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Eventually, Monika realized that she wanted to know the truth about her father. Sixty years after the Allied liberation of Plaszow, Monika contacted Helen, asking to meet her in Poland. Helen reluctantly agreed. "Monika sent me a letter, and in the letter she expressed her feelings about how hard it must be for me, but it is hard also for her," Helen says. "And then she said, 'We have to do it. We have to do it for the murdered people.' And I was touched by that sentence."

Helen and Monika met at the Plaszow Memorial Monument, located at the camp where Helen witnessed unimaginable horrors and the place where her mother is buried. Monika finally heard the terrible truth about her father. "He was a living monster. He enjoyed what he was doing," Helen says. "But he did it out of pleasure because I saw his face after killing."

Even after all these years, Monika is still haunted by her mother's statement that she is just like her father. "[I asked], 'Am I better than my father?' She told me, 'You are like him, and you will die like him,'" Monika says. "I was always looking in my life…maybe I'm really like him. But I am not Amon."

"You have a choice," Helen says. "You have a mission."
FROM: Left for Dead: The Gay Man Who Befriended His Attacker
Published on January 01, 2006


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