Dalia's Story

February 21, 2012
By Twlightreader5 SILVER, Delhi, Iowa
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Twlightreader5 SILVER, Delhi, Iowa
8 articles 28 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
I like the twilight quote, "If you could live forever what would you live for?" And some other quotes...
"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path, and leave a trail."- Ralph Waldo Emerson


Author's note: I was interested in the Holocaust after I learned about it in a history class. So I looked into the history of it more, and when we had to write a short story in English this is what I chose to write about. That was a couple of years ago. I found this story back, and went and made changes that I felt made the story better. I hope you all enjoy, and please give me your feedback.I would love to improve it even more!

My 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.

When we came to a stop everyone seemed to become relieved.

The door came open.

“Out now!” a soldier yelled.

Everyone rushed out as quickly as possible. Even though we were all frightened, we were glad to see sunshine.

Then we looked further. We saw buildings, barracks and barb wire fences.

Where were we I wondered. This certainly didn’t look like the kind of camp I was thinking of. This placed looked run down, and there was something ominous about it.

“Take off all of your jewelry. And any possessions you may have,” A very harsh faced soldier commanded, “If you don’t take them off by the time we get to you we’ll rip them off for you!”

Everyone hurriedly took off jewelry and removed any possessions from their pockets. I happened to be having trouble with my bracelet clasp. A soldier walked up to me and ripped it right off. He did this so hard my skin turned a reddish purple. It burned.

“Now your shoes,” he said.

We removed them as fast as we could.

“I’m sure you are all wondering what this is. It’s where you all are getting resettled,” the man said, “now women and children on one line, men on the other. We will go down the lines sorting you all out by what we think you can do.”

The Germans walked down the lines examining us. They put many young children, sick adults, and elders in one group. When a soldier got to the twins he examined them, and told Meira to go to the other line. She coughed and looked very weak.

“No let her stay with me!” mother cried.

“She is sick. She can not do the same labor as you,” a blond headed German said.

Meira was sobbing, “Mama,” she whispered.

Mother just tearfully looked after Meira as she got taken away with the weaker group.

Maya was young too, but not sick. She was also stronger than Meira.

In the next few hours our heads were shaven, we were tattooed with a number that we needed to remember, and we had to put on striped uniforms. We looked terrible, and I felt so embarrassed.

That night we had to lay down in tiny barracks where we hardly had room to move. I used my imagination to imagine that I was at home sleeping in the room I shared with the twins.

The next day I learned from someone who had been there a long time, that the weak ones wouldn't be put in a different job. They would be burned. I thought she was awful for saying such an absurd statement. I had to believe my little sister was safe. She just had to be. Could it be true though? Was that what the gross sweet smell was last night, burning bodies? I shuddered as I thought of that.

At lunch the newcomers, which included me, were able to eat for the first time since arriving yesterday. For some reason we never received supper last night.

We received some soup that was hardly anything more than water.When I went to take my bowl to the people who were serving, they said I needed to keep it, so I did.

After supper I saw Reuben standing on the other side of the fence that separated the men from the women.

I ran up to the fence, “Reuben! How is everyone? Are you ok?” I asked him. I knew that it was ok to speak to him because I saw others speaking to their friends and relatives through the fence too.

“Everyone is fine. Except… Mr. Torin. He wouldn’t shut up he just kept yelling at the Germans. A German shot him right on the spot,” he said.

“So he’s dead!” I cried softly.

“No, he didn’t die yet, but he will. He’s in terrible condition. Oh Dalia I really shouldn’t have told you. I don’t want you to be scared. We need to stay strong. It’s probably best that you inform Mrs. Torin and Marnie though. They have the right to know. I just hope that it doesn’t cause them to lose hope.”

“How am I supposed to tell my best friend her father’s dying?” I remarked.

“Dalia, you have to,” he said, “ I love you sister, and I want you to know that no matter what happens you need to stay strong, seems like that’s the only way to stay alive around here. Do you understand?” he asked with a serious face.

“Yes, I understand,” I replied, “I will do my best.”

“Ok dad, Hersch, and I send our love to you all, hopefully see you soon.”

That night in the barracks I told the Torin’s about what happened to Mr. Torin.
Mrs. Torin and Marnie wept. We decided it would be best not to tell Atara. She was very sick, and probably couldn’t handle to hear it. I heard Marnie crying almost all night.

Weeks went by. We received word of Mr. Torin’s death. Atara just became sicker and sicker. Mrs. Torin couldn’t stand that there was nothing she could do for her little girl. One morning I awoke to Mrs. Torin leaning over Atara weeping hysterically. Atara’s lifeless body just laid there.

I was concerned about Marnie, all she had left was her mother. I hadn’t seen her smile in weeks. She was like a ghost walking around with not even a hint of emotion. She never spoke anymore either, so I never knew what she was thinking. We both worked in a room where we sewed clothes for the Germans. Mother, Maya, and Mrs. Torin worked in the kitchen with some other women. Maya almost had to do cleaning at the hospital, but one of the kitchen workers, Mica, was able to put her with mother. I don’t know how Mica did that though. She became a dear friend to us, after her kind deed.

Every few nights I would see Reuben by the fence after supper. We shared info about how everyone was. Sometimes mother would come over and talk to him with me. Father and Hersch hardly ever came. Reuben said that they were put to work right after supper. They only come to the fence usually about once every week and a half or 2. It was scary never knowing when the last time you would see them would be.

I later learned that the burnings were true. Those Germans tried to hide the true meaning of the showers, but we knew from the screams that it was not water that they were being exposed to. After they were gassed they would be taken to be cremated every night. The smell was sickening, and seeing the smoke from the building was worse.

I 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.

I 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.



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