A Roll of the Dice

by Kevin Delaney

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This work of fiction was meant as a speculation in the nature of time travel. It looks at the logic of going back to right wrongs. As a literary device, it touches one of the greatest injustice of human history. It is not meant in any way to be a political treatise.

CURATOR'S NOTE: The following document was found hidden in a bunker at Auschwitz. The article contained several pages of text that appeared to have been written by the physicist Albert Einstein. Due to the extreme sensitivity of the material, the full document has not been released to the public.

If ever a man deserved to die, the name Franz Zimmer belongs at the top of the list. Chief architect of the Third Reich, and the perpetrator of the March of Terror. The butcher of Berlin deserved every ounce of infamy heaped on his name.

Over two hundred thousand Jews died in the forced march from Germany to the state of Palestine, and another four hundred thousand in the disruptions and famine as the Jewish people struggled to make their new homes in the Middle East. It was not until 1958 that the Palestinian and Lebanese governments recognized the immigrants as full fledged members of the state. Even so, people felt a tension in the street as the Mid East carefully navigated a fragile peace.

Herr Zimmer, known as der Fuehrer before losing the battle of Berlin in 1942, destroyed the lives of millions. He displaced an entire people in what many historians called the second world war. 

In his insipid work Our Struggles, Zimmer blamed the depredation of the German states on Jewish merchants. The work was half truths and propaganda, meant simply to inflame the public and to bring Zimmer's National Socialists to power. The state blamed the people and merchants for the state's failings--poor misguided thinking at its worst. But man has always been to willing to follow deceivers when they inflame base instincts, and speak with a firm chin.

The German Fascists invaded Poland and came close to destabilizing the entire  globe when Zimmer threw the full force of the German army against the Maginot Line. Twenty days of devastation killed half the German army. Millions lost their homes as the Germans marched on Paris. If not for a hastily forged alliance between the English, French and Americans, the war could have lasted years.

The allies celebrated, but gave no comfort to the 10 million displaced by the Fascist  aggression. Tired and naked from the march to the Middle East, the Jewish refuges were at the pray of the Palestinians and Lebanese land sharks. Over six hundred died from the forced march and resettlement in the forsaken deserts of the so-called Holy Land. They died of hunger, robbery, beatings and even murder.

The suffering was tremendous. Although many people began to call Palestine the New Israel, most hearts longed for their homes in Europe. It took 15 years before the Palestinians granted the Jewish vote. A once proud people had to live as a second class citizen in the third world. If ever a man deserved to die, it was Franz Zimmer. 


The mathematics and physics was beyond me, but I understood the paradoxes well. If I went back in time and kill Franz Zimmer, I could stop the Expatriation? Zimmer was the author of injustice. My mother, father and six hundred thousand innocent people died from his evil works. Franz Zimmer deserved worse than death.

Albert Einstein tried to explain his Unified Theory of Relativity and the Quantum to the commando squad. By grabbing a thread of history, it would be possible to travel back in time. We would pluck Zimmer's name from the books, and give the world a future without the pain caused by the National Socialist party. 

Although Einstein's unified theory of the Quantum and Relativity provided the mathematical basis of our voyage. He seemed quite skeptical of its success. 

"And how do you know that you will stop the National Socialists by killing this Franz Zimmer?" Einstein asked.

"Zimmer's book, My Struggles, was the seed for the rise of fascism, unplanting the seed means killing the weed."

"But the seed found its life in rich soil that had been laid over the centuries."

"Killing Zimmer and destroying his book will sterilize the soil. Albert, you may know physics, but are out of your element in politicals."

"I simply do not think you can stop killing with killing."

"Killing one to save six hundred thousand is the bargain of the century."

"A bargain you say. What of the all the lives you deny by changing history. Is that not a greater injustice than the deportation of our people to Palestine?"

"Lives will be still be born in a world without Zimmer, I am surprised, however, to find you are an advocate of genocide."

"I am not an advocate of genocide!" the physicist retorted, "I simply doubt that your going back in time to kill the fascist Franz Zimmer will accomplish your worthy goals. How can you be certain that you do not cause more harm than good."

"Don't you understand, six hundred thousand people died because of this man! We were forced from our homes. Einstein, you once said 'God does not play dice.' I believe he does, and he gave the world a bad toss. With your work, we have the ability to go back in time and change history. I say 'let's roll again.'"

Unfortunately, we had but one role. We would seal ourselves in the new time, and would be unable to travel back to our native future. Regardless, without Franz Zimmer, it would be a brighter future, and I could see my parents again, living happily in Krakow. I volunteered without hesitation.

Einstein thought that any repercussion of our efforts was likely to outweigh the benefits--but scientists never understood the subtleties of politics or war.  

The thread we chose to unwind brought us 30 years in the past--in the grounding misery of the First World War--the War to End All Wars. What better way to slay a butcher than in the butchery of battle?

Franz Zimmer was the personification of his Arian ideal. Blond hair, blue eyes, he stood 6'2" and dominated the room. The walking talking definition of charisma, Herr Zimmer had the complete, unqualified admiration of his troops. Perhaps no-one admired him more than his stunted Austrian clerk, Adolph.

Adolph followed Lieutenant Zimmer like a lapdog. Zimmer patted the dark haired man on the head and called the clerk "his young Jew." I remembered the history. Adolph Hitler was loyal to the last battle, and stood by Zimmer's side when Der Fuehrer committed suicide after the fall of Berlin. Hitler took his own life the day after Germany accepted the terms of surrender. Such loyalty was admirable, perhaps with the death of his Zimmer, he could find a better place for his energies.

A bullet to the back of the skull would have been the quickest end to the future Fuehrer. Of course, the assassination would have led to speculations of treason. We chose a canister of mustard gas--the most insipid killing device of the first world war. Let the butcher suffer more than the lambs he slaughtered.

Screams rose from the bunker as Franz Zimmer issued his dying wails. Like a fool, Adolph ran through trenches to pull his master from the fumes. He held a handkerchief to his nose and entered the room, soon to collapse in his own blindness.

Why I ran into the bunker, I haven't a clue. Maybe it was just to save my own humanity. I did not want to kill more than deemed necessary. With a gas mask on, I pulled Hitler from the bunker. The blind Austrian wailed into the night. Franz Zimmer was dead. The world could now avoid the horrors of a second world war. 

I was the hero who killed Franz Zimmer. I sought out my parents in Krakow to live in our new found peace. I claimed to be a lost uncle. We would live happily to the end of our days in a Germany free of the scourges of Fascism. I was the hero who went back in time and killed Franz Zimmer, and drug his protégé Adolph Hitler from the ashes.

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