"They're all butchers, the SS," Uncle Albert said, looking up from his notes. "Because of the reprisal edict, there are stories of atrocities every day now. At Sant'Anna di Stazzema, SS troops , machine- gunned, tortured, and burned five hundred and sixty innocents. At Casaglia, they shot down a priest on his altar and three old people during Mass. They took the other hundred and forty-seven parishioners into the church graveyard and opened fire with the machine guns."
When they were eight kilometers on, General Leyers asked for his flashlight, fumbled around in his valise, and came up with a bottle. He opened the top, took a gulp, and handed it over the seat. "Here," he said. "Scotch whiskey. You deserve it. You saved my life." Pino hadn't looked at it that way, and he said, "I did what anyone would have done."
Three little fingers stuck out of a crack on the rear wall of the last cattle car. The fingers seemed to wave at Pino as the train gathered speed. He stared after the train, seeing the fingers in his mind long after he couldn't see them anymore. His urge was to go after the train and set those people free, get them to safety. Instead, he stood there, defeated, helpless, and fighting the urge to cry at the image of those fingers, which would not fade.
"So," his uncle continued, "I think to myself that if the German radio hunters are looking for illegal radios broadcasting from illegal antennas, we might fool them by connecting our illegal radio to the Nazis' legal antenna You see? We splice into their cable, attach our radio, and send out our signal over a known German antenna. When the radio hunters converge, they'll say, It's one of us. And walk away."
"No, Pino! Someone will hear, and then everything will have been for nothing." Pino desperately wanted to hit him but released his throat and spun off him to his feet. "Who is he?" Anna asked. "My little brother," Pino said with loathing. "Used to be your brother," Mimo said from the floor with equal hatred.