Otto Saufman, deputy mayor of Oranienburg, reclined in his comfortable office chair as he gazed out the window. It was a great view, unobstructed, allowing him to take in the activity in the courtyard below. He had chosen this office not out of convenience, for he laboured every day to climb the stairs to the second floor, but because its larger size gave him a feeling of importance and caressed his overinflated ego.
Otto had moved into the mayor’s office on short notice. Hastily appropriated would be more accurate. The mayor, the real Bürgermeister, had taken an unexpected leave of absence for health reasons, and naturally Otto had wasted little time moving his belongings upstairs.
Not that he deserved it. He wasn’t particularly bright and certainly no businessman. Otto was fat, lazy—and worst of all, a womanizer. He was approaching fifty, was of average height and had a growing beer belly.
But he had two things going for him: he was a member of the Nazi regime and he knew how to manipulate people. Otto liked to observe the activity in the street below, often postponing the average Bürger’s appointment so he could bask in his own importance, enjoying their discomfort and frustration in having to wait.