Today’s tale may be brief, but its historical background is just as horrifying — because it reveals the lengths desperate people will go to in order to survive.
In the days after World War II, the city of Berlin was reeling from its invasion by the Soviet Red Army. While first-stage relief efforts were underway shortly after Germany’s surrender, the city’s recovery was a long, slow and torturous process, with more than one million citizens left homeless — many of them lacking adequate food and clean water to provide for their families’ most basic needs.
For many older Germans, the painful memory of extreme poverty they experienced decades earlier, in the immediate wake of the First World War, was still an open wound… and a handful of desperate individuals may have resorted to the same horrific survival tactics that once sustained them those dark days.
This story, which began life as an urban legend among the people of Berlin in the latter part of 1945, was allegedly born out of those stark and desperate times. Since then it has been passed down through multiple generations, finding a new audience as a viral legend through the creepypasta community.
The most current incarnation of the story involves a young woman walking through the ruins of the city in search of supplies for her family.
Along her journey through the bustling crowd, she came across an elderly blind man, wearing dark glasses and gingerly picking his way through the dense throng with a cane. His attire was neat and clean, but the clothes were clearly threadbare.
Feeling sorry for the old gentleman, the woman approached him and asked if there was anything she could do to help. As it turned out, there was: the man was hoping to find someone trustworthy who could help him with the seemingly simple task of hand-delivering a letter to an address in an older part of town.
As it turned out, the woman had just passed by the address listed on the old man’s envelope, and would be passing it again on her way back to her family’s meager apartment, so she agreed to deliver the letter for him.
The old man nodded and thanked her quietly, unsmiling, and the two parted company.
After picking up the needed supplies for her family, the woman headed for home, noting the address on the envelope. On the journey back, she passed through the same part of the city where she had first met the old blind man. She took a moment to look for him, and after a while she finally spotted him moving through the crowd… or at least she thought it was him.
Her initial difficulty in recognizing him was due to the fact that he was no longer wearing his dark glasses, and his cane was nowhere to be seen. He was also navigating his way through the crowd with the ease of a sighted person.
That’s when she realized he could see her as well.
Their eyes met from several hundred yards’ distance, and the old man — who, now that she’d spied him from a new angle, didn’t seem quite so aged and feeble as she’d first thought — immediately ducked into the thick of the crowd, disappearing down an alley.
She tried to follow him, but he had virtually vanished from the block.
Her puzzlement turned to an insatiable curiosity… and she felt compelled to open the envelope and examine the contents. Finally, she mustered up the will and tore it open.
Inside, on a folded piece of ruled paper, was hand-written a single sentence… and the words immediately filled her with dread.
Delaying her trip back home, she reported the strange incident to the authorities, describing the man and their conversation, and showing them the letter and its contents.
When police arrived at the address printed on the letter, they were confronted with a spectacle of absolute horror.
The address belonged to a small shop in a warehouse district, which had been abandoned prior to the police’s arrival. Hanging from hooks, bundled in butcher’s paper and packed in ice were human body parts.
Though skinned and sectioned like cuts of pork or beef, many of these cuts of meat were still easily identifiable as having come from human carcasses. Even a whole human brain was found resting on the counter, not yet wrapped.
The shop had presumably been abandoned following the hasty retreat of the resident “butcher” — who must have been tipped off by the old man after his realization that he was being followed.
But it wasn’t the address itself which had first sparked the suspicion of the authorities… it was the letter inside, and the single sentence printed there. It’s unknown as to whether the young woman knew what the police found, but she was keenly aware how close she had come to meeting a grisly fate after reading those words:
“This is the last one I am sending you today.”