Games and Reality: The Real Flames of War
So I am on call yesterday. Called to a rest home to certify a death at 7 pm.
(I'm a doctor by trade)
Miffed cause I'm gonna be late for Games Night at the Wargames Club.
A patient of one of my partners, don't know her from a bar of soap...
Keen to try out my new Daemon Army Book, or use my Late War Germans...
Deal with the grieving family. She had a long life, ripe old age, had been struggling with cancer for the last two years. Condolences, clinical examination, paperwork....
No religious rituals, family don't believe in that stuff ... just for simple cremation.
To fill out the death and cremation certificates I need to go through her file.
German name, Kiwi surname.
Born and grew up in Berlin.
Father taken away by Germans and killed.
Escaped with mother and sisters, aged 15.
Married twice, 4 kids, 2 failed marriages.
Shadow of war tainted her whole life...
I'm thinking about my own son and daughters, waiting at the table for me to come home for supper.
I'm thinking what it would have felt like to have your father ripped away from you and killed simply for being who he was.
I'm thinking about the real Flames of War, and how they still burn, even 70 years later.
And how even in her death, after all these years, that echo still resounds.
No funerary rites for him, none for her...
I'm thinking of my German Ancestry, and what befell the people of Europe at the hands of the Germans.
And how I love to march my German Army across the table top.
Historical battles, Flames of War...
How that flame burns, long after the last gun had fallen silent, and the last fire had been doused.
I am not Jewish, but I am familiar with their funerary rites.
No-one is likely to say an El male rachamim or Kaddish (Prayers for the dead) for her.
So here is one, as they would have offered for her father, after he had been killed:
So I went home, had supper with my wife and children.
It was too late to go to the wargames club.
I had decided to stay my guns for the night anyhow...
" I can see a fiery, fiery glow
Even as the sun is sinking low
I can see a horseman on the run
Oh my daughter, Oh my son"
Laurika Rauch, from Hot Gates (Thermopylae)