Tuesday, September 14, 2010
There was a book signing here in Mexico at the Lake Chapala Society. I sold a few books, bought a few as well, and had the opportunity of meeting some interesting lakeside authors I hadn't known previously. The absolutely best thing that happened though was when an older couple stopped by my table and we began to talk. Slowly I learned that they were both born in the Ukraine (where much of Georg's book takes place.) They are also Jewish and most of the wife's large family had died during the war, either as soldiers killed by the Germans or through persecution. Only she and her mother survived. I asked if she might have known about the large POW camp in Kiev where Georg was held during the last year of the war. What she replied amazed and touched me deeply. "I was a little girl and we had next to nothing to eat ourselves, but I remember very clearly that my mother and I we would gather up pieces of bread, take them to the POW camp, and push them through the wires for the prisoners." Given the circumstances, such kindness and capacity for forgiveness, is almost unbelievable. But we were looking into each other's eyes, and I knew that what she remembered was truth.