www.whyville.net Apr 26, 2009 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

You Don't Live Forever: Part 1

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Author's Note: This story was written in the perspective of Holocaust victim, Bertha Adler.

After what seemed like forever, the train came to a stop. I grabbed the few things I had left, but before I could take my little sister's hand, we were thrown off of the still moving train. We landed solidly while others fell the ground, shrieking at the pain their wounds caused them. I did what I could to ignore the screams, the scent, the filth . . . it was hard. There was no place to walk other than forward.

I grabbed Aliza's hand and explained, "We have to stay together, okay, Aliza? There is no way we can be separated in a place like this. Don't ever let go of my hand. Ever. You got that?" She nodded her head quickly, clearly afraid of what could happen to us.

The place was crowded. So many people surrounded me, I could barely find my own feet. I squeezed Aliza's hand for reassurance and walked ahead. We found a large group of girls in front of us and joined them. We walked along for what felt like hours until we reached a tall, crumbling building.

Two girls behind me were talking to each other quietly; one said, "I can't believe they're doing this to us. All because we're Jewish? This is ridiculous."

The other girl replied softly, "I know. The Germans make me sick to my stomach." The sound of heavy footsteps came closer and closer until they reached the girls behind me. Aliza looked up at me with a worried look on her face, not knowing how to respond, I signaled for her to keep quiet.

Piercing cries came from behind me. I turned around and was petrified by the sight. The officer pounded on the girls' bodies mercilessly. He punched their faces, kicked at their chests . . . it was heart-wrenching. The officer stood up, laughed at the beating he gave the two girls, and opened the door. I couldn't believe what I had just witnessed.

"Bertha?" Aliza uttered softly, "I love you, even if we don't survive here."

Two by two, girls entered the building. The inside of the building wasn't much better than the outside. It was just as musty and dry. We were lead into a narrow hallway and smaller groups of girls were placed inside different rooms. After about 30 girls had been placed, there were 3 rooms left. Ten girls were to be sent into one room, including Aliza.

I cried out, "No! Don't take her. Please let her stay with me!" The officer grunted and took her from beneath my grasp. He pushed her inside violently, completely ignoring her deafening wails.

The door closed loudly but I could still hear my little sister's voice. "Why can't I be with her? I need her! I need her! No!" Her hands banged against the door vigorously.

I was laying on the floor, tears streaming down my face. I tried as hard as I could to scream, but no sound came from my mouth. How could I let this happen? Who will take care of her? Endless thoughts overflowed my brain. A guard grabbed my arm and shoved me into the last room. I wiped my eyes and blinked. It was completely silent except for my heavy breathing.

"Hi," I managed to release, only to realize I was greeting myself and no one else.

Author's Note: Source: http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/idcard.php?lang=en&ModuleId=10006524


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