Prisoner of War
Those moments were the worst. Those moments while I was on the train, not knowing what to think or what to expect. I knew exactly where I was going but that was all. Would I die? What would the conditions be like?
Those questions and more were going through my head while I was on the train. My brother who was near me on the train said that no-one survived these places. I didn't know whether he was being truthful or just playing with my mind. That worried me. Those concentration camps were said to be the death of all Jews. I hoped that wouldn't be the case. Couldn't they have spared a 15 year old girl? Or at least given me more of my family.
The conditions of the camp were just horrible. We received hardly any food or water and what we did get was of poor quality. Within 2 weeks of entering the camp about 60 people had already died. They thought that no-one noticed but it was kind of hard not to. Everyone who was sick was still made to work. It was absolutely horrible. It was then that I knew it was more than just a possibility that I was going to die in there.
It was unbearable to think about. It haunted my dreams. I knew the end was near, but how close was near? So many people had already died. What if I was next? It was pure evil! We had hardly any sleep, were expected to work for at least 15 hours a day with very little food or water. It was practically slavery.
What my brother said on the train turned out to be right. He should know, he was one of the first to die. These camps were death sentences to anyone who entered, besides the guards of course.
We all had to bathe together which wasn't very often. We never had a chance to wash our clothes, so we were stuck in dirty clothes. The sleeping arrangements were even worse than everything else. I never thought it would get this bad. It was terrible beyond belief.
The people I had started to get to know had all become sick and were made to work even harder. I didn't think it could get any worse. As always I was wrong again. After the people I knew died, I was certain that I would be soon, but I ended up being wrong about that as well. Many more people died within the next few weeks and each week a train load of Jews turned up. It was like they were replacing the dead just to kill the replacements. I was surprised that I hadn't died yet, or even gotten sick. I was still healthier than most people. Surprisingly, I was healthier than some people just turning up and I had been in here for months.
Some people who turned up were really sick and I was just starting to develop an illness. I didn't even think it was a proper illness. I just started to get sick because of lack of food and water. It's even worse than when the special Jewish laws came in. Us Jews weren't allowed to do anything. We were only allowed to go certain places at certain times. We had to go to certain schools and even had to identify ourselves as being Jewish. These concentration camps were so much worse.
Here we have to work practically non-stop. We have three meals a day but still it's so little. It was obvious as to why everyone was getting so sick and dying. Even when we were sick we had to work which I think was stupid.
I was getting worse. I knew I was starving. It was really bad. I was always tired and it meant I was slacking off with the work even though I always tried hard hoping if I worked harder than the others they would let me go. By then, though, I knew it would never happen.
But people were noticing. People were acknowledging the fact that I wasn't trying anymore. That I just didn't care. The only thing that people didn't realise was that everyone was getting sick. We didn't even get food anymore and we got hardly any water now. Just about everyone was sick and people were dying more often now. I don't think that a single person was healthy at all.
Now I know what it's like for the people dying of hunger and exhaustion. I now know how horrible it gets because now I'm one of them. I still have to work but what I do is minimal. When I first got here I thought the camps reputation was a lie. Now I am absolutely positive that all of it was true. Now, unlike before, I was definitely positive that I would die in the very near future. Everyone else around me could also tell. The guards seem to miss it. They acted as if everything was normal. To them it probably was normal.
I'm pretty sure I'm on my last breath at the moment. It's been a month since I first thought the end was near. Just a few more minutes, I keep telling myself. Death will be better than being alive in this place. I know I'll be forgotten in a few days but still I feel like somehow I'll be remembered.
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Book / Young Adult
Short Story / Memoir
Poem / Romance
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