due to a false leader. Blind following which seems farcical but was (is) real.
    My grandma was named Paula Haller, came to America with her mother. She would not allow us to play good guys vs. bad guys due to the Germany she had left behind. Once married to my grandpa from Sweden, they joined many caring people in their New York neighborhood in activities. My Mom remembers stories of how people shared their talents, recipes and crafts.
    Funny, Merril. Wait till you read my comment on your tic tac poem about a slimy mouthed talker! Sincerely, I have this bad habit with blogs starting with the newest and edging backwards. I mentioned “gas” in Germanyou of the past, in a reference today.

    • Thanks, Robin. I’m glad the story resonated with you and brought back family memories. There are too bad similarities between what is going on now, and what happened then.
      I often just start at the top and work down in comments and email, so I also sometimes read the most recent first. Like this one. 🙂

      • This post really worked to integrate the past of how disrespectful and devastating people were then and how hurtful and disgusting they are still towards those who are different from themselves.
        I hear derogatory comments still aimed towards the Jewish communities, among others who are faith based. I am glad some repairs and reparations have gone to living family members of the Holocaust. Never enough.

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