Do you know what," the older lady from Lodz said to me, "I will tie your feet to these bars, because we could have an accident." Through my sleep I felt her tying my legs to the bars with a scarf. "The car is open, and if it should give a sudden jerk you could go flying." I heard her subdued voice through the roar of the wheels. "Mrs. is sleeping in a sitting position," she said, "and there could be a misfortune because it is easy to fall off. But the scarf will hold you."
Actually, I was not sleeping, only napping. I dozed on and off, dreaming a little. I was satisfied that I was headed for home. I did not have a home to return to this very minute, but I would certainly have one in Poland, in this new people's Poland. The trip on an open car was not comfortable, especially with the bars pinching my flesh, but I was moving forward, and for me that was the most important thing right then. It was no easy matter for me to get on this train in the first place.
Right after 9 May, Klara and the Hungarian woman came down with stomach typhus. A military ambulance took them to the hospital in Röbel. The next day I started getting ready to return to my country. I prepared myself psychologically only, because any other means was out of the question. Every day I went to the station with the older lady and her daughter, counting on some lucky break that would enable me to get back to my country. I felt myself suffocating in this little German town. I could not bear to look at the women in their white aprons, working in their gardens, carrying on their calm, normal, everyday lives.
I always took my possessions with me: one new sheet and a white tablecloth with a monogram in the corner. We did not have much food, but at that point I was not really interested in food. All I cared about was finding a way to get home.
I remember the twenty-first of May. As usual, we came to the station very early. I wandered out onto the tracks and saw a long line of cars loaded with iron bars. There was a convoy of Russian