His question dumbfounded me. Why did he think I was Jewish? It's true that if you go back far enough I may have a few drops of Jewish blood in my veins. But that doesn't make me a Jew.
'Why do you ask?' I asked, which by the way is a typical Jewish answer.
'You know, capitalism is above the law. We're living in times where men commit crimes, we're all peddlers and meddlers, we buy and we sell. But now it's time to expand, broaden our operations. We have to go international, cross borders, spread our risks and profits – you follow? - I want to hook up with or arrange a liaison or a franchise, if you will, with a foreign organization.' Siegfried Schulz looked at me expectantly with a sparkle in his eye as I took a bite of the greasy meat on my plate.
'I was thinking the Mossad,' Schulz announced with a broad smile.
I almost choked on my meat, it stuck in the throat.
'The Mossad is an organization that you don't want to fool around with much, Siegfried. Eh... Boss.'
'I know,' Siegfried beamed, his one good eye now practically glistering like a diamond pin, ' that's why it would fit us, hand in glove.' He took a sip of his beer. 'You know people there, don't you? In Israel.'
I admitted that – as the saying goes - some of my best friends are Jews.
'Of course I do, but none of them work for the Intelligence Agency.'
'Never mind, get in touch with them, find out. I'll expect your report on my desk by the end of the week.'
And with that outrageous charge he got up and left. Outside the sun was shining, I watched him till he'd gone, leaving me hanging on to a shadow.