Pee Wee and Salomon were wonderful men. At first, the wonder of them appeared to be their survival—of Dachau, I thought, but of so much else as it turns out. Survival was a testament to courage and endurance of a kind I could barely imagine. But as I grew to know them better, I realized that the true wonder was the people they were. Sweet-tempered, kindly, gentle. How could that be? That was the true wonder. All the hostility, hatred, and evil they encountered without letting it deform them or deflect them from becoming the kind of people they wanted to be. They didn’t become hateful or hostile in return. They didn’t become bitter or apathetic. Quite the contrary. That was something I’ve kept with me all my life: that it is possible for someone—me, anyone—to overcome the obstacles in his path without losing himself, and face prejudice without becoming prejudiced in return.
John L. Withers
Silver Spring, Maryland