Words fail. No matter how. Words are stuck. Stalag X B had ‘a breath’. It was visible as a haze hanging over the barracks. The haze of humans breathing.
Janna Dirksen-Geurts, Geurt’s mother, received a letter in 1958 in which she was kindly asked to describe, ‘give words to’, her son, to his remains, in order to identify his body between hundreds of others in mass graves in and near Sandbostel. She never answered the request. Her son was never identified. The words stuck in the breath of the camp.
Ben and Ruurd represented ‘the breath’, Ruurd filled it with words.