I MOVED TO THE CAMP. THERE, RECALLING THE PAST with people whose experiences were so similar to mine, I began to feel alive again. And there, though her brothers had not seen her since the selection in Auschwitz, I began to dream the impossible dream that Helen had also survived and that I would build my future with her.
With people speaking several different languages from all over Europe constantly arriving and departing, the displacement camp was like a railroad station. One day, passing a group speaking in Yiddish and Russian, I suddenly felt as if I had been hit over the head, the sound of Russian triggering memories of Schoemberg. Joining the group, I learned they were from a Russian repatriation camp of approximately one thousand in the nearby small town of Trouchgau. Before individuals from the camp were returned to Russia, a commission verified their identity, seeking to uncover those who collaborated voluntarily with the Germans. I felt strongly that Pitka might be in the camp. On the pretense that I was looking for friends, I asked if I could accompany the group back to Trouchgau the next morning. Traveling by American army truck, they said it would be the decision of the soldiers.
That night I could not sleep, thinking of my friend Lester