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相隔72年,一對奧斯維辛戀人最后的重逢

Lovers in Auschwitz, Reunited 72 Years Later. He Had One Question.
相隔72年,一對奧斯維辛戀人最后的重逢

The first time he spoke to her, in 1943, by the Auschwitz crematory, David Wisnia realized that Helen Spitzer was no regular inmate. Zippi, as she was known, was clean, always neat. She wore a jacket and smelled good. They were introduced by a fellow inmate, at her request.

他第一次和她說話是1943年,在奧斯維辛的焚化爐邊,戴維·維斯尼亞(David Wisnia)意識到海倫·施皮策(Helen Spitzer)不是普通囚犯。大家管她叫齊皮,她總是那么干凈體面,身上穿著一件夾克,聞起來很香。應她的要求,一個獄友介紹他們認識了。

Her presence was unusual in itself: a woman outside the women’s quarters, speaking with a male prisoner. Before Wisnia knew it, they were alone, all the prisoners around them gone. This wasn’t a coincidence, he later realized. They made a plan to meet again in a week.

她的出現本身就很不尋常:一個女人在女監外面和一個男囚犯說話。維斯尼亞還沒反應過來,身邊就只剩下她一個人,周圍的犯人都走了。他后來意識到,這不是巧合。他們說好一周后再見面。
 

戴維·維斯尼亞在賓夕法尼亞州的家中。

On their set date, Wisnia went as planned to meet at the barracks between crematories 4 and 5. He climbed on top of a makeshift ladder made up of packages of prisoners’ clothing. Spitzer had arranged it, a space amid hundreds of piles, just large enough to fit the two of them. Wisnia was 17 years old; she was 25.

在約定的日期,維斯尼亞按照計劃,在4號和5號焚化爐之間的營房和她會面。他爬上用一包包囚服做成的臨時梯子。施皮策事先已經安排好了,在幾百堆東西中間有一個空隙,剛好能容下他們兩個。那一年維斯尼亞17歲;她25歲。

They were both Jewish inmates in Auschwitz, both privileged prisoners. Wisnia, initially forced to collect the bodies of prisoners who committed suicide, had been chosen to entertain his Nazi captors when they discovered he was a talented singer.

他們都是奧斯維辛的猶太囚犯,都是享有特權的囚犯。維斯尼亞最初被迫收殮自殺囚犯的尸體,后來納粹關押者發現他是個出色的歌手,就讓他唱歌取悅他們。

Spitzer held the more high-powered position: She was the camp’s graphic designer. They became lovers, meeting in their nook at a prescribed time about once a month. After the initial fears of knowing they were putting their lives in danger, they began to look forward to their dates. Wisnia felt special. “She chose me,” he recalled.

斯皮策的職權更高:她是集中營的平面設計師。他們成了戀人,每月都會約好時間,在他們的角落里相會。一開始,他們擔心會有生命危險,但后來他們開始期待這樣的約會。維斯尼亞感到特別。“她選擇了我,”他回憶。

For a few months, they managed to be each other’s escape, but they knew these visits wouldn’t last. Around them, death was everywhere. Still, the lovers planned a life together, a future outside of Auschwitz. They knew they would be separated, but they had a plan, after the fighting was done, to reunite.

接下來的幾個月里,他們設法成為對方逃避現實的出口,但他們知道這樣的相聚不會持續太久。身邊的死亡無處不在。盡管如此,這對戀人仍然計劃著一起生活,離開奧斯維辛后共度未來。他們知道他們會被分開,但他們計劃著在戰爭結束后重聚。

It took them 72 years.

這花了他們72年的時間。

On a recent afternoon this fall, Wisnia sat in his house of 67 years in his adopted hometown in Levittown, Pennsylvania, looking through old photographs. Still a passionate singer, Wisnia spent decades as a cantor at the local congregation. Now, about once a month, he gives speeches where he tells war stories, usually to students and sometimes at libraries or congregations.

今年秋天的一個下午,在他的第二故鄉——賓夕法尼亞州的萊維敦,維斯尼亞在生活了67年的家中翻閱著舊照片。如今他依然是一個充滿激情的歌手,在當地教會的唱詩班做了幾十年的領唱?,F在,他大約每月做一次演講,講述戰爭中的故事,通常是面向學生,有時還會去圖書館或教會。

“There are few people left who know the details,” he said.

“知道細節的人已經所剩無幾了,”他說。

Spitzer was among the first Jewish women to arrive in Auschwitz in March of 1942. Through her ability to speak German, graphic design skills and sheer luck, Spitzer secured an office job.

施皮策是1942年3月首批抵達奧斯維辛的猶太女性之一,憑借德語能力、平面設計技能和純粹的運氣獲得了一份辦公室工作。

As Spitzer’s responsibilities grew, she was free to move around within parts of the camp and sometimes was allowed excursions. Yet Spitzer was never a Nazi collaborator or a kapo, a Jew assigned to oversee other prisoners. Instead, she used her position to help inmates and allies.

