The Wedding Ring

Image: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Translated by Miriam Hoffman and Beverly Koenigsberg

Every person has a unique history but the stories of those who endured and survived Hitler’s hell are not only singular but exceptional; a survivor’s past encompasses mysteries of a thousand and one horrors which would require many lifetimes to recount. My friend Lily herself stood at the entrance to the gas chambers, praying for an easy death. But she was spared, not because she was so unusually beautiful or clever or talented, but because the Angel of Death is a capricious character; his nature is such that, should he be standing head to head with his victim, when the mood strikes him he can whisk around and take off without so much as a “by your leave.” And so it was in Lily’s case. There she stood, trembling at the door of the crematorium, when suddenly she was told to get dressed and go back to the barracks. It was her destiny to live.

My friend Lily’s velvet gray eyes still reflect her one- time youth, belying the crown of snow white hair which sits atop her shapely head. The eyes twinkle with the miracle of life. One recent evening I could sense a restless soul dwelling behind that winsome smile; we had been talking about love, and she had promised to tell me about her first experience with love and how the plot had unfolded. Lily began this story from her “Thousand and One Nights” of horror tales:

Written by

Miriam Hoffman

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The Wedding Ring

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