Jan Lammens: “You find yourself in the movie Inglorious Basterds and you receive the difficult task of writing the wife of Hugo Stiglitz after his death”.
Dear Mrs. Stiglitz,
I regret to inform you that your husband, Sergeant Hugo Stiglitz of the allied unit of the Inglorious Basterds, has passed away yesterday. I cannot elaborate on the exact circumstances of his death, as that information could be of value to our enemies, but I can promise you that Sgt. Stiglitz went without suffering.
It deeply saddens us to continue our mission without Sgt. Stiglitz. He was more to us than just a colleague: he was our big, brave brother. He never backed down and never gave up. I speak for all Basterds, and probably for allied soldiers, when I say that I am proud to have had Sgt. Stiglitz on our side.
Sgt. Stiglitz’s quest has now become our duty: we shall not rest until we have halted the Nazis and their war. When we succeed, we will look back and understand that we could not have done it without Sgt. Stiglitz. We will dedicate the victory to him and we will personally deliver his Medal of Honor to you.
As you know, Sgt. Stiglitz did not have the best of reputations amongst Nazi officers, which makes the repatriation of his body impossible. We have therefore decided to bury him in the beautiful town of Nadine, to the North-East of Paris. If you ever wish to visit his grave, look for a pile of stones behind the tavern La Louisiane.
I hope you have been able to understand this letter. I apologize for not writing it in German, but such proficiency would be slightly misplaced for an American-Jewish private. That would be as absurd as, let’s say, finding out that Sgt. Stiglitz was named after a 40 years younger Mexican B-actor.
My sincerest condolences,
Private First Class