隨著施皮策的職責越來越大,她可以在營地部分區域內自由活動,有時還可以短期離開。然而,斯皮策從來就不是納粹的合作者,也不是猶太卡波(kapo)——即受納粹指派監管其他囚犯的猶太人。相反,她利用自己的職權來幫助其他囚犯和盟友。

Wisnia was assigned to the “corpse unit” when he arrived. But within months word got around that Wisnia was a gifted singer. He started singing regularly to Nazi guards and was assigned a new job at a building the SS called the Sauna. He disinfected the clothing of new arrivals with the same Zyklon B pellets used to murder prisoners in the gas chamber.

維斯尼亞剛進集中營時被分到“尸體組”。但幾個月后,關于他是天才歌手的消息傳開了。他開始定期為納粹警衛唱歌,并且得到了一個新崗位,到一個被黨衛隊叫做“桑拿房”的建筑里工作,給新來者的衣服消毒,用的正是在毒氣室里殺害囚犯的齊克隆B藥劑。

Spitzer, who had noticed Wisnia at the Sauna, began making special visits. Their relationship lasted several months. One afternoon in 1944 they realized it would probably be their final climb up to their nook. The Nazis were transporting the last of the camp prisoners on death marches and destroying evidence of their crimes.

施皮策注意到了桑拿房中的維斯尼亞,兩人開始了幽會。他們的關系持續了幾個月。1944年的一個下午,他們意識到這可能是他們最后一次爬到這個角落來相聚。納粹正在運送最后一批集中營囚犯做死亡行軍,并毀滅罪證。

During their last rendezvous they made a plan. They would meet in Warsaw when the war was over, at a community center. It was a promise.

他們在最后一次約會時制定了一個計劃。戰爭結束后,他們將在華沙的一個社區中心會面。這是一個承諾。

Wisnia left before Spitzer on one of the last transports out of Auschwitz. He was transferred to the Dachau concentration camp in December 1944. Soon after, during a death march from Dachau, he happened upon a hand shovel. He struck an SS guard and ran. The next day, while hiding in a barn, he heard what he thought were Soviet troops approaching. He ran to the tanks and hoped for the best. It turned out to be Americans.

維斯尼亞在施皮策前面離開了奧斯維辛。1944年12月,他被轉移到達豪集中營。不久后,在一次從達豪出發的死亡行軍中,他偶然發現了一把手鏟。他襲擊了一名黨衛隊警衛后逃跑了。第二天,他躲在谷倉里,聽到軍隊逼近的聲音,以為是蘇聯軍隊。他抱著碰運氣的心情跑向坦克。結果是美國軍隊。

Even though, as a Pole, he never could become a full-fledged GI, Wisnia performed numerous jobs after the war with the American Army. He worked at the Army Post Exchange, which provided basic supplies to soldiers. Once he’d joined the Americans, his plan to meet Zippi in Warsaw was no longer even a consideration. America was his future.

盡管身為波蘭人的他不可能成為正式的美國大兵,但在戰爭結束后,維斯尼亞為美國軍隊做了不少事。他在為士兵提供基本生活用品的陸軍營區販賣部工作。一旦加入美國人的行列,在華沙與齊皮會面的計劃就被他拋在了腦后。美國才是他的未來。

Spitzer was among the last to leave the camp alive. She was sent to the women’s camp at Ravensbrück and a sub-camp in Malchow before being evacuated in a death march. She and a friend escaped the march by removing the red stripe she had painted on their uniforms, allowing them to blend with the local population that was fleeing.

施皮策是最后幾個活著離開集中營的人之一。她先后被送往拉文斯布呂克的婦女集中營和馬爾霍夫的一個分營地,最后被送去做死亡行軍。她和一個朋友去掉了她在制服上畫的紅色條紋,混在當地的逃亡居民里,逃過了這場行軍。

Amid the chaos, Spitzer made it to the first all-Jewish displaced persons camp in the American zone of occupied Germany, which in the spring of 1945 housed at least 4,000 survivors.

一片混亂之中,施皮策成功抵達德國境內美軍占領區的第一個猶太流散者安置營。1945年春,該營地收留了至少4000名幸存者。

Soon after, Spitzer married Erwin Tichauer, that camp’s acting police chief. Once again, Spitzer, now known as Tichauer, was in a privileged position. Although they, too, were displaced persons, the Tichauers lived outside the camp.

不久后,施皮策與營地的代理警察長歐文·蒂肖爾(Erwin Tichauer)結了婚。斯皮策成了蒂肖爾夫人,再一次獲得了特權。同為流散者,這對夫婦可以住在難民營外。

Eventually, the Tichauers moved to America, first to Austin, Texas, and in 1967 they settled in New York, where Tichauer became a bioengineering professor at New York University.

最終,蒂肖爾夫婦搬到了美國,先是來到德克薩斯州的奧斯汀,1967年他們在紐約定居,蒂肖爾后來成了紐約大學的生物工程教授。

Sometime after the war ended, Wisnia heard from a former Auschwitz inmate that Tichauer was alive. By then he was deeply enmeshed with the American Army, based in Versailles, where he waited until he could finally emigrate to the United States.

