To the Ghettos we go
than eleven, but clearly Jewish. The boy was no older, even younger, maybe, but not Jewish at all. The animal-eyed kid didn’t even look related to the girl The trip to the ghetto was rough, but we had enough to eat and a good-sized cabin. More than I had some other places. It didn’t take long before we arrived, and marched off the train. It was like stepping into the city market when there were fresh meats to be sold. Chaos, Jews were all running around, trying to get what food they could. We were shown to the barracks where I received my official orders. I was willing to follow orders, as had my entire life. My job was now to patrol the perimeter of the ghetto, shooting any escapees on sight. Not a hard job.
My life soon settled into predictable routine. My mornings consisted of standing outside the fence. My afternoons were the same. A ten-minute break at noon for a bite to eat, and at 1900 hours another guard came to relive me. All day long I cradled a M6-14 in my arms. The best gun. One I had assembled so often, I wondered if I had done this one. I knew every curve and flintlock. This went on for half a year. I soon knew many people on the other side of the wall by face and nick-name, many of them crude.
January 1940, I saw two children trying to escape, sliding under the chain-linked fence. I stopped them at gunpoint, ready to shoot. It didn’t take long to look them over, there was nothing but skin and bones to them. The girl could be no older at all. He looked like a Gypsy. He had a bright, yellow stone around his neck, which aroused my curiosity. “We were just going to find food.” The girl said, fear-stricken. It was a wonder she was able to say anything. Even out of my hatred for their kind, I pitied them. I knew what it was like to be hungry, and desperate. I considered what I could do, and the consequences for that. I studied them for a long time. Easily scared into coming back, hey would be. “You may go, but only an hour. And only in this end of Warsaw. If you try to escape, you will be shot. Clear?” They nodded quickly, then scurried off as I looked around to see if anyone had seen us converse. No one had. I wondered how they understood me. Didn’t they only speak gibberish, yet I spoke the best and cleanliest of languages, which no Jew-dog knows?
The pair was soon back, pockets laden with what seemed to be stolen goods. I somehow knew they would only take form those who could afford it. They didn’t seem to be the uncaring type that would have no empathy. I looked around for my fellow guards, but I could see none. They slipped through the chain-link fence, but not before slipping me a piece of polish sausage. This went on twice a week for a near month. They slipped out at a signal, and then came back and went in, like child ghosts. I assumed they shared the food with their families. I hoped they had families.