By now, more survivors had begun to emerge and were being tended to by the soldiers. There were maybe 15 survivors in all, including one I recognized from school. He was Menachem Brettschneider, whom we called Chemye. I was thinking how terrible he looked in his tattered clothes hanging from his scrawny body, and then I realized that I must look just as bad.
I greeted Chemye awkwardly, unsure what to say to someone I hadn’t seen for a few years, especially considering what had happened in the meantime. We didn’t hug or anything like that but eventually started talking. His situation was even worse than mine since he was a total orphan. He lost both of his parents early on, and his older brother had been killed just a few weeks earlier. Since then, he had been completely alone.