Another Roll, Clive Aaron Gill, [2023:41]

On a freezing night in a noisy Polish refugee camp cafeteria, after the Nazis lost the war, I sit opposite a survivor of the Birkenau concentration camp during dinner. He is about twelve or thirteen, his body shrunken, his eyes old.

I shiver under layers of threadbare clothes. They cover the ugly tattooed numbers on my forearm that diminish my femininity.

The boy, whom I met during our breakfast meal, hunches over his dish of vegetable stew, as if protecting it. He scoops pieces of vegetables with his fingers onto a slice of pumpernickel bread.

He scans the areas behind him and to the sides, and I look down, pretending I don’t see his surveillance. I raise my eyes as he reaches for a basket of two fresh bread rolls in the middle of the table, grabs one, and pushes it up his sleeve.

Our eyes meet, and he lowers his head, as if afraid that I saw the theft.

I slowly slide the breadbasket toward him.

He stares at the basket, then at me. “Fräulein?”


“For me?”

I nod.

“What about you?”

“I’ve eaten enough. Have another roll.”

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