“He called me. . .Daniel,” Wilhelm replied, still bewildered as to how Arnold knew his Jewish name.
Martin shook his head in confusion, “Daniel? But you said your name was Wilhelm.”
Wilhelm nodded, “It is. Look, I know this isn’t making sense right now and I promise I’ll explain it to you as soon as I can, but right now I need to get Arnold here back to headquarters and then behind bars. I’m sure there’s at least one person I’ll be able to interest in looking into your history," the last sentence was directed at Arnold.
“Wow, let me guess who that would be. Ramond?” Arnold said in a rather sarcastic voice.
“Yes, Ramond, and let me tell you I think he’ll be happy to see you. But it won’t be the kind of happy you’ll enjoy,” Wilhelm muttered.
The Autenburg’s exchanged puzzled looks, then Martin turned to Wilhelm, ‘“do you need any help?”
Wilhelm shook his head, “Arnold will come nice and quietly. Won’t you, Arnold?”
“Are you giving me a choice?”
“Not at all.” Wilhelm began to walking toward the door, then turned. “I’ll be back a little later and explain things. I’m really sorry you all had to get involved,” his tone turned apologetic.
Martin nodded, “That’s alright, but we’re all looking forward to the explanation.”
“And it will come, I promise.”
“This is the guy I was talking about. Remember him?” Wilhelm asked as he shoved Arnold into the building.
Finch stood from his place behind the desk, “Yes, I do. I remember him well."
"If the German and Austrian governments weren’t at odds, I’d say they’d both be glad to see this guy behind bars," Wilhelm exclaimed as he closed the door behind them.
Finch chuckled, “Yeah, but that’s a big ‘If’. They are at odds.”
“I know. So why don’t you get him locked up and then go and get Ramond. I know he’ll be more than happy to see Arnold.”
“Wait, where are you going?” Finch asked as he took the keys Wilhelm handed him.
“I’m going to go do a little explaining. The Autenburgs probably have no idea what to think of me right now.”
“Ahh, I get the picture,” Finch grinned. “You go and be the hero, then leave me to do the dirty work.”
“No, I did my share of dirty work as well,” Wilhelm reminded him.
“Sure, sure. Alright, go on and do your explaining, but once everything’s settled I want to meet the Autenburgs,” Finch said, shaking a finger at Wilhelm.
“Sure, anything you want,” Wilhelm said with a smile.
“I’m going to hold you to that!” Finch yelled after Wilhelm as he left the building. As the door closed, Finch turned to Arnold, “Okay, let's get you an interview with Ramond.”
Arnold groaned as Finch started down the hall.
“Both of my parents died when I was four-years old. I was adopted by my German parents a year later. They gave me the name Wilhelm, but they also didn't want me to forget my Jewish heritage. Still, they were careful not to tell anyone else about my Jewish background, which I’m thankful for now. The way hostility is rising against the Jews in Germany since Hitler came to power is nothing less than horrific. I shudder to think what will happen here in Austria in there is an Anschluss with Germany.”
Wilhelm was seated in the sitting room of the hotel explaining his story to the Autenburg’s.
Martin nodded, agreeing with Wilhelm’s last statement, “Austria has become a haven for many of Germany’s Jews. If an Anschluss does happen, I fear for their future.”
Wilhelm nodded and leaned back in his chair, “Yes. Only time will tell. Also, if you're wondering who Ramond is and why he'll be happy to see Arnold, I'll just say that's a story for another time. A rather. . .complicated one. Well, enough about me, tell me a little about your family. Why are you here in Vienna?”
Martin smiled, “We decided to take a little family vacation. We live on a small farm just outside of Innsbruck. My sister and her family live right next door. For quite a while now we’ve been helping Jews that are escaping Germany.” He paused for a moment, “Before I go any further, I need to know that anything you hear here won’t be repeated.”
Wilhelm nodded, “you have my word.”
“We’re part of a network that helps the Jews. Some of them are trying to get into Switzerland or Czechoslovakia, some of them just want to live their lives away from the persecution in Germany. Whatever the scenario may be, we are a link in the network. We get orders and we follow them. Most of the time we have no idea who we’re working with, but it’s best that way. If there ever is an Anschluss with Germany, the secrecy will protect those who were a part of the network.”
“Will you stop helping the Jews if Germany and Austria are joined?”
Martin glanced at his wife, “We will not stop our work until the Lord tells us to.”
Wilhelm nodded, then turned as the clock struck seven.
“Well, I’d better get going back to the office. I left Finch with the prisoner and I’m sure Ramond will have a lot to say to me. But,” He turned to Martin, ‘Before I go I do have a question to ask.”
Martin smiled, “Anything. What is it?”
Wilhelm took a deep breath, "Mr. Autenburg, I’d like to ask your permission to court your daughter, Lesiel.”
Martin smiled, “If that’s what she would like, you have my blessing.” He turned to Lesiel, ‘What do you say? Would you like to be courted by Mr. Snyder?”A happy smile lit Lesiel’s face, ‘There’s nothing I would like more!”