Your Life or Their Life

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
After learning about the Holocaust and reading Night and The Diary of Anne Frank, you can imagine that the plight of the Jews had a great effect on me. In this time, I wrote about a young Jew boy, who is given the choice of killing his parents, or dying himself. What does he do?

Submitted: August 01, 2012

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Submitted: August 01, 2012





“Hey Jew! Come here!” a German soldier ordered.

Colin scratched his grubby skin, his fingernails turning black with the dust and soot. Faintly, he could hear the screams of terror as German officials mercilessly tossed innocent children into the flames. He lifted himself up and walked out of the tent.

He was not given any overcoat as he walked into the whirlwind of snow. He knew that if he asked, they would whip him then burn him alive. His lips turned blue, his feet almost black; yet, he continued to walk. Eyes stared at him from their tents, wide with terror and pity. They pitied him for the fact that he was about to be killed; another murder in Hitler’s mindless massacre. But he did not pity himself. Life meant nothing to him-it had become an endless nightmare. He would embrace his death as a gift bestowed on him by God.

Colin was led to a large chamber-the gas chamber. Detested and feared by all of the Jewish people, it carried the death of thousands of innocents on it. The people would be kept inside, and then the gas would be turned on. It would only be a matter of minutes before they were suffocated to death. It was in front of this accursed place that he was pushed.

And, with his own eyes, he could see his own parents sleeping inside.

The Germans leveled a gun at his head.

“Turn the gas on, or we shoot.”
To turn the gas on, there was a simple lever. There was oxygen flowing in at that time, but when he was to pull the lever, a poisonous gas would pour in, suffocating his parents to death. This was a torture that the Germans inflicted upon the innocent Jews. A torture not through physical abuse, but through mental dissension. Should he die, or should he cause the death of his parents? The strength that he had minutes ago had dissipated. He fell to his knees, eyes moistening with tears. He had never cried since he came to the Auschwitz camp, but now he did. Tears froze in mid-air, like frozen crystals. And, with the cold gun pushing against his head, he pulled the lever.  

At first, it seemed as if nothing happened. A quarter of a minute passed by, each of them staring with intense concentration.

Then, the twitches.

They were minor at first, just a twitch of a finger or a toe. Soon their bodies began to convulse. Their eyes shot open, suddenly aware of what was happening to them. They leapt at the glass, clawing at it, screaming, shouting, cursing, swearing, vowing. High pitched screams rang out from the chamber. Hands clutched at their throats. Eyes turned red. Breaths became shallow.

They were writhing, screaming, wailing, clawing, jumping, shouting, cursing, swearing, lunging, crying, wailing, vowing, hitting, gasping, flailing, kicking, punching, crawling, staring,  accusing, wishing, praying, dying.

Colin couldn’t believe it. These, these creatures were his parents. Not calm and composed, but more violent than wild animals. Their behavior was disturbing him, probing into his brain, retrieving painful memories of his life with them. Images of his parents lunging at him to kill filled his mind. Why Colin, why? You disobedient son! Son! We don’t want to call you that. Saving your own life at the expense of ours! You coward! They seemed to be yelling at him.

He couldn’t stand it anymore. He broke out into a cold sweat. His fingers touched the lever, and, at the same moment, his mind broke into anarchy.


If you let them die, you will be a sinner!


Let them die! Just continue the family line!


No! He was not to kill his parents!


The Germans will kill them anyway!


With all the strength in his body, he pulled the lever down, cancelling the flow of the gas.

And he was shot in the head..

He was 10 years old.


© Copyright 2018 Siri Carr. All rights reserved.

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