A chilling reminder of the horrors of the Holocaust.
You wake to the sound of an SS officer thumping on the door of your one-roomed home.
You and your parents aren’t given time to pack. You aren’t told where or why you’re going. You don’t even get time to grab a book, or your diary, but you do manage to slip a pencil into your pocket. You dress hurriedly and are dragged out of the warm, into the cold street. Rain spits down overhead.
Your Dad tries to ask something, but the officer just prods him in the back with his baton and tells him to get a move on.
You feel worried and anxious. You wonder if you’re going to be alright.
You are led down the street, towards the center of the town. The houses, small and run-down where you live, grow bigger and newer. The rain overhead begins to increase in force.
There doesn’t seem to be anyone else around. When you do see someone, they look away and dart off into another street, keeping their head down. Your feeling of unease grows.
The rain changes from a gentle patter to a steadily growing roar. It beats down overhead, turning the street to mud.
You reach the center of the town.
In the muddy, wet clearing outside the Mayor’s three-storied house are dozens of other people, crying and wailing as they are loaded into five German trucks. The trucks are old and plain. Colourless, sagging, hole-ridden tarpaulins stretch over decrepit wooden framework like a shroud, forming a semi-enclosed space on the back tray of the vehicle. Their tires are crusted with mud, their tread long worn away. Only one has both mirrors intact.
But what unsettles you the most is the fact that the people being loaded into the trucks are wearing the Star of David on their chest. They are all Jewish, like you.