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The survivors were mustered together again for another roll call. The commander of the camp gave an order to flog the entire first row of prisoners because the exhausted and freezing women had poor posture. This first row included Lilith.

Listening to the screams of the prisoners being whipped before her turn was almost worse than the actual punishment.

She was stripped naked and held by two female guards over the whipping table while a third laid on the rawhide with a will. In later years Lilith said the agony of this punishment was indescribable, and so she never attempted to describe it. Only Round Robyn knew this, or what really happened to her mother, because Lilith allowed Round Robyn alone, out of everyone else in the Women's Democratic Forum, to Share.

Lilith lost count of how many strokes she received, and woke up in the camp hospital in only slightly less agony, with her entire back aflame. It would take four days before she could get more than a few minutes of uninterrupted sleep. She had lost a lot of blood and the slightest movement opened the scars and caused her to bleed again. So Lilith could not be moved from the hospital or walk under her own power and as the American forces drew very near, the entire camp descended into chaos. Lilith was left behind.

A day later Lilith did manage to stumble out of bed for one final task. Troops of the 89th Infantry Division of the US Third Army captured Ohrdruf-Nord on April 4, 1945. Among the many thousands of dead Jews whose burnt or decomposing bodies where strewn about, one female German guard lay on the ground with her head nearly twisted off the spine. She was the one who had laid the lash on Lilith's back.

After the war when Lilith had been sufficiently deloused and scrubbed, and proved her status as a British subject to the satisfaction of the Occupation, she was placed on a ship and sent home to her father. Meeting him on a dock at Portsmouth, she gazed upon him as though across a great gulf, which was the memory of the ordeal she had somehow survived. They were utter strangers to each other now.

Lilith was suffering from what would later be termed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It would be a long time before she could summon the will to begin to recover from her experiences.

No matter how much he pleaded with her, Lilith never spoke to her father or anyone else about what the Germans had done to her mother. Robyn got the memory wordlessly, directly from the source.

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Strangers In Paradise