Ohne Ahnenpass

The director didn’t look at Elsa when he asked her into his office.

‘What is it, Herr Direktor?’

He motioned for her to sit. With knees like jelly, Elsa sat. The director took a deep breath as if about to launch into an extended monologue. Instead, he sighed. Elsa felt more nervous than on her first premiere night.

‘Elsa,’ the director began. ‘It isn’t what I want, but I have to put the theatre first. The Gauleiter left me no choice, they will close us down unless I let you go.’

‘But why, Herr Direktor?’

‘Your lack of Aryan certificate.’


This is – with quite a lot of artistic licence – the story of my grandmother. She died when I wasn’t quite six and I only learnt about eight years ago that she, an actress, and my grandfather, a conductor, were sacked from the theatre because she couldn’t prove her Aryan descent. One day, I’ll go and do some digging in their hometown’s archives because I want to know more, but until then, I have to keep imaging what happened. Thank you, Story A Day, for challenging me to write in a genre I don’t normally write in today.


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