Corina Tessnow | Teen Ink

Corina Tessnow

August 25, 2011
By blueforever BRONZE, Tecumseh, Michigan
blueforever BRONZE, Tecumseh, Michigan
3 articles 0 photos 1 comment

It's freezing cold, dingy, and the feeling of the room is despair. It feels as if they've put one million people into a room made for five. Food that isn't stale is a blessing, clean water is unheard of, and diseases travel faster than light. I'm not sure why we've all been put here. Why us, what did we do? My name is Corina Tessenow, I'm a brunette with green grass eyes, and I'm infatuated with reading and writing. Fall is my favorite season because I think it's beautiful when the leaves change colos, but none of that matters anymore. I used to be free as a bird, and now I'm trapped in a cage. All because I'm jewish.

One Month ago, before the army came to take me away, I was hiding in the basement of my best friend Roman Gansmeyer. Oh, how I wish I could see him again. To thank him for everything, to see him smile, to hear him laugh. It's too late fir that now, I know what's coming. Everyone does, but before I go I want one last chance to tell my story. Once again, my name is Corina, and this is my life during the holocaust.

Once news broke out that Hitler was indeed going to try to eliminate the jews, terror broke through me like a chilling breeze, tears streamed down my face like rain on a window, and it was as if my whole world was flipped upside down. Streets that I used to play on as a child are now a war zone, people whom I saw everyday now became stangers who were out to get me, and there was not a single place I could go where I would be safe. That night, I was sent to Roman's house. I always wanted to live closer to him, but not now, not like this. I lived in his basement, it was dull, icy, and inadequate, but it was safe. Well as safe as it could be. I stayed there for three weeks and four days. Despite the circumstances, life at Roman's house was actually amiable. Since he was my best friend, we spent much of our time together. I cherished every minute I had with him because he always knew how to make my fears go away. When we were together, it was like there was no war, no Hitler.

The day the army found me is burned into my memory, as I'm sure it is for every Jew here. When I think about it, its like I'm looking from a distance, watching as a witness. I can see myself being taken away, and I can see the painful look on Roman's face watching me leave. I try not to think about it. I try to remember him and how he was before this whole mess, but sometimes it's hard to forget. His look was hopeless, lifeless. It was like someone had taken a vaccum and sucked the happiness out of him. I had lost him forever.

When the soldier put me on the train to wherever they were sending me, it suddenly occured to me that I didn't just loose Roman, I lost everyone. I had nothing. Ever since then, life has been torture. I've been beaten, sick with pneumonia, and seen more deaths than any person ever should. In concentration camos, privacy is gona, along with freedom, sanity, and worst of all hope. It's dirty, with no means of cleaning it up to make it even a little bit sanitary. My days are all starting to blur together as a huge clump of misery and fear. I've always been told there is an afterlife, but now that I may face it sooner than expected, the thought can't help but cross through my mind. Is there an afterlife? Will I see my family there? Or will I just turn into nothing? These are the questions I hoped to wait a lifetime to answer, but I guess it's true when they say life is full of surprises.

Today they sent me, along with about a thousand other Jews into this dark, cold, cement room. It didn't take long for me to realize where I was and what was happening. I've heard of it before, I was in a gas chamber. As the air becomes a fog, and my consciousness begins to drift away, I try to remember the good in life. I try to remember the happiness I felt before I came here, but one memory keeps replaying in my head over and over. It's as if I'm standing in the distance, watching as a witness.

The author's comments:
This piece was inspired by Anne Frank, and The Book Thief

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This article has 2 comments.

on Aug. 31 2011 at 11:37 am
blueforever BRONZE, Tecumseh, Michigan
3 articles 0 photos 1 comment
Thanks for the advice, I appreciate it :)

on Aug. 30 2011 at 6:19 pm
SecretNonConformist SILVER, Marblehead, Massachusetts
6 articles 0 photos 195 comments

Favorite Quote:
The only thing necessary for the triumph of
evil is for good men to do nothing."
-Edmund Burke

"Bless the children, give them triumph, now!"
Aeschylus, The Libation Bearers

Great story! I loved the concept. Your first paragraph was the strongest and you kept that energy up throughout most of the story. However, there were a few parts you faltered. The last paragraph especially can be a lot stronger. Your story will reduce the average reader to tears once you do that. And just one thing. The Gestapo or the SS would be doing the taking away, not the army. (Sorry about that, I'm kind of a fact nerd) But overall, great story! Great concept!

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