I'm humbled by the work of historians and archivists who painstakingly stitch together what happened in the past so we can all make sense of the future. I couldn't undertake this project without them. A large part of my writing day is spent searching online for answers to my hundreds of questions, trying to uncover the truth, hunting for fragments, looking for people I know existed - some whose names I know, others nameless, whose memories I must keep alive through their heroic actions. Some I find. Others who were fathers, sisters, brothers to someone but now may only be dust in the ground, I cannot find. They are the forgotten ones I want to bring back. I wished I had asked more questions when my grandparents were alive, but then , I may not have received answers.
Online I "met" a Professor in Israel who had some intriguing information on Mietek (my grandfather by adoption) and Zdislaw (my birth grandfather who my mother discovered later in her life). The Professor was most helpful and sent me a fragment of critical information that is leading me closer to finding the Nazi I'm looking for, the one who saved their lives and my mothers life.
The Nazi has a story, but no name, yet. I know much about him, but so very little. His deeds as an SS commander ranged from horrific and evil, to the humaneness he showed only to my family, for some reason.
Thanks to Google, the Professor in Israel, people she connected me to, the archives at Harvard, Yale, Yad Vashem, the US Holocaust Museum and more, I may be close. Now I wait. And wait. I wired money to Poland to obtain the finally found prison files. In those files is my last hope of finding the name of the man who stopped, took a breath , and for some reason did not kill. He chose instead to preserve and give life.