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"Thy soul shall find itself alone ‘Mid dark thoughts of the grey tomb-stone" --Edgar Allen Poe
Sunset, May 1, 1945 Basel,SwItzerland
Otto could feel the serum moving rapidly through his blood stream. The absorption of the Elixir of Life into his body was quick and complete taking effect only seconds after Dr. Weiss injected it into his arm. He pictured the serum moving through his veins like a current of rushing water through a canal. He immediately felt lightheaded and off- balance as with symptoms of vertigo. He managed to lift his feet up onto the black wooden stool in front of him.
Otto didn’t want to be put to sleep first. He didn’t completely trust the doctor and wanted to be conscious and aware of what was happening. Dr. Weiss doped him with a mild tranquilizer instead.
Leaning back in a black leather chair, he gazed out the open window in one of the three bedrooms in the doctor’s cottage. A cool breeze blew in. It was nearly sundown and the sky was brushed with yellow, orange and red streaks.
The burning started in his toes first and swiftly moved up his body to his legs until it reached his thighs, then traveled to his stomach, chest, neck and head. His blood was on fire. The worst burning of all was in his groin. He had to be strong, he thought. He had to take the pain no matter how excruciating it felt. He had to die before he could live. The pain would be worth it in the end. He would have endless life and would never have to face permanent death again.
As the burning grew more intense, Otto began grinding his teeth and twisting and turning his body. He banged his fists on the arms of the chair. He could feel himself dying and he knew it wouldn’t be long now. Suddenly, the face of the young Negro soldier screaming flashed before Otto’s eyes and panic washed over him. He began bleeding thoughts of doubt. What if he had selected the wrong vial? What if he wasn’t dying to live after all, but simply dying? He had examined both the vials Dr. Weiss injected into Arnulf and Dag very carefully. He viewed them in the sunlight for color determination. At the doctor’s suggestion, he even turned the vials upside down several times to see how the serum flowed. He then held the vials in the palm of his hand, trying to determine their weight.
“Take your time,” said the doctor. Otto examined each vial for more than ten minutes. When it was time to select the vial for his injection, he took just as long in choosing.
Dr. Weiss congratulated him for selecting correctly, but what if the doctor lied? It’s possible. Dr. Weiss never hid his objections to Otto taking the serum. The doctor didn’t think him worthy.
Maybe the doctor switched the serum before injecting it into my arm.
“Mein Got! Mein Got! Help me! Mein Got!”
In agony, Otto screamed continuously for nearly an hour before the screaming stopped. On May 1, 1945 at approximately 7:46 PM, Nazi Colonel Otto Victor Strass, age 27, of Klagenfurt, Austria died.