b. Kosino, Czechoslovakia, 1923
There were millions of lice all over. My sister Irene developed a high fever and diarrhea. I sold our bread and soup for some black powder to stop the diarrhea, and some aspirin and sugar water. I fed these things to Irene; I sponged her with cold water day and night to relieve her fever. I was afraid she was going to die. Finally, after a long time, her fever broke. She slowly recovered.
Then I became very ill. Irene was only twelve, still a child. She didn't know how to help me. She cried and cried. She kept on crying that I should not die, that I should not leave her alone at Bergen-Belsen.
At that time the Nazis no longer fed us. Irene would go out and eat little green leaves from plants. She didn't know what they were, but they kept her alive. I could eat nothing.
Typhus was raging in Bergen-Belsen, and I had it. Dead bodies were everywhere. The Blockälteste would have the dying people thrown out into the yard.
There was not even any water for Irene to sponge me down. I had a high fever and was delirious.
In my delirium, I thought that my dear father was with me. He brought me a bottle of milk and begged me to drink it.
He said to me, “Drink it, dear daughter.” “Thank you, dear daddy, ” I said. “It tastes so good.”
Somehow I did feel better after that dream. Though I was still very sick, my fever broke.
Strange to say, Irene heard every word I spoke as I dreamed it.