Life During the Holocaust

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“Inge dear, it’s time for dinner.” Tat tat tat, the sound of little feet run across the floor. “I’m here Mama” Mama turns around and looks down giving me her warm smile, she picks me up and kisses me on my cheek. As my Daddy sets down my Mama sets my in the seat between her and him. Then she sets down and looks at me, “Inge, would you like to say prayer?” I look at her for a moment then grab her hand with one of mine and Daddy’s with the other, then I close my eyes and bow my head, “Keep us safe. Thanks for dinner. Amen.” Mama and Daddy look at me then laugh, “That was an excellent prayer,” said my Daddy. My Mama looks at me and said, “So what would you like for your fourth birthday Inge?” I almost reply instantly, “A DOLLY!” Both Mama and Daddy laugh.


It was the very next day, November ninth, nineteen thirty-eight. Daddy was helping Mama wash the dishes. I was playing outside. Then all of a sudden I hear gun shots and screaming. I run inside the house, screaming. Daddy picks me up tells me its going to be alright then hands me to Mama. “Go to the basement and lock the door,” my Daddy orders my Mama. Mama runs to the basement with me in her arms. “Whats happening,” I ask her. She looks at me says nothing and gives me her its going to be ok smile. I begin to cry. I hear people coming in the house yelling and then I run out of the basement and into my Daddy’s arms. A man looks at my Mama and said, “We are taking your husband.” Then they just left with my Daddy.


A couple of weeks past and I was sitting in my bed with Mama reading a story then Mama said she heard something so she told me to hind under my bed. Of course I did because I always listen to my Mama when she sounds scared. Next thing I know I hear Daddy’s sweet converting deep voice say, “Baby girl, I’m back.” I pull myself out from under my bed and jump into my Daddy’s arms. Then I ask, “Where have you been Daddy?” He replied, “Oh Daddy just went on a little vacation that's all. Don’t worry honey.” It was nine o’clock and my Mama and Daddy kissed me on the forehand and told me goodnight. In the middle of the night I heard whispers coming from Mama and Daddy’s room. I sneak out of bed and to their door. “It was terrible Regina. They took me to a concentration camp. I was so scared that I would never be able to come home and see you and Inge ever again,” I heard my Daddy say. “Well I’m glad your home safe. Everything is back to normal.” “No its not Regina, we need to get out of here now before the Germans come for us.” “But...where...where are we suppose to go?” “We can go to your hometown!” I coughed. “Inge,” my Daddy said, “What are you doing out of bed?” “I heard you guys and you sounded upset. Do we really have to leave?” My Mama and Daddy looked at each other for a brief second then Daddy looked at me and said, “I’m afraid pumpkin we have to. Its whats best for us.”


The next day Mama woke me up really early told me to get my coat on and she would take care of everything else. I did exactly what Mama told me to as fast as I could too. Then all of us got in the car and my Daddy was driving super fast. I asked, “Where are we going?” Then Mama said, “Oh we’re going to grandmothers house!” I felt relieved that we was going to another place that I loved so much.


Finally we was at grandmas house. We was there what seemed like an hour but was only about five minutes. We talked for hours and hours. I was so happy to be with my Grandma, Grandpa,Mama, and Daddy. I didn’t have to worry about a single thing at that very moment. I was so happy.


We’ve all been living with grandma and...well...grandpa was so upset by being hurt by the country he knew and loved he passed away.


I’m now six years old and still living in peace instead of at the concentration camps. Anyways I starting going to school in my Mama’s hometown. The only problem is I have to walk many miles to get to a train station that takes me to school, but not a public school because I can’t go to them anymore. So I have to wake up extra early. I also have to were that bright yellow star on all of my cloths. There’s these kids on the train that make fun of me because of it.


It was the year 1941 and my Grandma was sent to Lativa where she was murdered. My Mama was very upset about Grandma.


On August 22, 1942 Me and my Mama and Daddy were arrested and deported to Theresienstadt ghetto in Czechoslovakia. That was the day that I realized no matter where we went they would find us and I knew that we would never be free again. Unlike most families we got to stay together. We all three were sent to a disabled war veterans' section of the ghetto. Which was pretty good because we got to stay together. That was really the only good part about being taken.


We’ve been in the concentration camp for awhile and I miss home so much. The food they gave us was terrible and they gave us very little amounts. The sanitation was also terrible.Don’t even get me started on the heating the heating was inadequate. Lots of people that are there are disappearing slowly one by one. I heard from some of the other Jews that people were getting sick and they didn’t know what it was from. The ghetto had very terrible diseases going around, Daddy said he was scared and that he hoped none of us would become sick. I disagree with him. I was hopping that we would get sick so when we died we wouldn’t have to suffer anymore. Then Daddy said that soon all of this would be over and we would be able to go home again. “When Daddy,” I asked. “Soon pumpkin.Soon.” “Get back to work,” one of the Germans said in an angry demanding voice. So me and Daddy quickly began to do our job as fast as we could as good as we could. I was always hungry. I was always scared. No matter where I went. No matter what I did. I was always scared that Daddy, Mama, and I would be taken to the death camps in Poland.


It’s now Spring 1945, all of the Germans began building gas chambers in Theresienstadt. Their plan was to kill all of the remaining Jews. When I found out I couldn't help but cry. “Shut up child!” “Get back to work.” I started sweeping again. Later that night when we was in out very tiny cabin I looked at Mama and said, “Mama did you see how they started building gas chambers? They said that they was going to kill all off the remaining Jews. I love you Mama and if...” “Nothings going to happen to us Inge!” Mama said in a strict voice. Then Mama began to cry. Daddy went over to her and gave her a huge hug and whispered in her ear, “It'll be alright. I promise. We’ll make it out of this. Mama replied, “What if we don’t?” Daddy gave her a comforting look.


It was May 8, 1945, I was helping Mama clean the Germans cabin. Daddy was working on the yard. Then we all heard lots of gun shots and screaming. I ran into Mamas arms. Mama began to cry as I did so to. Mama put my down and told me to hide under the bed in the Germans room. “But what if I get caught?” “You wouldn’t get in trouble just do as I say!” So I did what Mama told me to do and hide under the bed. Mama ran outside and saw my Daddy she ran to him and they hugged. Then they both ran inside. “What’s going on,” Mama asked Daddy. “The Soviet troop are here!” Daddy sounded so exited. “They’re here to free us! They’re here to free us!” Mama started crying tears of joy. “Inge,” Mama yelled, “Come here honey!” I ran to Mama. She picked me up and spun me around. Next thing I know the Soviet troops came in the house and took me home. My heart feel so relieved. I was so happy. This was the first time I felt this way in forever. I wasn't scared anymore. I was....FREE! Out of the 15,000 children that were taken to Theresienstadt, only 100 of them survived. I was one of the lucky ones. I survived. I also was able to keep my parents unlike some of the surviving kids. I use to not be very appreciative for the things in life, but once I went to the concentration camp in Theresienstadt I changed.





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