"I sometimes ask myself - would anyone, Jew or non-Jew alike, understand this
about me: that I am simply a young girl, badly in need of some rollicking fun?"
- Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl
In a city declaired Judenrein ("free of Jews"), teenaged Lothar Orbach roamed the streets freely, hiding in plain sight with peroxided hair, a black-market pistol and a fake Aryan identity. Submerged in Berlin's seedy underground (a network of desperate souls tagged as Hitler's undesirables), Lothar aka Gerhard Peters transformed himself into a devious con man/pool shark/gigolo/thief, risking death at every turn.
Ultimately he was captured and endured the consummate hell that was Auschwitz.
But first: he tasted life - including its forbidden fruits - in a way that Anne could only dream about.
Lothar didn't simply "survive" inside his burning city. His courage, his humanity, his audacious humor,
his romantic spirit - all remained SOARING UNDERGROUND.