“The pen is shaking in my paralyzed hand as I write: I AM ALIVE! I am alive and it is May again. The lilacs are in bloom and I smell their sweet fragrance again. There was springtime last year as well, but we had no eyes for beauty. Our lips forgot how to smile, our hearts were shattered! And now I’m alive again!”
It is June 1, 1945, as Anna Hegedüs writes her memoir from her hometown of Szatmár, Hungary. She has survived the ghetto—the prologue to her Greek tragedy; survived Auschwitz—the first act; the horrific Schlesiersee camp—the second act; and a death march—the brutal third and final act. It is there, however, that Anna was separated from her daughter, Agnes, and now, as she writes with her memories so raw, she waits desperately for Agnes’s return.