The Nazi Boy
TrainingFinally, I understood why someone needed them. That night, when we all ate our single, small bowl of potage, an announcement was made. They said for anyone who was sixteen or older to stand up. I was seventeen, and it was January 1939. I stood up. We were applauded greatly, and said we were to partake in a grand adventure, save our country and win medals, honour and pride.
They soon rounded us up. There were about eighteen boys, all I knew from either meals or work. Before we could register what was happening, we were in the backs of two trucks, split into two groups. They told us what was happening, and in a rather bland way. We were going to be soldiers. We were to serve Herr Hitler and fight the Jewish devil.
We were brought to a large building, where they had us write our names on papers and answer questions. Then we all swore an oath. I wondered about them, and the wording. Had I known what we were getting into, I would have blatantly refused. We were given uniforms, a small mess kit, emergency rations and lo and behold, a smooth-hilted, sharp-triggered gun. They gave us ammunition to go with it, and showed us how to use it. They told me one thing, “Use this, and kill the Jews.” I wasn’t sure what to make of it. Maybe I was pleased; maybe I would be able to kill the Jew that killed my parents.
We stayed in dorm-like rooms that night. It was very late and dark, but not much worse than the orphanage. I didn’t get any sleep, though. Emotions were running through me like a freight train. One moment, I was excited for going to war, the next I was worried. What if one of us was killed by the devils? It was not a good thought. In the barrack was a soldier going back to the lines after a rare leave. “Don’t go.” He warned me. “Run away, go anywhere. Just don’t stay there. It’s a living hell.” I considered his words, then brushed them off.
The next morning the bugler had us tumbling off the cold, hard beds before sun’s rays even touched earth. The boys around me groaned, even at the orphanage we could sleep ‘till sun-up. We were marched outside after dressing and grabbing our issued supplies. After falling in, I was told I was to work in the Warsaw ghetto, in Poland. Everyone was assigned to platoons and companies, to be sent all through the land.
I was given basic training with a new division and squadron. After I had learnt Drill, Machine Ops, and Gunning Tech, My new Squadron was sent to guard the Ghetto, under Colonel Fusich. We were packed onto a train six months after I left the orphanage. It wasn’t hard to make a transfer, really. Besides the minor things, the orphanage and military were run almost the exact same. There were boys and men from cities, people of wealth and lushness who struggled to stay awake, and complained regularly about the training.