ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

My Love for a Villain

Updated on December 5, 2018
Lilith Eden profile image

Lilith holds a bachelor's in Anthropolgy and History. Her education and ties to WWII offer a different view of a truly horiffic event.

Digressive Conversations

My family never spoke of it: the war in all its infamy. It was a watershed in history that I was ignorant of until I was seated in an American classroom, where I was confronted with abhorrent accusations of crimes I could hardly comprehend.

Any attempts I made at further revelations, whether directed at my mother or any other family members, were quickly quelled by light waves of the hand or sharp exhalations of air, but never anything more. Hopes of explanation or clarification of any kind were soon drowned in seas of constant digressive conversations and some underlying current that hinted at denial and offense. Nevertheless, I was not to be derailed; consequently, at the age of sixteen, I was steered by my curiosity towards a realization that would later be met with absolute disbelief and inescapable guilt.

Oma, Opa, and me (1987)
Oma, Opa, and me (1987)

Summers Abroad

While my childhood was spent in a deep German valley, secluded from the remainder of the country and its constant progression towards modernity by vast mountains, my adolescence confined me to the mid-south of the United States. Any semblance of adjustment was unthinkable to me, and I spent the entire school year impatiently waiting to be sent back home overseas for the duration of the summer.

At sixteen, the morose air that generally clouded my aura in America had not thinned, but awaited the simple remedy of stepping foot upon German soil. The comfort was not solely in knowing I had returned home, but knowing that my grandfather, who each year welcomed me past the chaotic boundaries that signified the customs area of the expansive Frankfurt airport, would be waiting. Although so many months had once again passed, his regal, yet aged form appeared the same, hidden beneath immaculate slacks, a button-down shirt, and tweed vest. The only true signifier of his years was etched in his face.

Beside him stood my grandmother, who, a full head shorter, mirrored her husband’s irreproachable attire and essence. I was only given the opportunity to marvel at their apparent steadfastness for the moments in which I was hurriedly rushed through the winding customs line, since as soon as I bypassed my final checkpoint, my grandfather swept me up in his seeking arms.

“Nah, mein schatz?” he whispered, placing me firmly back to the ground and allowing me to turn towards my grandmother, who was anxiously wringing her long, brittle hands.

“Ah Papa, sie hat bestimmt hunger!” cooed my grandmother, gently tucking wisps of hair behind my ear, all the while smirking at my frail frame. “Why don’t we get you home and cook you some real food to eat?”

“That sounds wonderful, Oma,” I agreed and fell instep behind my grandfather, who eagerly led the way through the bustling airport corridors towards the hidden exit, outside of which sprawled an immediate future filled with laughter and ease, as was always the case when spending the summer months with my grandparents.

Home in Germany
Home in Germany | Source
Home in America
Home in America | Source
The city where I spent summers with my grandparents.
The city where I spent summers with my grandparents. | Source

Ignorance Over Reality

After my arrival, I easily fell into a steady rhythm, which comprised daily home-cooked meals, lazy walks in the outlying mountain ranges, and earnest discussions with my grandparents about the seemingly most insignificant detail of their histories. I looked forward to these conversations the most, which would mainly take place during afternoon tea, served in the antique furnished living room that overlooked a rolling field of dandelions.

“What about when you were my age?” I asked curiously of my grandfather one afternoon as hazy light drifted in through the heavily curtained windows. He shifted uncomfortably for a moment and shook his head.

“What of it?” he retorted. “It was a time of war, nothing more.”

I slouched into my overstuffed chair and grew quiet for a moment, gingerly sipping my steaming tea and staring intently at the Persian rug beneath my feet. A simple fact had occurred to me during our exchange that I had never been conscious of before, and slowly, as a shadow cast by the afternoon soon, awareness washed over me.

“Opa?” I managed, attempting to keep any tone of accusation out of my voice. “You were only a little older than I when the war broke out, weren’t you?”

His features drooped slightly, and my awareness suddenly became panic. With a deep breath, he looked at me with a superficial smile and shrugged. “ I was a soldier, yes, as was every other boy in the land. But your grandmother, now she had a far more exciting role to play, did you not, Mama?” he asked, beaming at my grandmother, who had just walked into the room holding a plate of peeled apples and pastries.

“A role? Is that what you call it?” she chuckled darkly. “Those filthy Russians saw me as far more. I was a threat to them, Lilith!”

“She certainly was, your Oma. She was put on the Black List of Death at the very beginning of the war, chasing Russian soldiers with pitchforks and harboring her Jewish co-workers from detection…” And so, my grandfather regaled me of my grandmother’s heroics, and with the token distractibility privy to most teenagers, I was immediately involved, having ignorantly suppressed what I then believed to have been an over-dramatized epiphany.

The inability of me to formulate, no less realize what I knew deep down did not surface until three years later, when on a cold and bleak January morning, separated from me by over two thousand miles, my grandfather died. I grieved without ceasing for months, but not only for the selfish fact that he was no longer with me: I grieved because my grandfather, a man who had been so pivotal to my existence, whom I loved so honestly, was someone that my history books demonized and degraded. The man who served as the shoulders upon which I stood to achieve all that I have done and will do, was the source of hatred for millions of people, who in some way or another, felt wronged by the events of such a short time ago.

My grandfather was a Nazi soldier during World War II. The negative connotation that is imbued within those words will never be negated. The bastardization of what he once was will never cease. His legacy was damned by extraneous circumstances, and memories of him by those who did not know him well will be doomed because of that. Yet, when asked about my grandfather, the first surge of memories I experience will never mirror Third Reich propaganda; instead, it will reflect the image I saw of him through naive eyes, and in this respect, I choose my ignorance above reality.

WWII Soldiers
WWII Soldiers

© 2011 Lilith Eden


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)