As you can see there has been a huge delay in writing and posting new chapters. Chapters 5 and 6 are finally up. Joe has had chapter 5 to review for a couple of months but I completed chapter 6 while on a cruise to Alaska in August.
These two chapters cover the time from Joe being placed in Fresnes prison in Paris to his arrival at Buchenwald. The train ride was unimaginably horrible and I tried to find a balance between describing it accurately and with some sense of the agonies involved, to not being too disturbing. The fact is, we have to really engage our imagination to understand what it would be like to be pushed into a cattle car in the high August heat with 95 other unwashed human beings–a car meant to carry no more than 40 people or 8 cows. One thing Joe always talks about whether the train or Buchenwald is the smell. There are only a few times in life when I have been subjected to unbearable stench and the circumstances were for the most part escapable–such as using the outhouse in a hot berry field. But at least you know you can hold your breath through most of it and then in just seconds escape to the clean air outside again. To be in such stench for not minutes, but days, and weeks and months is impossible to imagine. Sixty years later, the recollection is strong in Joe’s mind.
Please let me know what you think of these chapters, and I’ll try to get at the rest.