For a few months, they managed to be each other’s escape, but they knew these visits wouldn’t last. Around them, death was everywhere. Still, the lovers planned a life together, a future outside of Auschwitz. They knew they would be separated, but they had a plan, after the fighting was done, to reunite.
It took them 72 years.
Falling in love with his fellow prisoner Helen Spitzer at Auschwitz saved David Wisnia in more ways than one. The two met while working in relatively privileged positions; David was hired as a singer for the Nazis, while Helen, who had a background in design, worked as the camp's graphic designer.
During their secret dates, they would dream up plans of the future they hoped to share together once leaving, if ever. Two years later, the two were still alive when most perished within months, and the war looked like it was about to end. The young lovers were hopeful their time was about to come -- but then the two were separated. They would not see each other again for seventy-two years. When the two finally reunited decades later, only two years before Helen died, David finally learned the truth: she was the reason he had survived at all. Helen's job at the camp gave her perks other prisoners did not receive, allowing her to secretly help the other inmates. Unbeknownst to David, she had used her position to save his life five different times.
Read: "Lovers in Auschwitz: Reunited 72 Years Later, He Had One Question"