Ladislav Porjes and Rafael Friedl

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This picture is from 1941 or 1942, it was taken in the Svaty Jur labor camp, into which I was drafted on 3rd October 1941. I'm the young man with glasses on the left, in the right part of the photograph is my friend Rafael Friedl, a musically and linguistically talented boy, who was a fervent Zionist. He managed to escape, and lived to see the liberation in a small Slovak town as the organist of a local Catholic church. Many years later I met him in Prague, where he was working as a diplomat for the state of Israel under the Hebrew name of Rafael ben Shalom. He asked me whether I wouldn't like to work for Simon Wiesenthal as a 'Nazi hunter.' But I declined the offer. I wanted to start a new life. I wanted to forget all of those horrors. Of course, it's impossible to forget. Maybe forgive, but it's definitely impossible to forget.

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