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 »
The End and New BeginningI woke up to the siren used to wake us. We had been here for about 2 months now. I wondered if we would ever get out of this camp. I wondered what was happening in the outside world at that time.
I went over to Marnie’s bed to make her get up.
“Marnie get up. Didn’t you hear the morning siren? I know you want to give up, but that is selfish of you to think like that! You must try to stay alive for your mother. She would have none of her family if you died. Don’t you realize how much you mean to her?” I couldn’t take her attitude any longer, but felt bad after I spoke.
“Fine. I will get up.”
Even though it wasn’t much, I couldn’t believe she had spoken.
We walked out together far behind the others.
“We need to hurry or we’ll be late.”
We ran and made it just in time.
“We were concerned you wouldn’t make it on time,” a girl we had gotten to know named Rosalie said.
“Get to work!” a German said, then walked out of the room.
Sewing most of the day could become very difficult, but it was what we had to do to stay alive.
“How is Reuben?” Marnie asked. She tried to sound casual, but I knew that she had a crush on him for years now. I was glad to see some of her personality return.
“He’s ok, I guess,” I replied.
“That’s good,” she said.
We became silent for the rest of the work day. I was hopeful that Marnie would pull out of her saddened, wanting to give up, mood. I didn’t want her to lose faith.
That evening I walked up to Reuben. He had a very sad look on his face.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“Some men are being transferred to a new camp. Hersch and I are included. They won’t tell us where this camp is.”
“This is awful we’re supposed to stick together,” I felt like crying.
“You know I can’t control it. Don’t worry Dalia. We will be ok. Father will still be here.”
“When do you leave?” I asked.
“Tomorrow morning. So I’m saying good-bye to you now. Hersch says good-bye too, and wishes he had the chance to tell you in person. Tell mother and Maya how much we love them ok?”He said, “ I love you so much sis, and I want you to know what ever happens to us we will always be in your heart,” he muffled trying to hold back the tears sprouting from his eyes.
“Ok, I promise to tell them, I love you too,” that’s the last thing I said to him before he walked away. I cried as I walked back to my barracks. I knew I would probably never see my brothers ever again.
More weeks went by. One morning I woke up to the morning siren and I heard Maya coughing. She just had her tenth birthday the day before.
“Are you ok?” I asked concerned.
“Yes, I’m fine. I just have a little cough it’s nothing. Even if it was bad what would I do?”
I considered that question. There really wasn’t anything she could do. The hospital wasn’t a good place to go. If she stayed resting they would probably take her to the gas chamber.
I went off to work with Marnie. When lunch came Maya was spooning out soup for everyone. She looked so tired. I never had the chance to ask her how she was, but I saw mother’s concerned face. Mother must have noticed Maya’s coughing also.
That night Maya went to sleep and never awoke. Another lifeless body of someone I loved. Life was so miserable in this place. I wanted to try and imagine a better place, but I couldn’t anymore. Everyone was in bad health. Mrs. Torin only had so much more time she had caught a terrible virus.
One week later Marnie and I were talking with Rosalie after supper when mother walked up to us. Her face very grim. Marnie knew instantly, her face became sullen.
“Marnie I’m so sorry, but your mother is gone. She was just so weak. She passed out, and the filthy Germans took her away,” she whispered.
All color left Marnie’s face, “She was all I had left!” she sobbed.
“You have us,” I said hugging her.
“Thanks,” she said still crying.
Everyday I saw people go to the chambers, poor innocent people that never deserved such an awful thing. I wondered where Reuben and Hersch were, if they were alive or not?
Everything was so familiar to me now in the camp. We had been there for about 6 months. One day when newcomers arrived they told us what was happening out in the world. They said that they were hiding when the soldiers found them. They also informed us that the war would be coming to an end soon they felt, and hopefully camps would get liberated. This hope, we all held onto.
Marnie and I got to be great friends with Rosalie. Her mother worked in a sorting building, which was the only place where women and men worked together. She always had things to tell us about.
“ Mother says your father is weak, Dalia, but still strong enough to do the work that is required of him,” Rosalie told us.
“What about your uncle, Rosalie, is he still ok?” Marnie asked.
“No I’m afraid not,” we stood in silence after that until we had to go back to our barracks.
Rosalie only had her mother left who would soon die of sickness. Soon Rosalie would be just like Marnie. Alone.
Weeks progressed. Germans begun to take more and more people to the gas chambers. We wondered what triggered them to do this. Everyone was more terrified than ever.