On a cold day in 1942, inside a Nazi concentration camp, a lone, young boy
looks beyond the barbed wire and sees a young girl pass by. She too, is
moved by his presence. In an effort to give expression to her feelings, she
throws a red apple over the fence — a sign of life, hope, and love. The
young boy bends over and picks up the apple. A ray of light has pierced his
The following day, thinking he is crazy for even entertaining the
notion of seeing this young girl again, he looks out beyond the fence,
hoping. On the other side of the barbed wire, the young girl yearns to see
again this tragic figure who moved her so. She comes prepared with apple in
Despite another day of wintry blizzards and chilling air, two hearts are
warmed once again as the apple passes over the barbed wire. The scene is
repeated for several days.
The two young spirits on opposite sides of the fence look forward to seeing
each other, if only for a moment and if only to exchange a few words. The
interaction is always accompanied by an exchange of inexplicably heartening
At the last of these momentary meetings, the young boy greets his sweet
friend with a frown and says, “Tomorrow, don’t bring me an apple, I will not
be here. They are sending me to another camp.” The young boy walks away,
too heartbroken to look back. Wallace-T0001
From that day forward, the calming image of the sweet girl would appear to him
in moments of anguish. Her eyes, her words, her thoughtfulness, her red
apple, all were a recurring vision that would break his night time sweats. His
family died in the war. The life he had known had all but vanished, but this
one memory remained alive and gave him hope.
In 1957 in the United States, two adults, both immigrants, are set up on a
blind date. “And where were you during the war?” inquires the woman.
“I was in a concentration camp in Germany,” the man replies.
“I remember I used to throw apples over the fence to a boy who was in a
concentration camp,” she recalls.
With a feeling of shock, the man speaks. “And did that boy say to you one
day, “Don’t bring an apple anymore because I am being sent to another
camp?'” “Why, yes,” she responds, “but how could you possibly know that?”
He looks into her eyes and says, “I was that young boy.”
There is a brief silence, and then he continues, “I was separated from you
then, and I don’t ever want to be without you again. Will you marry me?”
They embrace one another as she says, “Yes.”
On Valentine’s Day, 1996, on national telecast of the Oprah Winfrey show,
this same man affirmed his enduring love to his wife of forty years.
“You fed me in the concentration camp,” he said, “you fed me throughout all
these years; now, I remain hungry if only for your love.”
Lesson: The darkest moments of one’s life may carry the seeds of the