A German Girl and Her… – Polished Personal

[. . .] the ways in which individuals take responsibility for themselves or others


The following is set during WWII Germany during the purging of Jews. Because of their forbidden love, Liesel and Werner must sacrifice their love for the safety of Werner’s family – who is of Jewish descent. Liesel, upon completing a letter that ends their relationship, she must confront her mother, Rose – whom she had been deceiving since the beginning of the war.


A German Girl and Her. . . 


It felt as if my soul had loved him for a thousand years. When I would look into his copper-sage eyes their half-moon would capture my heartbeat and throw it out into the wind, as a gift for other lovers to soon catch. We would sit and speak of the hollow tree in the wood that the men wearing the yellow star would hide in, speaking of a time now gone and a life that once was.


The blossoming love of the German girl and the boy wearing the yellow star.


We would sit under the pale moonlight reflecting off of the pool and stare into each other’s eyes. The sound of our heartbeat’s palpable tick overcoming the sudden booms and busts of the fighter planes dashing overhead. We were safe. Safe only when I was in his arms and hidden within the trees’ line away from the searchlights.


When the door has shut and I was alone, alone in the bedroom, the rush of anxiety and fear of the unknown floods my bloodstream. The sudden booms and busts of the fighter planes seem so much closer – close enough to rattle every bone and joint in my frame. Fear.


With every passing second of every passing day, the men donning the red flag of death draw closer and closer to Werner and I’s sanctuary. Every second, they are closer and closer to yanking him out of my life and sending him to the tunnel of soot that seems to encompass the sky and let the empty names of the dead settle into the flowery wallpaper of the German home.


No. No. I cannot do this anymore. I am a German girl, he a Jew with a yellow star pinned to his chest. We cannot run through the darkened streets in search of a place to share our love. He will be caught. He will be killed. And it would be my fault. No.


After the moon had read his bedtime story to the sun, I crafted my letter. I wrote of our deception – of how our families didn’t know of our love – how I had lied to every being who had asked where I was every night. I hoped that Werner would see the affection concealed in my words and the light I wished to attain for his family. Examine your soul I tell him, open your heart and let us stop taking part in this foolish game we call love. We are children, unaware and unworthy of the love that has deceived us and our families. We belong playing games, not running from the floodlights that kill you. There is a force that claims “Aryan” to be supreme and they will come for you. I have to put an end to our love.


A German girl and a Jewish just don’t belong together. Despite my soul calling Werner’s name, I cannot risk his life – his family’s life.


After the sun had sung it’s morning song to the moon, my letter was complete and within it, lay the rippings of a love blossomed much too soon in a garden overrun by weeds.


“Leisel, come down and help your helpless mother cook breakfast,” said Rose in German, “you have been much too cooped up in those four walls!”


I sat with the letter in my palm, the perspiration from my hand staining the ivory envelope with a crinkle of yellow. Tears start to gather in my eyes as the guilt of my deception runs waves over my eyelids and overfills my mind with salt spray.


“What is wrong with you, too much pepper in your soup?”


I shake my head.


“Speak girl, you must tell me what is wrong.”


I shake my head.


It is only then that she notices the crinkle of paper encased in my white knuckles. She grabs the letter before I can let out an ounce of protest. She begins to read aloud, as I can feel the bitterness grow in her gut and the anger that pours into every vein of her stature.


“Before you speak, mother, I must say this,” as words seem to tumble out of my mouth like a script,  “I always knew, deep inside, it was wrong, I felt deep inside somewhere – this feeling like I loved him and at the same time couldn’t have him.”


Mother was silent for a moment, she ran a hand through her shimmering hair and sighed, “ You must never tell of this Jewish boy to anyone – no one can know.


I showed this letter to my boy wearing the yellow star, and never saw him again. So now I wait for the fighter planes’ booms and busts to fade and wonder of the life that could’ve been between the German girl and her Jewish boy.


