Poisoned This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

April 16, 2010
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Liberation they said as they walked through the aftermath, the evidence of our dual existence, our obvious conflict. It was difficult to witness their tender faces painted noble and uniforms of immortal heroism. They gathered some and set others aside and called us liberated.

And how am I liberated? While darkness still haunts my mind’s eye. The air I breathe, the world as I see, and everything in it is tainted with humanity’s ignorance to our plight, our suffering. They took us up in the masses, outwardly gregarious yet still coarse. We tromped through our dead, fallen kin and neighbor. And as we moved, I tried to rectify the last decade of my existence.

I closed my eyes against the outside watched the nightmares unfold. I remembered all I had seen. The distorted images of children face down in streets, of bodies broken and battered, of the smell and taste of flesh in the wind. The SS screamed in my head that I was a demon, my blood was a blemish in the sight of my own country. My friends and family were pushed together in cramped complexes, begging for water, food, and mercy. I signed a card on a train for my family of forced reassurance.

Would it be difficult to breathe in society? I could be like so many others, dogmatic in disbelief, denying such scrupulous evidence for false satisfaction. I might stand in the crowds and portray the illusion of gross disgust and deep sympathies. I could pretend to forget. But in doing so, would I not be what the nations had acclaimed for years?

Would I not be a poison?

Would I not be a poison to my fallen, a poison to the truth and the very history of man? Would I not be the virus of plaguing ignorance? The very thing I despised in this world. I would only become the representation of the uniforms’ words.

I looked into the sky and saw the ash that shaded the sunlight. The warmth that once seemed so tenuous, now my spirit longed for dried and withered. And still they carried me as a shell of my prior identity and still they screamed that I was liberated. Tenacious soldiers pushed us to our freedom.

My freedom.

As I watched the last of us alive being filed in a most civil fashion, I was reminded that though I was alive, I had already died in this place. The rationalism I had once understood, my observations, the general familiarity I’d loved, now corrupted by the abundance of failing will-power. My training and discipline were now a decaying memory. Insignificant.

I was no longer who I had once been.

I was no longer who I once knew.

I was an empty vessel.

And for the first time in my years of imprisonment and slavery, in my time of fighting to survive, and justify; I felt weak and vulnerable. I felt as though I couldn’t survive, that I would fall and never open my eyes again.

I felt like a poison.

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Zach K. said...
Jan. 31, 2012 at 12:02 pm
It was very moving. It had a lot of good describing words. After the first paragraph I got hooked and wanted to read more. It was outstanding.
Katie said...
Jan. 31, 2012 at 11:46 am
Awsome!! There was great word choice and it kept me guessing whose point of veiw it was, a jew, a soldier, or a normal American.
mianie99 said...
Jan. 31, 2012 at 11:42 am
This was a great and moving story. I truly like the way you described it. It was very well put and great word choice.
Scripturient_Scribbler This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 3, 2012 at 8:27 pm
Excellent word choice!
privetlyudi said...
Jan. 3, 2012 at 9:12 am
fantastic, i myself am a holocaust writer, loved it!
Morning said...
Dec. 5, 2011 at 5:23 pm
Wow! This was amazing work. The writing was elegent and true. It spokes so clearly and beautifully. It made me shiver. Wonderful!
mightierthanthesword said...
Oct. 23, 2011 at 7:24 pm
Beautiful job! Well written, very touching, very striking. It deserved the editors choice badge, and then some.
eli15 said...
Oct. 7, 2011 at 5:30 pm
Good imagery and use of historical context. Seems to miss the life affirming reality to those survivors of the holocaust that was also present. Good essay overall.
takeitasitis said...
Aug. 15, 2011 at 8:50 am
Fantastic. Your words are well chosen. Every sentence felt so significant and strong. I truly felt like I was talking to a true Holocaust survivor. You know your character well. Your vocabulary, also, is stupendous. By all means, keep writing. 
writerfreak21231 said...
Jul. 14, 2011 at 2:01 pm
I loved it! It was a very emotional story!!! Great job! i just wrote two stories called nightstalker and the beast. If any of u read them please post comments if u liked them or not or if i should change anything. Thanks! :D
Guatemalianchic27 said...
Jun. 10, 2011 at 6:04 pm
I bet this is how they felt, athough we will never truly understand what they thought, what they felt...
Shminkanator5000 said...
May 31, 2011 at 1:01 pm
Loved this, very emotional and very well thought out. I loved the "I was an empty vessel." line. This all reminded me of like someone at a bar telling their story, or a family member telling another a sad story of their past. It was depressing, but the truth rang from it. Fantastic! Check out some of my stuff if you get a chance? Thanks!
livlaughluv98 said...
Apr. 27, 2011 at 8:20 pm
This is a really nice piece. You have a good writing style. Would you mind checking out my story, "Just Like My Mother" in the realistic fiction section of Teenink? I would really appreciate it. Thanks!
LASwan said...
Oct. 5, 2010 at 8:36 pm
A very good piece. Stirring and depressing, in a good way. Mind reading some of my works?
MaggiHair said...
Sept. 28, 2010 at 10:17 am
Wow. Great piece. Please write more!!
AllAmericanGirl said...
Sept. 25, 2010 at 4:00 pm
WOW! This piece was well written and thought out. Written from a perspective very hard to write from not to mention understand.
Aria1 said...
Sept. 17, 2010 at 1:31 pm
This piece was very interesting and very descriptive. the author used great vocabulary to make a detailed picture in the readers' mind.
Seelix said...
Aug. 21, 2010 at 11:33 pm
I absolutely loved your concept as well as the closing! You can tell there was a good deal of thought behind it=). My only (hopefully constructive) criticism would be to try to write more like you are telling a story; let your reader have a vivid picture of what’s happening. Your word choice in this narrative would be perfect for an essay or a more journalistic piece, but I got a bit bogged down sometimes, and was slightly distracted from the actual plot. You are a extremely lovely writer!... (more »)
peacemaker14 said...
Jul. 21, 2010 at 5:35 pm

wow well writen but i wish i could understand it there are so many big words alough it's cool that you can not only undrestand big eords but you can put them together in a sufisticated peice of writting, good job,

P.S people chaxk out my work although my best pieces are still pending

Ben C. said...
Jul. 17, 2010 at 11:30 pm
Very nice! I really liked it
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