The truth about Karl Wulf and Brenda King’s mutual and requited love for each other was not as described by Wolfgang above, although elements of it are true. Put more simply it is an appreciation of Karl’s sting of philanthropic valour and the comfort brought by Brenda’s compassionate bravery that formed an overall, symbiotically enveloping cocoon of their empathetic natures. After Karl had witnessed the gas-chamber executions of men, women and children at the Sobibor death-camp his psyche was switched to self-destruct as he felt powerless to bring an end to the malevolent slaughter. To a brave man whose power might be the equalling of the odds, his gun facing that of the enemy, the senseless and cowardly mass murder of so many unarmed, harmless people was horrendous; and this devours his gallant sensibility and understanding of human nature like a voracious predator. Brenda’s love saved Karl’s battered and shredded spirit like a pace-maker to a failing heart. When she left him, the pace-maker ceased working and the self-destruct mode switched back on. For Brenda, as for others who fear rejection of their powerful sentiment, love is a pain of the heart tinged with self-denial, that self-effacingly destructive what-have-I-done-to-deserve-this doubt in themselves coupled with being frightened to disappoint that forces a self-imposed penitence of self-sacrifice, like a nun who condemns herself to silence for having a smutty thought, or a monk who lashes his own back for admiring a woman’s breast. It is a selfish, make-yourself-feel-better, behaviour that is entirely unnecessary, mercenary to the emotions of others and that helps no one, not even themselves. But Karl forgave Brenda; I’m not sure I can.
“Even after you ruined me for any other, I cannot regret you. Even as I cleave the flesh of wanting from the bone, I hope the night sky is pretty wherever you are.” Anon
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