Ever since talking to Joe, and especially every since going through the book he gave me called the Buchenwald Report, I dreaded writing this chapter. There simply is no escaping the disgusting, awful, indescribable nature of a place like Buchenwald. I am writing history, even on a very small and very personal scale, so it is critical to me that what I write be accurate and that it accurately convey what Joe’s experience was. Joe is a kind and sweet and gentle and forgiving man, and he has not been overly graphic or detailed in relaying to me what he went through. Some of the details had to be pulled out from him some pieced together from what others have written, including the victims as recorded in the Buchenwald report. I tried to be true to Joe’s experience and his pretty much alone and so I have not told so much of the truly incredible horrors that many other victims experienced. If you are interested, please get a copy of the Buchenwald Report.
My challenge was to convey to the readers a sense of the disgusting filth and deadening experience that these young men went through–without turning off the reader or making it unsuitable for young audiences. I’d appreciate if any reader has suggestions on how to manage that narrow road and improve on what I have attempted.