Violette was born in Vienna to Jewish parents who immigrated to the United States before World War II. Due to Nazi racial laws, she was forced to leave her university studies, was arrested by the Gestapo, managed to escape, and joined the partisans, where she met her red-haired lover. The novel is based on testimonies of survivors of the extermination camps, and although the names and places have been changed, the descriptions are accurate and based on survivors' testimonials.

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"I will be honest with you; I do not want to lie to you; I was arrested by the police on suspicion of communist activity, which I am not. I was taken for questioning, and the vehicle hit a tree, the driver was killed, and I fled to the forest. I have been walking around for a few days alone; you are the first soul I meet."

The woman looked at her closely and frowned in an attempt to understand the situation that had arisen.

"You are not Jewish; I can see that. So come and help me, and I will give you some food."

"My name is Kristina," Violette said, holding out her hand.

"I am Zosia," replied the woman and shook her hand.

Now the two women were walking, carrying the tin tub full of wet clothes toward the village.

When they entered the hut, Violette immediately noticed the great poverty that prevailed in the place. The floor was missing several tiles, the bed structure was made of wood, and the mattress was stuffed with hay, a table with two chairs in the middle of the room—the sink with a hose connected to a water tank above. It was cold inside the hut, and a metal stove that heated the room also served for cooking. A pot stood over it, and some stew was simmering in it that increased Violette's hunger.

"Sit down, my child; I'll prepare for you a plate of the Krupnik I cooked," Zosia said, approaching the pot with a ladle in her hand.

Violette sat. A tear welled up in her eyes; she went through a tough time in which she was chased like an animal escaping its hunters. Yet, for a moment, she felt safe, one moment when she could gather strength to continue on her way, a moment that would distract her from the terror of being prey.

Zosia sat across from her and watched her eat the hot soup and lick the spoon.

"You have suffered so much, war is damned; why is there so much hatred in the world? God created everyone equal, isn’t it?”


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