Words of Others | “A Place in Heaven”

This week’s Words of Others comes from the same novel as last week’s, The Book Thief. It is a suicide note from a German soldier who hangs himself months after he comes home from Stalingrad with his fingers blown off and with the memory of a brother who died there. It captures what I would hope to be true, if I believed in an afterlife:

* * * MICHAEL HOLTZAPFEL — THE LAST GOODBYE * * *
Dear Mama,
Can you ever forgive me?
I just couldn’t stand it any longer.
I’m meeting Robert. I don’t care
what the damn Catholics say about it.
There must be a place in heaven for
those who have been where I have been.
You might think I don’t love you
because of what I’ve done, but I do.
Your Michael

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