Early on, when I was meeting with then 88-year-old Rabbi Samuel Cywiak to ghostwrite his Holocaust memoir, he kept insisting that I include a Holocaust story, which he called the “Herr Mueller” story. It was about a good-natured rabbi who always greeted every man, woman and child he had encountered during his morning walks, and how a person’s spirit and treatment of others will be rewarded. Rabbi Cywiak liked to tell this story to the Flagler College students every time they came to the synagogue to hear about his own experiences.
The only problem was that Rabbi Cywiak couldn’t remember where he had heard the story from; if it was only a verbal tale that had been passed along over the years or if it had actually been published somewhere. I tried to do some research on it, but wasn’t having much luck for some reason. Besides, “Herr Mueller”, although a great story in itself, really did not fit in with the Rabbi’s personal journey or the tone I was working to create.
Recently, something made me think of the Herr Mueller story though, and I did a little more searching on the internet. This time I found it. It was a published story, part of a collection by Yaffa Eliach called Hasidic Tales of the Holocaust.
You can read the entire “Herr Mueller” story here: Good Morning, Herr Mueller. The story is quite short, but contains a powerful message.
~Jeff Swesky, ghostwriter of Flight From Fear