August 23, 2011
By lauren17 SILVER, Andover, Massachusetts
lauren17 SILVER, Andover, Massachusetts
5 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
Laugh out loud. When people look, laugh louder.

Papa, why can’t the other boys and I play like we used to? How come when we were singing the guard came up and punched Johnny? It wasn’t very nice. How come we were the ones to get in trouble when he was the one that didn’t keep his hands to himself? Ok Papa, I’ll be quiet. Yes, I know you’re trying to sleep.

Things don’t make sense here. Everything’s backwards. Mama always said that if we did something bad we’d get in trouble. But that’s not true here. The guards do bad things to us every day and they never get in trouble. The other day my friend, Robby, came back all bloody. He said he was beaten because another boy lied. That doesn’t make sense. The other boy should have been the one in trouble. The guard should have thanked Robby for telling the truth. Everything’s backwards here. Maybe it’s because no one’s mothers are here. We got separated from Mama and Sarah at the last camp. Then we got on a train. I tried to tell someone that we couldn’t leave because Mama wasn’t there yet, but Papa told me to be quiet. I tried to explain to him that Mama said we always had to stick together when we were in new places, but he didn’t listen. And now Mama and Sarah are gone.
Papa? Papa, where’s Mama? Ok, I’ll go to sleep now.

Everything’s backwards here. We worked hard all day and then didn’t get any dinner. When I worked hard at home, Mama gave me extra food. I miss Mama. She would tell the guards to stop hitting me. Papa won’t. He just sits and watches it happen. He gets a really sad look on his face when he sees it though. I wonder if he has the same thing Grandpa had before he died. I think it started with a D. Depp..depr…depression? I think that’s what it’s called. I don’t know what it means. I just know that Grandpa looked really sad whenever we went to visit him. When I asked Mama, she said he had depression. Then he died. Does that mean Papa’s going to die? I hope not. Papa should go to the doctor, but when I told him that he said he wouldn’t.

Papa? Papa, are you awake? I have a question. Why don’t you go to the doctor, Papa? I think I figured out what’s wrong with you. You have depression like Grandpa did. What? You don’t have it? Ok Papa, I’ll go to sleep now.

So maybe Papa doesn’t have depression. Why doesn’t he stop the guards from hitting me? When Papa found out that my tutor hit me with a ruler, Papa yelled at the tutor really loudly. He said the tutor didn’t have any right to hit me. And that barely hurt compared to this. I think it’s because things are all backwards here. Maybe Papa wants to tell them not to hit me but can’t. He’s probably afraid the guard will hit him too. Papa is really skinny now. I am too. I’m hungry all the time. When I was hungry at home, I could just get food from the kitchen. Mama was a really good cook. She made different things every night for dinner. All we get here is soup and stale bread. Yesterday mine had a worm in it.

Papa? Papa, I have one more question. No really, I promise it’s my last question. Papa, why is everything backwards here?

The author's comments:
This essay is written from the point of view of a young Jewish boy in a concentration camp. The guards he talks about are Nazi officers. Also, the original format for this piece was different. I originally wrote all of the paragraphs starting with “Papa” in italics. This was supposed to separate what the boy was saying to his father from the rest of his monologue.

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