“Your parents hid Jews in here?” Alexi looked around the old equipment shed in distaste. The sheer amount of neglect made him automatically pity anyone even walking into this shed, much less hiding in fear here.
Elena nodded, switching to a perfect Russian accent. “The Nazi’s always suspected them, but they were careful. They saved lives.”
Alexi nodded. Careful was better than clean he supposed. But it was difficult not to gag on the smell. “And now you take up the danger.”
Elena nodded again, touching the third shelf on the left. At her feet, a trap door that Alexi hadn’t seen before slid open. He shone his flashlight down into the hole. Dark and dank from unuse, the first thing Roza would do was try to create a home for them all here. She certainly had her work cut out for her.
“Thank you, Elena. You take great risks for us.”
“We are Ukranian.” Elena switched back to her native tongue. The language of her people, the language of her heart, the language of defiance. “Nobody understands fighting overwhelming odds against an oppressor better than us. Bring your family and friends, we will keep you safe.”