The acrid stench of blood and death greeted my nostrils as I stepped off the train…actually I was thrown off the train, but that’s beside the point. The point is that I knew this wasn’t the safe place the SS officers offered us. They lied. I shrugged of the betrayal. What was I supposed to expect? Them to hand me a silver platter with Hitler’s head on it? A large line of us Jews stood waiting for the man at the front to point us to the right or left. Once I got to the front, the man looked me up and down. He glared at me and pointed to the right. My chest tightened ~Did he send me to my death?~ I asked myself. ~Or did he send me to freedom?~ I glanced around at the bone thin figures and gasped in horror. ~He sent me to hard labor! Starvation! I am not free, I’m a slave now.~ I realized. They sheered my hair like a sheep in the spring. I looked at myself in a puddle from the scarce rain and inhaled sharply. Who I saw was not me. I couldn’t recognize myself. I wanted to scream at the Nazis, throw something at them, do SOMETHING to show them they were wrong. But they believed we were vermin, nothing else. I closed my eyes and stopped working. ~Let them shoot me! I don’t want to live like this anymore!~ The excruciating pain in my back told me that my prayer had been heard. I closed my eyes peacefully sighing with relief as blackness swept over me like a dark, sweet wave.
December 13, 2011