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Ich Bin Eine Jude

I live everyday under a constant fear, it looms like a dark shadow behind me... Fears like persecution, torture, and death spurred by this nationwide hysteria contaminates my psyche like a plague. Nothing, no where is safe anymore... I walk the streets with my head hanging low, as blood red swastika flags fly in the ominous breeze, and the jack-booted thugs flush out the "untermensch" with their snarling Sheppard dogs. I'm saddened that it came down to this... I'm angered that Germany, my homeland, has fallen into this dark, never ending spiral.

It was a Saturday morning, and I was sitting in my Hamburg apartment reading the daily paper. The headlines were filled with propaganda like "Hitler saves the German people", "Jews contaminate German ethnicity", and "Non-Aryans responsible for killing German economy." I was angered by these incendiary statements; there is no way for the German people to escape this mass mind rape. As I went to toss the papers, a salvo of forceful knocks startled me out of my wits. "Herr Zoller, open ze door! Zis is the Gestapo! We have some important questions for you!" ... The Gestapo?! How did they find me? My gut tied itself into knots as I shuffled toward the door. "Coming offic-" My voice choked me, and my hands shook violently as I grasped the knob. Death is only a few inches away, I thought. Sunlight poured in through the doorway as I slowly pulled it open. In front of me were two tall, slender officers, dressed in all black, with red swastikas on their arms. "Herr Zoller, allow me to introduce myself. I am detective Hans Albrecht, and zis is my assistant, officer Heinrich Stiglitz. May we come in, sir?" I was apprehensive, but I couldn't just say no. "Uhh, make yourselves at home..." They both strode in with authority, scanning the living room. "Herr Zoller, may my assistant conduct a search while I interview you?" Albrecht had suspicion in his eyes. My heart shot up into my throat. "Is there somezing you're hiding, Zoller?" "No sir, conduct your search." Satan's smile caressed Albrecht's face. "Good, very well - STIGLITZ! I want you to search zis man's home! Keep a sharp eye out for anything 'Semitic'." Stiglitz raised his right arm in the Nazi salute and shot back, "jawhol, detective Albrecht!" He then promptly started rifling through drawers while Albrecht sat me down for interrogation. "So, Herr Zoller, to start out with, and I know zis is point blank, but what faith do you belong to?" My heart was pounding, but I tried to keep my composure. "I'm Catholic, sir." I replied without much thought. I had to lie - I'm a Jew. Albrecht leaned closer; he must have known I lied. "You don't look so much like a Catholic. Your appearance gives it away. Tell ze truth..." Stiglitz stomped into the living room with a silver object in his hand. "Detective Albrecht, I found zis in Zoller's nightstand. It's ze Star of David." He produced the object to Albrecht. "Oh? Zoller, what faith do you belong to again?" I couldn't respond, I was about to break down. "You must be a Jew, Zoller." He was now giving me this steely death glare. Cold sweat ran down my face, as he stood up to call for Stiglitz. "STIGLITZ! Jetzt!" A blunt whack knocked me to the floor, and Stiglitz immediately slapped the cuffs on me. He grabbed me by the collar, yanked me up, and growled "you're unfit to live with us who are pure. You will be placed in Dachau, ze place where you rats shall inhabit!" I found myself in disbelief, but I should have expected it; my fears had been realized... I was now a dead man.

The pungent scent of body odor and smoke filled the dim, crowded boxcar as the Nazi train thundered us to hell. We were all on a one way trip to Dachau Concentration Camp, the place where many of us will meet our fates. With each passing second, my dreary depression grew. At least I have nothing else to lose, I thought to myself, trying to bring back some kind of reassurance. I had lost my father during WWI, my mother passed of a stroke, and I was the only child. I really had nothing else to lose... The train finally came to a halt, and the boxcar doors dropped. The light nearly blinded me. "ALL OF YOU! Out! Out! Move it, we don't have all day!" A Nazi SS guard shouted at us while his rottweiler foamed at the mouth, waiting to chew us apart. We were all herded like cattle through gates that read in rusty letters, 'Abreit Macht Frei' (Work sets you free). The yards were filled with walking corpses; men, women, and children, eviscerated, starving, and whom all had their humanity stolen by this fascist plague. I couldn't imagine myself in their position, and I didn't want to, but the possibility was all too real. A somber looking child locked eyes with me as the crowd and I walked on. He waved at me as if waving goodbye, but we were then suddenly led into a concrete building. We were all packed like sardines in this tiled box that looked as if it was a shower room. A guard slammed the casket door behind us. These people are letting us clean up? This must be too good to be true... There was a problem, the showers didn't have knobs... I was standing there in perplexion, when all of the sudden, I started to smell a faint scent of bitter almonds. The people around me started convulsing and coughing uncontrollably - I started to as well. We were all dying; choking on a poisonous gas for no good reason. We were all innocent, and we had fallen victim to this evil empire. Sadly, no one in Germany, the place I once called home, sees these killings as unjust. They are all brainwashed by this psychotic tyrant. One day, things will change. One day, these devils will meet their fates just as we did. They will forever live under the constant weight of their own guilt.



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