I didn’t want to go back home to Łódź. I went to Pabianice, on a rooftop of a train, and went to see my uncle who said: “Let’s go together!” We walked 35 kilometers. My uncle was 60 and I was 18, but I was the one whose legs were weak. I wasn’t strong, I was skinny, and I could feel all that the camp did to me.
My uncle came up with a plan: “I’ll go in first and say ‘hi’ to your mother as usual. She will want to offer me dinner because it’s been a while since we saw each other last time. I will ask whether her husband or son returned, whether she has had any news. And you will wait in hiding.”
I’m waiting by the door and hear my mother saying that she doesn’t know anything about us. And my uncle says: “And if Marian showed up, what would you do?” – “I don’t know.” Another 15 minutes have passed and I think to myself: “They’re talking, my uncle is eating and drinking, and I am starving. I’ll go in and at least have something to eat.” The smell of the potato pancakes was permeating the house. I walk in: “Good afternoon!” “Good afternoon, sir,” my mother responds and doesn’t say anything more. My uncle: “What can we do for you, sir?” And me: “Is this the right address? Is Mrs. Marczak in?” “It’s me,” my mother says and looks me straight in the eye. Silence. “You don’t recognize your own son?” my uncle exclaimed. “It’s not him,” my mother didn’t want to believe that it’s her son standing right in front of her. My younger brother also said: “It’s not Marian!” He didn’t even approach me. I looked different. High forhead, terrified eyes. A completely different guy. It took years for every prisoner to become himself and to recover his own face. They all had a high forehead and a wild look in their eyes, as if they had just been let out of a cage. You couldn’t compare normal human beings with those who were in the camp. I took me a few months to muster up my strength so that I could go to school and work. I was so damaged.