戰爭結束后不久,維斯尼亞從一名前奧斯維辛囚犯那里得知,蒂肖爾還活著。那時他已經深深融入了駐扎在凡爾賽的美軍,他在那里一直等到最終移民美國。

When his aunt and uncle picked him up at the port in Hoboken on February 1946, they couldn’t believe the 19-year-old in a GI uniform was the little David they last saw in Warsaw.

1946年2月,姨媽和姨父在霍博肯的港口迎接他,簡直不敢相信眼前這個穿著美國大兵制服的19歲男孩就是當年華沙分別時的小戴維。

In a rush to make up for lost time, Wisnia plunged into New York City life, going to dances and parties. In 1947, at a wedding, he met his future wife, Hope.

為了彌補失去的時間,維斯尼亞一頭扎進紐約的城市生活,參加各種舞會和聚會。1947年,在一次婚禮上,他遇見了自己未來的妻子霍普(Hope)。

Over the years, Wisnia kept tabs on Tichauer through a mutual friend. Meanwhile, his family grew — he had four children and six grandchildren. In 2016 Wisnia decided to try to reach out to Zippi. He’d shared the story with his family. His son, who was now a rabbi at Reform synagogue in Princeton, New Jersey, initiated contact for him. Finally, she agreed to a visit.

多年來,維斯尼亞通過一個共同的朋友了解蒂肖爾的情況。與此同時,他的家庭也在擴大——他有四個子女,六個孫輩。2016年,維斯尼亞決定嘗試接觸齊皮。他把這個故事告訴了家人。已經成為新澤西州普林斯頓改革派猶太會堂拉比的兒子擔起了聯系的工作。最后,她同意維斯尼亞去看望她。

It had been 72 years since he’d last seen his former girlfriend. He’d heard she was in poor health but knew very little about her life. He suspected she’d helped to keep him alive and wanted to know if this was true.

他已經72年沒見過他的前女友了。他聽說她身體不好,但對她的生活知之甚少。他懷疑是她幫助他活了下來,他想知道這是不是真的。

When Wisnia and his grandchildren arrived at her apartment in Manhattan, they saw Tichauer lying in a hospital bed, surrounded by shelves filled with books. She had been alone since her husband died in 1996, and they never had any children. Over the years, bed-bound, she’d gone increasingly blind and deaf.

維斯尼亞和孫輩們來到她在曼哈頓的公寓,看到蒂肖爾躺在病床上,周圍的書架上擺滿了書。自從1996年丈夫去世后,她就一直形單影只,他們從未有過孩子。這些年來,她困在床上,視力和聽力都每況愈下。

At first, she didn’t recognize him. Then Wisnia leaned in close.

起初,她認不出他。然后維斯尼亞向她靠近。

“Her eyes went wide, almost like life came back to her,” said Wisnia’s grandson Avi Wisnia, 37. “It took us all aback.”

“這時她的眼睛睜得大大的,就好像生命回到了體內,”維斯尼亞37歲的孫子艾維·維斯尼亞(Avi Wisnia)說。“我們都大吃一驚。”

The reunion lasted about two hours. He finally had to ask: Did she have something to do with the fact that he’d managed to survive in Auschwitz all that time?

見面持續了大約兩個小時。他最后還是不得不問:他能在奧斯維辛集中營里活那么久,究竟是不是和她有關?

She held up her hand to display five fingers. Her voice was loud, her Slovakian accent deep. “I saved you five times from bad shipment,” she said.

她舉起手,伸出五根手指。她聲音很響,帶著很重的斯洛伐克口音。“我救了你五次,讓你沒被送去死,”她說。

“I knew she would do that,” Wisnia said to his grandchildren. “It’s absolutely amazing. Amazing.”

“我就知道她會這么做,”維斯尼亞對他的孫輩們說。“太驚人了。太驚人了。”

There was more. “I was waiting for you,” Tichauer said. Wisnia was taken aback. After she escaped the death march, she had waited for him in Warsaw. She’d followed the plan. But he never came.

還有別的。“我等過你,”蒂肖爾說。維斯尼亞大吃一驚。逃離死亡行軍之后,她在華沙等過他。她遵守了計劃。但是他沒有來。

She had loved him, she told him quietly. He had loved her, too, he said.

她愛過他,她平靜地告訴他。他說,他也愛過她。

Wisnia and Tichauer never saw each other again. She died last year at age 100. On their last afternoon together, before Wisnia left her apartment, she asked him to sing to her. He took her hand and sang her the Hungarian song she taught him in Auschwitz. He wanted to show her that he remembered the words.

維斯尼亞和蒂肖爾后來再也沒有見過面。她于去年去世,享年100歲。他們在一起的最后那個下午,在維斯尼亞離開她的公寓之前,她請他給她唱歌。他拉著她的手,唱起她在奧斯維辛教他的那首匈牙利歌曲。他想讓她知道,他記得那些歌詞。
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