The bell suddenly shrilled, announcing the end of school. Done with their keep-away game, Wolfgang tossed the violin above Peter’s head. It twisted in the air, beyond Peter’s frantic grasp. Wolfgang and Kurt laughed at Peter’s clumsy attempts to grab his somersaulting instrument.
Wolfgang swept his leg out and hit Peter’s legs, knocking him off his feet. As Peter fell, his long delicate hands reached for his falling violin. Wolfgang and Kurt laughed and pointed as Peter hit the ground.
When Peter’s uncoordinated, flying body came to rest, he held the violin safely above him, a prized trophy. Peter was as surprised as Wolfgang that he had rescued the treasured violin from the taunting assault. As Peter realized he’d won, his mouth couldn’t help but curl into a smile of triumph and that made Wolfgang mad.
Wolfgang snarled as he quickly advanced toward Peter, kicked him with a black leather boot, and turned away. “Jew rat!”
Peter couldn’t hear what he said. All he heard was the loud beating of his own frightened heart and his pounding thoughts. At least his violin was safe.
Then Wolfgang gave a Nazi salute, his arm extended.
“Heil Hitler!” Kurt said in response.
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