November 1940

April 14, 2018
By gracehallinan BRONZE, West Hurley, New York
gracehallinan BRONZE, West Hurley, New York
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.- Dr. Seuss

                               If found please return to:
                                  Miss Anneleise Abel
                                    Mr. Franz Kluger

September 30, 1940
Dear Franz
     This diary is for you to remember me by. Write down everything you do so when we are reunited, I can read it and it will be like you never left. I will do the same. I love you.

November 14, 1940
     Honestly, I thought this diary was an absurd idea. However I am beginning to realize and understand ,y fate. I am going to die here. I have shared this room with the same 25 men for the past month. We sometimes wake to find small amounts of stale bread or dirty water. It is never enough though. I am so thin, my ribs are sticking right out of my chest. Some have died. Only 14 of the original 25 are left. But they left the 11 dead bodies in this room with us.  

November 16, 1940
     I was going to be a doctor you know. I never wanted to be one, it was father's dream for me. I hated medicine. I wanted to be an artist. My mother would have let me go to France to study art. She died when I was 14.  

November 17, 1940
     Some guys don't have toes. They go here in July and August so they wore sandals. I got here a month ago. It was October. Which is why I have boots and a sweater. But a Polish winter cannot be lived in only a sweater.

November 20, 1940
     I see stars a lot. Even when it's light outside. Sometimes they come to me and then I wake up later in the same room. Manuel is dead now so he can't tell me how long I've been asleep anymore. At least I think I am asleep. Sometimes it feels like I sway so close to death and at those times I just wish death would come to me. That Grim Reaper, he is teasing me. It feels like he is just about to take the pain away, but the I wake up staring at Manuels’ cold dead eyes.

November 21, 1940
     It helps to think about my old life. Stay positive. Don’t, don't, don't, think about Anneleise. If I think about her, I might actually die because I might kill myself. I can't stand to think of her like this. She might be starving, suffering, barely breathing, dying, her delicate hands that used to make the piano sing, now only bone oh no my Anneleise! And stars come, my visions s starting to go again, I wonder if she sees stars too…

November 22, 1940
     Positive, Anneleise might already be dead. She is not too cold. If Anna is dead,she is not suffering. That is good. Positive.

The first time I saw her we were so young. It seems like another lifetime. Anna lived in the apartment above me with her sister, Edith. She never wanted to tell me how her parents died. It was too painful for her. I remember hearing the stomping and banging of dancing feet above the ceiling, and all I wanted to do was join them. The fun stopped all too soon. When the Nazis came, my father took me Edith and my Anneleise to his Poland. We were going to be safe. We were supposed to be safe. I was abandon medical school and I would live in the country with with Anna and we would have a cottage with field of wildflowers. I would be an artist and paint my Anneleise in the garden. She would play her piano for me and teach me how to dance. Anna promised she would teach me. But she never even got the chance.

November 23, 1940
     I don't want to think of Anneleise as dead. That is not the most positive. The most positive is I will see her again because she has escaped. She was, no is always so smart, smarter than any man I ever knew. Oh! The next time I see Anna is all I think about. Weather it is in heaven or in a field of wildflowers. She is all I can think about, because nothing else warms my freezing heart.

November 24, 1940
     Please, Anna, if you ever read this know I love you. I always have. The moment I finally knocked on your door and you answered it with the brightest smile, I knew I loved you. I remember the black wisps of hair that had escaped your bun, framing your pale face. When I asked if I could join your dancing, you pulled me in by the sleeve and I watched you and Edith dance like children all around the apartment. That was the day you promised to teach me how to dance. You broke that promise. I still have two left feet. I broke promises too though. I promised to keep you safe. Only a year after we met we were running away together. Not the romantic kind of running away like in our dreams. We were running from the Nazis with Edith and my father. That was just over two months ago. Now I'm stuck in this concrete box of a room and I haven't eaten in two days and I still don't know where you are.

Today, It has been exactly one month since I have last seen you Anneleise. I will never stop counting the days.

November 25, 1940
     You told me to write about my life while you were away Anna, but I don't want to. It is too terrible and the pain is too great. It is not the physical pain. The starving is not the worst if you don't think about how hungry you are. It can be ignored. It is the mental pain. That drives me crazy. Completely insane! I start asking myself all these questions. Questions like, what if we went to France!? France will defeat the Nazis! We would be safe! We could be eating  fresh baguettes, fancy cheese, and drinking rich wine under the eiffel tower. Or America! Oh Anna will you go to AMerica with me? We could the sunset on the skyline of New York. The contrast of  your black hair against a golden sunset would be a brilliantly beautiful painting. Knowing that this will never happen is what causes a greater pain in my heart than any lack of food in my stomach could cause.

November 26, 1940

     This is a poem I heard while still in school. It is by an American man called Countee Cullen. I find that I relate to Mr. Cullen very much.

All through an empty place I go,
And find her not in any room;
The candles and the lamps I light
Go down before a wind of gloom.
Thick-spraddled lies the dust about,
A fit, sad place to write her name
Or draw her face the way she looked
That legendary night she came.

The old house crumbles bit by bit;
Each day I hear the ominous thud
That says another rent is there
For winds to pierce and storms to flood.

My orchards groan and sag with fruit;
Where, Indian-wise, the bees go round;
I let it rot upon the bough;
I eat what falls upon the ground.

The heavy cows go laboring
In agony with clotted teats;
My hands are slack; my blood is cold;
I marvel that my heart still beats.

I have no will to weep or sing,
No least desire to pray or curse;
The loss of love is a terrible thing;
They lie who say that death is worse

November 28, 1940
     Is is a good day today Anna! It Is not as cold, and the sun is out! There is good news! The soldiers came back today. They say they are taking us to get cleaned up so we will look better when the general comes. I do not wish to see more evil men, but maybe if the general comes the conditions will get better! They have fed us bread and some soup. I even have a whole cantene of clean water! They have also even given us each a bar of soap.  Half the men here already left. They haven't come back  yet, but they are now taking the rest of us. I will be healthy soon! I will see you Anna! Knowing that I have the energy to get to get up and even walk! I know I will see you. I have to go know. I will see you again my Anneleise!

The author's comments:

This piece is a journal told from the perspective of a Jewish man in a concentration camp in November of the year 1940. 

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