Does it matter if they were from Kielce or Brno or Grodno or Brody or Lvov or Turin or Berlin? Or that the silverware or one linen tablecloth or the chipped enamel pot the one with the red stripe, handed down by a mother to her daughter were later used by a neighbour or someone they never knew? Or if one went first or last; or whether they were separated getting on the train or off the train; or whether they were taken from Athens or Amsterdam or Radom, from Paris or Bordeaux, Rome or Trieste, from Parczew or Bialystok or Salonika. Whether they were ripped from their dining-room tables or hospital beds or from the forest? Whether wedding rings were pried off their fingers or fillings from their mouths? None of that obsessed me; but were they silent or did they speak? Were their eyes open or closed?I couldn't turn my anguish from the precise moment of death. I was focused on that historical split second: the tableau of the haunting trinity perpetrator, victim, witness.But at what moment does wood become stone, peat become coal, limestone become marble? The gradual instant.