I COULDN’T believe my ears. If I read the body language correctly, my interlocutor’s level of belief wasn’t much greater. After all, it is now 68 years since the end of the Holocaust — and even longer since Cantor Zachary Kutner was in Auschwitz — but just now, something clicked. Something dawned on him.
It took some 70 years for the realization, not, perhaps, of the facts themselves, but of their weight.
In a mixture of anguish and wonder — sort of counting them up as he went — he told me, “Actually, I survived Mengele’s selection six or seven times!”
Dr. Josef Mengele was the Nazi who stood at the entrance to Auschwitz before whom paraded the dazed, starved, brutalized Jewish survivors of the foodless, waterless, toiletless, seatless, roomless, dignityless train rides to Auschwitz.