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“Was this all really my fault?” I wondered. The room that I was in was filthy and crowded with other people. I guess that I really was not too clean myself, but this situation still made me feel miserable. Pushing my brown, knotted hair out of my eyes, I struggled not to cry. How could I have started out with a normal, comfortable life and ended up here? My little brother Peter wobbled over to me and plopped into my lap.

“Esther, I’m hungwey!” he cried.

“I know Peter, we all are.” I consoled. He looked up at me with his big brown eyes brimming with tears.

“It’s okay,” I said soothingly, “We’ll get to eat soon.” I knew that this was not true because at these prison camps, you never know when they will feed you.

Peter calmed down as I began to sing him an old Jewish lullaby that my mama and papa used to sing to me when they were alive. Just as Peter was beginning to drift off to sleep, the door was bashed open by a group of Nazis.

“Come you filthy pigs! It’s time for inspection.” One of them yelled. He had a crazy look in his perfect blue eyes, telling me to do exactly what he said if I valued my life.
All of the 25 prisoners in this room slowly rose from the floor. I cringed as I heard the sick and the dying groan as they attempted to move. As soon as we stepped outside, I gasped as I felt the freezing cold snow and air hit my face. Quickly, I lifted up Peter’s shivering, emaciated body and pressed it against my own so that he would not get sick. He was all that I had in this world and I was not going to lose him too. The guards made us stand in rows in the deep snow while they ridiculed and taunted us. If someone would move, they would take their heavy wooden clubs and beat them into oblivion. Soon one of them came to me. He bent down to the level of my face and spat on it as he spoke, “Too bad you weren’t born as someone else. It’s a shame such a pretty face was wasted on a Jew.” His words were slurred and I could smell the alcohol on his breath. He was obviously drunk.
“You stupid Jewish pig!” he taunted. He yanked my brother’s hair causing little Peter to squeal in pain. “And you can’t do anything about it.”
“Stop!” I shouted at him. “It’s not my fault that I was born a Jew. At least I am not a monster like you!" I was so angry that my chest was rising and falling faster than ever before. He stood there stunned. I closed my eyes waiting for him to strike me, but he never did. He gently put down my brother and stood in front of me again.
“You remind me of my sister Rebecca,” he said quietly, "when she was alive she always told me the truth too." He paused, tears welling up in his clear, blue eyes. "Not all of us Nazis were born monsters, it's just what we become." Slowly he trudged away, down the rest of the line. Now it was my turn to be stunned. One of the Nazis, one of my enemies had just given me hope. Sometimes you cannot help where you were born, it is not your fault, but you can always change what you become. There’s still hope for that Nazi. And for me.



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