The landscape is so beautiful, but I can’t help but think about being a Jew on a train paid for by the German government. But, more so, its about the land we are passing. Few if any of our family could have seen what was outside the cattle cars – the psychology of terror totally disorienting them as to where they were headed. As I look through the trees I see that those are the places where our family hid. While they would not necessarily have been hiding so close to the train tracks, my visual of what I imagined as I read Alicia: My Story (a book about a survivor that I read at far too young an age; and the visual that I had when I wrote Open an one-act play about two girls hiding in the woods that I wrote in college) is now so much more real. The image that I had in mid and the real beauty of the land and what I see match – as if my previous image was a black and white sketch and the reality is in full, vivid, 3-D, Technicolor behind the movie screen that is the train window.
More powerful for me being the vast fields lush and green with the beautiful growth waving in the wind. (If only words were sufficient to describe this.) When Zaidi was in the prison camp/hospital he became a part of the German and French underground. Frequently he visited the home of a wide of a German officer, known simply as “The Lady.” To get there he had to cross and open field that lay between the prison hospital and her home. These fields today that we rode past on the train must be similar to these fields. Finding a connection to these images that have filled my mind for so many years now have a physical image.