“The spirit that I have seen may be a devil; and the devil hath power to assume a pleasing shape.”              HAMLET







       I, Joseph Jones, woke up from what I thought was a nightmare. As I slept I felt what could best be described as a “sonic boom.”  I experienced the sensation of a rushing, mighty wind. It was as if time itself had warped and that a new reality had somehow replaced what I had always known to be true. In my sleep I thought I had heard SS troops marching and speaking German but as I awoke I knew that had to be impossible. It was 1950 and the Nazis had been defeated in 1945. As I went over to the window I heard someone speaking German and the words, “Heil Hitler world ruler, in Germany” (Heil Hitler, Welt Herrscher, in Deutschland).

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I said to myself, “I must still be asleep—still having a nightmare.” As I approached the window I peered out and saw SS troops marching–why–how? German Nazis in California? “This could not be,” I thought. I picked up a newspaper. Its headlines read, ‘Hitler to finalize African Negro extermination this month.’ I said, “Oh my God, this can’t be true. The Nazis were defeated in ‘45.’ Just then my door was burst down. An SS officer picked up the Bible I had on my night stand and said, “You, you are one too!”


     “You are a Christian and your best friend is a Jew. We have him and we are arresting you–you and he will report to the same gas chamber.”


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     “This is America and 1950. What are you Nazis doing here?”

     He answered, “Plenty,” as he handcuffed me and led me away to be incarcerated.

     I was thrown into the back of a huge truck which had about 150 Christians and Jews so crammed together we could hardly breathe. I asked, “What is going on?” One gentleman replied, “What’s the matter with you, did you just wake up yesterday?” I said, “No, today.” He looked disgusted and I was confused.

     After a two-hour drive the truck we were being hauled in came to a screeching halt. Two Nazi soldiers opened the cargo doors and we were pushed out at gunpoint. Those who didn’t move fast enough to suit them were pushed, kicked and rifle whipped. As it seemed, we were to be processed, positively identified, tried, imprisoned, sentenced—all in the same day. Rumors were, tomorrow; we would be gassed and then cremated.  Sure enough everyone was identified through their driver’s license and social security numbers.

     Then we were led into a courtroom, of sorts, and all at once pronounced guilty of being the wrong race and religion. A single Nazi soldier acted as judge and sentenced all of us to die by gas. We were then loaded into a bus to be transported to a nearby prison.

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     On the way to prison I saw Nazis and swastikas, statues of Hitler, convoys and a Time magazine cover which pictured teams of German soldiers dismantling the Statue of Liberty and I didn’t understand any of this.