Thursday, May 01, 2008

Yom HaShoah

Many years ago the father of a friend gave me a gift. I don't know that he ever trusted his son with it, but he trusted me.

He was a survivor. His wife too. Don't know the details, but the PTSD was something his wife never let go of. One day, I delivered him food, because he was in need and he gave me the gift of this story. I only remember its climax, its crux, and I figure there is no day better than today to record it.

He was on a train headed for a camp. It was summer's peak and they were packed in. Stopped. Without water they would die. They drew lots. It fell upon my friend's father to escape the train and bring back water. People gave them what valuables they had so that he could pay.

He left the train, acquired the water, and returned with it. It seemed odd to me that he would return to the train, but people were depending on him, and the Hungarian countryside would not necessarily be a hospitable place for a lone Jew.

People were grateful and the train moved on. Death was postponed, but it only ever is anyway. They were alive then, and that was what mattered.

He survived. Sired a son. Told me this story, and I'm sharing it because that's what was wanted.

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