Draft94

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CHAPTER 94

Jashen and Judith were warriors, both of them, but even they were shocked at the ruin of an old man they saw through the one-way mirror. A survivor of the camps, he was missing his nose and his entire lower jaw. Still, when the unfortunate man saw the prisoner cuffed to his chair it took two burly Mossad agents to restrain the Holocaust survi- vor from assaulting him.

Neither Jashen nor Judith could stand to watch anymore. They turned away to face their own interrogator around their own table.

"Sir," asked Judith, incredulously, "with all due respect, what was the meaning of that display? A seren of the Tzahal brings in Doctor Josef Mengele, the Angel of Death, and you don't believe her? Do you think I fabricated all the supplimentary documentation? Sir?"

"Documentation," Commander Gavish of Mossad snorted. He wasn't having any. "We were never properly briefed on the last high profile Nazi you brought in, Seren Margolies. You just appeared in the middle of the night on the front door of the old Mossad Headquarters with Horst Wagner and no explanation of how you found him, how you captured him, and and how you both ended up there. Lucky for you the founding fa- ther of our nation had a keen sense of the propaganda value of such a stunt."

"Yes Commander Gavish," she said, "as I recall, I even got a promotion afterwards. The Prime Minister is also the Minister of Defense, after all, sir, even now."

"Do you imagine old David Ben-Gurion will just walk in here deus ex machina style and allow you to have a repeat performance?"

"No sir. But by your leave, sir, isn't it obvious I had outside as- sistance on both occasions?" Her head inclined slightly toward Jash- en.

"Certainly, but that brings us to the subject of your allegedly Ameri- can friend with no papers. I realize the United States was well-dis- posed toward our country before the Suez War but lately with Eisenhow- er things have not seemed so good. And you, Judith Margolies, an Is- raeli officer with one of the highest security clearances in the coun- try, have been in long-duration contact with foreigners of unknown status, possibly intelligence agents, without declaring the contact and all relevant details through official means."

"Sir, review the security profile in my service jacket once more. You will see that I have indeed declared my association with a religious group that calls itself the B'nei Elohim."

"B'nei Elohim? The offspring of God? That name was such an arrogant presumption we thought it to be some disgusting variety of messianic Christianity. Are you an actual member of this group, Seren Margo- lies?"

"Not yet, Commander," Jashen chimed in, speaking for the first time since bringing Mengele to captivity. "But our leader, Michael, be- lieves she definitely promises to qualify for the B'nei Elohim one day."

Gavish noted that for an American Jashen's command of modern Hebrew was excellent, as though he were secretly sabra. It was somewhat bet- ter, in fact than Judith, who sounded as one expected a British citi- zen to sound after speaking the revived Hebrew language for only twelve years. He asked, "And what is the nature of your B'nei Elohim, Jashen, if they are not a Christian sect? Are they some offshoot of reform Judaism? Certainly the orthodox would have nothing to do with you."

"In some ways, Commander, I would say we are more orthodox than even the haredim. After all, what you think of as Judaism didn't really come into existence until the Second Temple, and now even that's gone. But I didn't come here to offend your religious sensibilities, sir."

"Then why did you come here?"

"Because lately the B'nei Elohim have taken on the role of pest exter- minators. Now the low-level Nazis, the sadistic prison guards of relatively low rank who managed to worm their way back into German society or even smuggle themselves overseas, we just hunt them down and eliminate them. No one escapes, because 'Never Again', right? I tell you this in case you were about to ask Judith why she hasn't been reporting for reserve duty. She's got a higher calling.

"But back to the Nazis. The notorious ones, the unspeakably evil ones responsible for tens or hundreds of thousands of deaths, they don't get off that easy. So we bring them in, with 'in' meaning Tel Aviv. I was part of the extraction team for Mengele and I was also on the team back in '51 for Wagner. Judith knows. It turns out I've got a thing for languages, and also some experience with undercover work. Michael says I'm impossible to intimidate, but that, I think, is most- ly a tribal thing. Michael also asked me to hang around with Judith this time because even though hy already gave this same speech to your Prime Minister once before it didn't seems to sink in here at Mossad."

The door to the interrogation room was opened and a flag officer blerted, "Ten-HUTT!"

Margolies and Gavish stood at attention from where they sat, while Jashen remained seated. A very short elderly man with a bald head ringed by a wild tuft of white hair walked into the room with the chief of Mossad and two general officers of the Israeli Defense Force.

First he went to the one-way mirror to stare at Doctor Mengele sitting at a table with his hands cuffed to either side of his chair. The Prime Minister was silent for at least a minute, looking at the pris- oner, before he finally spoke. "So there he is, eh?" Then he turned to examine the room he was in, with his glance settling at last on the face of Judith. "Seren Judith Margolies, is it?"

"Yes sir."

"We never met, the last time."

"No sir, but I am fully aware that you are very busy man."

"Did you find the administrative token of my appreciation to be an acceptable recompense for my failure to thank you in person, Seren Margolies?"

"Yes sir. The promotion was a very welcome surprise, but I would have helped delivered Mengele today even if I was still a sergeant in the reserves."

While she spoke she rolled up the sleeve of her uniform so the Prime Minister could see the tattoo she had received in the satellite camp of Buchenwald.

He saw the six numerals and a dark cloud passed briefly over his face. Then he said, "The same rate applies today, seren Margolies. I brought these army officers with me today to take note you are hereby brevetted to the rank of rav seren. And should the Arabs choose to get into yet another tussle I'm certain you will distinguish yourself in battle once more and make that full rav seren with all the pay and priveleges that go with the rank."

Jashen cleared his throat and addressed Ben-Gurion at that point. "Sir, Michael, whom you've already met, is of the opinion that the country will have at least ten years of relative quiet. At least, nothing mega."

"I see. And may I ask your name?"

"I am Jashen, sir, of the B'nei Elohim. I helped Judith make the ex- traction. But if Mossad is worried we are working them out of a job we can certainly step back for the next decade while things go quiet. Sir, it seems Josef Mengele fancied himself a humble country doctor in Argentina, and when we fetched him we also fetched some of his pa- tient's charts. You can see the documents sitting there on the table. One of the folders is for none other than Adolf Eichmann. It seems the very architect of the Shoah didn't much fancy seeing just any old doc- tor in Argentine. You'll find all the contact information you need to scoop Eichmann up right there, because if there's one thing doctors want to be certain of, it's getting paid."

That last bit sent David Ben-Gurion into a fit of hysterical laughter. When he recovered he said, "Excellent, Jashen. We'll take what you've given us and try to capture Eichmann ourselves. The day he arrives in the country, living or dead, is the day brevet rav seren Margolies becomes a full major."

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