For many years, during my annual visit to the Festival of Music in Salzburg, I noticed an older woman in attendance. Unmistakably rich and disagreeable, everyone seemed to avoid her. I didn’t pay much attention until one summer when she was absent. I inquired about her. She had died. It was then that I learned of her story.
Before the war, she managed a small antique shop next to an immense store that belonged to the most famous antique dealer in the city, a Jew. She married him, or rather she made him marry her. Shortly after she jumped from her small boutique to the vast space of her new husband. Then the Nazis arrived. She quickly denounced her husband, who was sent to the concentration camp at Ravensbrück where he died.
The woman remained the sole owner of both stores and forged profitable relationships with the Nazi clientele. When liberation came, she played the role of widow to a distinguished victim of the Nazi. She kept her property and her stores, but she never won any sympathy from the public.
So how did she die when she appeared to be in perfect health? One day, she was driving her Mercedes to a village to see a client. The road was icy. The car lost traction and slid, crashing violently into the post of a road sign. The whiplash was such that she died instantly. On the sign was written “Ravensbrück.”