Escape to Freedom

April 10, 2013
February 8, 1940

Tomorrow is the night. I will attempt an escape from this concentration camp.

My sister and I have been kept imprisoned here for 9 months now. When I first got captured, my fellow “cabin-mates” were in the midst of creating an escape.

We were taken from our home-town in the Jewish ghetto and forced to leave our home. We were crammed into carts, where we were all so packed together it hurt to breath. We were taken to a concentration camp in Auschwitz, Germany.

My last chance of getting out of here is hope. My hope is to escape this place, along with my sister, Amelia. She is 15, 2 years older than I. We were separated from our parents. I do not know what happened to them, or where they are right now, but I can only pray.

February 9, 1940

It is midnight. The bright moon causes a ghostly shadow from the guards, who are watching for anything suspicious. Inside our shack, I can feel the tension build. Because I am the smallest, I am to be the first to escape.

I wait for Greenwood to give me the signal. He was the one who carried out this plan to escape. I don’t know what his real name is, and know him nothing other than ‘Greenwood’. Despite being held captive here for almost 2 years now, Greenwood is very optimistic about the escape.

He gives me the signal, and they remove the rug hiding our tunnel. Amelia reminds me to run straight for the trees, and to keep running, no matter what happened.

“Be smart, and run as fast as you can, Hilda.” Greenwood tells me.

With nothing but a candle, I get onto my knees and crawl with my elbows, trying to hold up the light. Halfway through the tunnel, it goes out, but I keep moving.

After what seems like traveling for a couple hundred yards, I find the end. I open up the top, and peek out. I can see that a heavy snow has started. I pop my head out, but immediately go back down as a search light just barely misses my head.

I wait for the right moment. And then I jump up and start to sprint.

Despite the snow being a couple of inches thick, I can still keep a fast pace. I remember what Greenwood told me, to run straight for the trees. I feel the icy air pierce the inside of my lungs, but I keep running. I hear gunshots whistle past my head, and I keep running.

My thoughts get the best of me when I start thinking about …

Will Amelia get to the forest safely? Have I been shot? Did anybody else escape after my sister? Will I be able to find Amelia...?

I stop where the forest meets the clearing. I hide in the shadows of the trees. I sit and wait, but hear nothing more.

Then, I see somebody’s pop out of the hole and start running towards the trees. I see them run, full sprint. I hear gunshots, and I see the escapee fall to the ground.

I desperately want to call out to them, to run to them, and tell them everything is alright. But I hear somebody shouting, and stay back.

“Sie haben versucht zu fliehen! Ein davongekommen!” They have tried to escape! One got away!

The guards run towards the mystery escapee. He turns the body over.

I look into the face of my sister, once full of hope and joy, now cold and lifeless.

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