Unfortunately TRIGGER WARNING

The behavior of Anonymous changes abruptly once the Russians are in the picture.

That is, she emerges from the basement very boldly, and is apparently engaged in flirting, practicing her very basic knowledge of Russian on the soldiers, leading groups of them to where they can get water for their horses, etc.

Why on earth. Self is dismayed by her actions. They seem learned.

But tne narrator wasn’t rich, not by any means. She was a writer for goodness’s sake. If she were allied with the Nazi regime, surely she would be living in better conditions, instead of flitting, homeless, from building to building?

The narrator leads (not on purpose) a Russian soldier to the basement, where this guy has ample opportunity to count the number of women hiding there.

. . . just when I think I’ve shaken him, he’s standing next to me and slips into the basement along with me. Staggering from one support beam to the next, he shines his flashlight on the faces, some forty people all together, pausing each time he comes to a woman, letting the pool of light flicker for several seconds on her face.

A Woman in Berlin, p. 49

When the soldier finds an 18-year-old student, whose head is wrapped in a heavy bandage from a head wound, he keeps asking her age, and the narrator volunteers “Eighteen.” (If that were self, she would have said, “Twelve.” Maybe it wouldn’t have made a difference, but at least that might stall for time. But no. Anonymous goes right ahead and says, “She’s eighteen.”)

The man is “small and sallow” and reeks of alcohol and has already tried earlier to take her into a courtyard so why. She goes running toward two other men and “reports” the sallow soldier — no doubt operating on the principle that she MUST find higher-ups to ingratiate herself with, because it’s better to find “protectors” even if she has to sleep with them.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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