Author's note: I was interested in the Holocaust after I learned about it in a history class. So I looked into... Show full author's note »
IntroductionMy name is Dalia. I live in a small town in eastern Poland. I am 13 and a half. My family consists of; my twin sisters Maya and Meira, my brothers Reuben and Hersch. The twins will be 10 in about 3 months. Reuben is 15, and Hersch is 16. My mother and father’s names are Judith and Mendel. My parents try to treat us all equally. Even the the twins do tend to receive a little more.
We were on our way to our neighbors for brunch. I couldn’t wait to see Marnie, my best friend..
When we arrived Marnie’s parents, the Torins, hurried us in.
“Judith, Mendel, we need to speak to you privately,” Mr. Torin said.
The Torins led them into another room.
“What’s going on?” I asked Marnie.
“I have no idea, but they’ve been acting weird ever since last night,” Marnie said while grabbing Atara before she fell off a chair. Atara was Marnie’s 4 year old sister.
A few minutes later the adults walked out. Mother had a puzzling face. I couldn’t tell what she was thinking.
“We should tell them,” Mrs. Torin said.
Girls, Reuben, and Hersch,” father addressed us all, “We are being relocated because of the war. German soldiers arrived in town last night.”
He went on to tell us that we would be taken to camps by what Mr. Torin heard, but that he knew no more. I figured there was more he wasn’t telling us that Mr. Torin said, because I could see pure fear behind his eyes.
The twins cried, but mother told them that we shouldn’t be away for too long.
“None of us want to leave, so lets just run away till they’re gone?” Reuben asked.
“It’s too late. Also we don’t know what type of camp we will be resettled in. It’s probably best to go with the soldiers. We wouldn’t want to get caught in the middle of a war,” Mr. Torin replied.
An hour later we heard the door banging. Mr. Torin answered the door.
“Jews come with!” A uniformed man yelled.
“Where are you planning to take us?” Mr. Torin commanded.
“You are being resettled for the war. Now come!”
“Let us grab our belongings,” Mrs. Torin pleaded as we rushed out the door.
“No, we need to hurry. Besides you will have plenty of things at the camp.” the soldier said.
“I’ve sure heard different,” Mr. Torin mumbled under his breath.
We were shuffled towards a truck. I saw many familiar faces from town as I climbed in. I helped Maya and Meira in, then got in myself, filling the truck full.
As the rest of my family and the Torin’s got shoved to another truck my mother stopped.
“I need to ride with my girls,” mother said. A soldier just pushed her away harshly.
I was terrified. I wanted to go with my mother. The twins cried.
“How can they be so harsh?” Mrs. Levi complained, “What do they have against us?”
“It’s cause we’re Jews,” Ronen said sadly.
“Ronen where’s your father?” Mrs. Levi asked.
“He wouldn’t leave the store. So now he’s gone.”
Ronen’s father had owned his own store in town. Ronen planned to take it over when he was older.
“What do you mean by…gone,” Mrs. Levi asked.
“I think you know,” Ronen said.
After hours of standing in silence, we came to a complete stop.
The soldiers shuffled us to a train. I wish we’d lived closer to the railroad tracks. The ride in the trucks were awful.
This time the Torin’s and the rest of my family ended up somewhat closer to each other. Father filed in right next to me.
“Where are we going?” I asked him.
“I don’t know, but there’s no need to worry. We are safe as long as we have each other.”
“Safe! What a statement. Do you even know what’s happening to us?” Someone who overheard father yelled.
Father ignored them. The train was packed. I had no room. People’s skin touched right up against me in every direction.
We traveled for two and a half long days. We all were hungry and desperately tired.