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The Terror of Treblinka
The smell of decomposing flesh inflamed my nostrils,and the taste trespassed into my mouth. I reached for the collar of my blouse and sheltered my lips. My eyes combed the area. Rotting corpses lay piled around me, and it seemed as if they were pleading for cessation. The few living people who seemed more like skeletons only gave a glassy stare. A vile substance defeated gravity and slowly moved up my throat. Sick and disgusted I felt planted in this pitiful time. I knew I had a purpose, but I was unsure how to take even one step toward it.
The professor had plunged me into the era of a spineless, tiny man. I stood in the face of what Adolf Hitler had created, and looked upon the beings of Treblinka. I had one mission: to warn the remaining survivors of Hitler's destruction. I thought to my self, "If I only had more time."
I gazed into the windows of the victims’ souls. Suddenly, I shared the horror that crept into their dreams at night. I was trapped in an iron cage. Wires kept me captive, and determination kept me sane. There was no where to run, no where to hide. I uttered the words, " God give me strength," as I walked towards a decrepit child. The small girl seemed more like a skeleton. Her bones danced through her skin in a deformed manner. Fear struck her. Her body tensed. I was a stranger in a strange land. For all she knew, I was one of the monstrous inhuman creatures that watched over each day.
"Please sweetheart, don't be afraid," I pleaded. The child's eyes held no recognition. My stomach dropped, and I knew I had made a fatal mistake. Thoughts erupted in my head. Why didn't I prepare myself? Why hadn't I thought clearly? She wouldn't understand me. I didn't belong. I silently hoped that at least one would. "Jewish, Juden, Yid, Yehudi," I whispered every language I could think of, hoping a barrier would not occur.
The child's eyes began to moisten. Tears flowed down like the Nile River, and a cry expelled from the young one's mouth. I didn't know what action to take next. What was I to do? Maybe I had taken on the wrong mission. How was I, just a girl of the 21st century, supposed to stop, or stall the evils of a very twisted mind?
"Hello," a whispered voice disrupted my thoughts. "My name is Brocha," it said,” I speak your tongue."
I turned slowly towards the soothing voice of the woman. Hope and disgust filled my heart when I saw the being in my presence. This person spoke her words in English. Fear of communication died out of me, and a new sense of emotion came to life. I stood in the face of one of Treblinkas' victims. Bruises covered her body; a cloth laced her balding head; disbelief shone in her eyes, and anger welled inside me, towards the animals that had done this to her. No words escaped me, and for moments I stood and stared.
"The child, she won't understand you," the woman said.
"I know," I replied. " Please, you must listen to me, there is no time. Don't bother with questions. Just have blind faith. I am one of you, a Jew. You and your people must fight back. Six million Jews will die!" I rambled. My heart began to race as I tried to get the words out quickly enough. I didn't know how much time I had, only that it would end soon. " Please, Brocha. Fight, fight, and don't stop believing. He is with you." I began to recite the solemn prayer, " Shema yisrael..."
I didn't know whether she comprehended. I was just some crazy person to her. "Take your men, women, let the strong ones take a stand. Please, Brocha, I speak the-," I was cutoff. A deep German voice thundered through the air.
The voice came from a man of about 6Ƈ who towered over my now trembling body. "Dirty -!" he muttered in broken English. I could hardly hear him. "Du! Stoppen, weider an die arbeit," he commanded in a language I barely understood. His hand rose in the air, and I knew Brocha was his target. I jumped in front of my new found friend, and instantly my face felt like a thousand flames. I doubled over in agony and closed my eyes, too afraid to face the striker.
The pain of the man's hand shouldn't have hurt that much, and I uncovered my eyes. My surroundings were unclear. The fence that had held me trapped in the few moments I'd been there was gone. The retched odor that had burned my senses was suddenly pleasant. Rotting corpses lay no more. All that was visible in this forsaken time was the woman I had sought to protect and the animal that had found his prey.
I knew I was leaving the camp, and the pitiful destruction of the spineless, tiny man. I had just a moment, a last glance to make sure my mission was not in vain. I turned toward the Nazi from whom I'd take a blow. He had levitated his hand once more, and without a doubt, I knew what gesture he was making. I watched his lips form the disgusting words, "Hail Hitler!"
My body trembled from the mere presence of the act, and I moved my head in Brocha’s direction. She was not in fear of the man, nor did her body tremble and ache at the foul gesture that was imitated by the soldier. Her lips were turning in an upward motion, and her eyes held a hidden secret. My friend, a Jew, victim, and pest to the German dictator, understood what I had told her. The professor had given me a great gift. He had sent me back to a time of horror and yet when I returned to the 21st century I would thank him. This was because I knew Brocha’s secret, and it was the promise she determinedly made to me as she faded from my eyes. She told me she would live, and most importantly, survive.