In 1944-45 Maria Lackner with other local villagers was ordered to provide physical labor to the Nazi war effort. She was digging trenches some times. Other times she had various work assignments. All work with no compensation. One day while working, she noticed that allocated food was commanded to be thrown to the thrash heap rather than have the Jews eat it, or provided to the villagers whom themselves were having food shortages. Those acts had dehumanizing effect on the local citizenry, including Maria Lackner.    

For fifty-seven years every single day, Anna and me discussed the horrors and personal experiences of the holocaust. About the same time Maria and Josef Lackner had daily discussions of Josef Lackner’s endurances of the thirty-nine months he spent in Russian Prisoner of War camps. All three of us were freed, liberated from our respective camps. Anna and me, like Phoenix rose from the ashes, combined our lives as married couple and started to rebuild our life by building our own new family.  Maria and Josef married and built their own family.

From the “script” I was frequently reciting that a young women gave me life sustaining, nutritious food. From the same “script” Maria Lackner recited frequently that she gave food for the Jews, bur she didn’t give enough. She carried that thought as a heavy burden on her shoulders. I was one of the recipients of her food. For her I was one whom she perceived to have given less than adequate amount of food. Sixty-years later, another player appeared on the stage, - the stage of life – her name is Elisabeth Weinhandl. Elisabeth facilitated the reunion between Maria Lackner and me. With that act Elisabeth helped to lift the burden from Maria’s shoulders. Also with that act, Elisabeth handed me personal psychological liberation, helped me in my effort to achieve total “rehumanization”. Elisabeth’s act on the stage helped Maria to fully regain her “rehumanization” and enable her to live a happier life. Elisabeth’s act on the stage helped me to define another reason to continue my life.

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