Sunday Photo Fiction – The Sounds of Breaking Glass

58-05-may-4th-2014He’s dead,‘ said Papa, as he switched off the radio.

On the mantelpiece the brass hands of the clock ticked toward nine. In the fireplace tiny flames danced their final dance above the faintly glowing embers. In the one other room my sisters already slept: unaware and innocent.

Out in the street there came the distant sounds of gunfire. Creeping to the window my Papa watched from behind the curtains – his hand trembling.  Vans loaded with boisterous, drunken Stormtroopers and Hitler youth screeched to a halt – front wheels ridding onto the empty pavements; pavements now full of angry, misguided young men out for revenge. A revenge on those they saw responsible for all the troubles of their once great Reich.

The sounds of gunfire were soon joined by shattering glass. Glass crunched under the heavy, angry footsteps of a nation obsessed with reprisal. The noises came closer. The next windows broken that of Papa’s own store below our flat. More shouts, more anger. The angry, heavy footsteps were getting closer still: the stairwell now filled with shouts and screams.

Mama told me to take care of my sisters. I watched through a crack in the bedroom door as they dragged my Papa away.


For information the man who had died was Ernst vom Rath. The events which followed his death, two days after the shooting, are known to the world as Krisallnacht.


These words form my entry into this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction challenge. 

16 thoughts on “Sunday Photo Fiction – The Sounds of Breaking Glass

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Thanks. Have to admit I’m always very wary when it comes to writing pieces linked to the Holocaust, but I feel its something I need to do from time to time. Glad you liked it.

  1. freyathewriter

    I think you did it justice. The main thing is that the Shoah (and the events that led up to it), and other atrocities inflicted on other groups of people, are not forgotten and are learned from.

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Cheers, Frey. Currently reading a couple of Laurence Rees’ books on the Nazis – fascinating, if horrifying, reading. Think this was in my mind when I had the idea for this piece.


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