In my novel, I have a scene in Nazi-occupied Trieste (1944) involving the character Umberto opening the safe deposit boxes of Jews under orders of the Gestapo (my grandfather Umberto really did this). I decided to have some fun with it, so when he opens a particular safe deposit box, he finds a short letter. The owner of the box had a bookstore in Trieste and closed the store (and emptied his safe deposit box) before escaping to Argentina. Suspecting that his safe deposit box would be robbed, he wrote a short message of condemnation.
This bookstore owner is a secular Jew, well educated, speaks and reads in multiple languages. Put yourself in his position. What would you write — short, pithy and elegant — that would deliver a powerful condemnation to the person who ordered the robbery of your safe deposit box? But you can’t be too subtle. Your target is a low-level Fascist bureaucrat or SS officer, anti-Semitic, a nationalist and greedy. Neither Mussolini’s nor Hitler’s goons were particularly bright. You are addressing a bully. You have to rattle him.
Here’s one I adapted from comedian Bill Hicks: “Kill yourself. It’s the only way you can save your soul.”
Winner will be widely acknowledged here and listed in the Acknowledgments section of the published novel. Have fun!