It felt, now, as if my soul had been torn in two. One half left within this emotionless cast named Liesel and the other embedded into the chest of a Jewish boy – never to be found again. Yet, I find solace in the fact that his copper-sage eyes are still alive and awake with the freshness of every new day, and not rotting at the bottom of a pit or settling into the flowery walls of a German home, disguised as soot.


I am a German girl who loved and lost a Jewish boy.

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4 thoughts on “A German Girl and Her… – Polished Personal

  1. Dearest Victoria,

    Great job on taking up such a sensitive topic and running with it. The prompt was very clear within your piece so I give you credit for that since sometimes it’s hard with such a broad prompt. I loved your dialogue between the daughter and the mother- very European, haha. The way you described Werner’s eyes was breathtaking and I loved it when you wrote about the moon and the sun.

    For improvement I would suggest to elaborate more on the plot as well as setting. In regards of you answering the prompt and integrating the excerpt you did exceptionally well, however, I think there were a few missing pieces within your story which would help with the flow of your story. When it comes to the history, I didn’t quite understand how Liesel letting go of Werner would benefit him. Wouldn’t it benefit her and her family more? Her taking responsibility of the situation and ending it would ensure that she isn’t arrested for being in a relationship with a Jewish boy and that would also save her family from a lot of shame. Although, I understand the approach you were taking.

    Also, what is the meaning behind your title? Just curious 🙂

    Awesome job on your personal, Vic!



    1. Dearest Liza,

      Thank you for your kind words! I’m thankful you offered gratitude towards my description of eyes because it is something that I always work on, as I believe that eyes “are the window into the soul” however trite that may sound. Also, I had the benefit of Liesel taking responsibility more so impact Werner’s family because I didn’t want it to be about her. I wanted it to be more about the struggle of the Jewish people and not the German. In terms of the title, it was inspired by the last line of the piece, but I also didn’t want to give too much away so I added the ellipses.



  2. Dear Vic,

    I really appreciate your approach to the relationship Liesel has with Werner because as much as many readers like to read about and romanticize on the concept of forbidden love, there is a tragic reality behind it. I felt as if I were going on a journey with Liesel throughout the piece, and I could see the maturation of her character as she took responsibility and wrote to Werner,
    “Examine your soul I tell him, open your heart and let us stop taking part in this foolish game we call love. We are children, unaware and unworthy of the love that has deceived us and our families. We belong playing games, not running from the floodlights that kill you. There is a force that claims “Aryan” to be supreme and they will come for you. I have to put an end to our love.”

    I was wondering structural or repetition wise if you could incorporate “A German Girl and Her…” into your piece more or make it more distinct. For example, your last line is
    “I am a German girl who loved and lost a Jewish boy.” but two stanzas up there is a line that ends in
    “…wonder of the life that could’ve been between the German girl and her Jewish boy.”
    and it is the only line that has “and her” to match with the title.
    That’s just a suggestion I had in mind, but it could be that I like repetition a lot and your intention from the beginning was to state it in different ways.
    One last note, Liesel is spelled as Leisel when Rose calls her so I was curious as to how her name is actually spelled.

    As always, your creative writing and imagery are captivating and clever- I especially enjoyed the usage of colours such as red, ivory, copper, white, and yellow as well as the nuances of blossoming love, flowers, the sun and the moon, and the soot. It was well written and a pleasurable read. 🙂


  3. Dear Vic,

    This is an amazing piece. What I really liked was just how poetic you made the words and some lines to match the romance of these two characters. “After the moon had read his bedtime story to the sun,” just left me saying, “Damn.” Great work. Though writing about the Holocaust may be cliche, as well as writing about romance may be cliche, you weaved the two together into a story that has its own twists and shock that creates something fresh and new. I love the imagery you present in this piece as very image you share only serves to enhance what you wrote.

    My only advice to improve upon would be the plot itself, and a little more backstory, perhaps explaining the circumstances of the two characters a little more. I understand that its the Holocaust and the whole dilemma of involved, but some context may have helped just make the piece a little more coherent at points.

    Wonderful work Vic!

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