My father snuck out of camp several times in the winter of 1945 to search for food. But one such adventure stands out in his memory.
It was a house in Aigen, with that unique style of architecture. Inside the house: a young woman, perhaps around 25 years old, with light brown hair. Not blonde. Not dark brown. When my father and his buddy showed up on her doorstep, they were quickly ushered inside and given a fried or scrambled egg sandwich. When you're used to no food or a precious apple, an egg sandwich stands out in your memory as something very special. My father remembers there was another girl in the house, perhaps around 12. Also light brown hair. And there was a man.
Seeing a man in the house was very unusual because all the local men had been drafted. Except for German prison guards and soldiers, there were no men around St. Anna in 1945. They were all fighting as conscripts in the war. Outside the old schoolhouse and across from the town church, there is a memorial to all the local men who were killed in the war. They fought on the side of the Germans, but they didn't have a choice. Could we find this special house, the house where a kind young woman gave my father an egg sandwich? Could we find a single house where a woman helped Jews while the men folk were off fighting on the side of the Nazis? 60 years later, did it still exist? And would anyone still be there to thank?