I am a German Officer. I serve my captain, and my country, to whatever extent. I must send these unfavourables on to the Auschwitz Camp, with no question.
I am a doubtful German Officer. In fact, I cannot decide what I am right now. A monster? Innocent? 'Only following orders'? I can't decide.
A woman steps out of the train carriage, two small children at her feet; and girl and a boy. The crude officer next to me walks over and confronts the woman. For what, I could never guess, so I join him.
"You are only allowed one child with you." He states. I almost gasped, but kept my face deadpan as required.
"I-I'm sorry, please! They're my children!.." The poor woman pleads. I can see what is going to happen next.
"One mother, one child. This is the rule. Choose a child before I shoot you all." He demands, grasping the handle of his gun for emphasis. The lady starts to cry and beg, hugging her children close. I couldn't stop picturing her as my own mother, had our places been reversed. How cruel, how selfish.
"We give no pity, woman!" My partner shouts, and I step back at the horror of being included in his game.
"My son! I choose my son!" She screams helplessly at last, and holds them close to her bosom with an iron grip. I want to speak out, but I know my place. I would be shot too, and good riddance in their opinion.
The daughter, probably the younger and weaker of the two, is ripped from her mother, and starts to wail desperately.
I thought of reaching out, but something to the left caught my eye. A small girl, dressed from head-to-foot in a filthy blue dress, is standing and watching us.
"Anton..." I mumble, tapping my partner's shoulder. He flips round, impatiently.
I didn't have the willpower to speak. I had been encased in the fantasy this child was spinning, just by watching us. She reminded me of my mother. Whenever she thought I had done something awful, she would give me a long, dissapointed stare. The whole weight of the world was crashing down on me, and could do nothing to stop it.
I felt my knees hit the floor. I wasn't aware that it seemed like I was kneeling.
"What are you doing?!" Anton screeched.
"I-I don't..." I started. He raised his free hand (the other holding the daughter), grabbed my collar and dragged me up.
"I could have you reported for this." He growled, just like a dog.
Suddenly, the girl was next to him, resting her hand on the arm that held me up. When he noticed, he dropped me and smacked her, but accidentally let go of the daughter, who ran back to her mother.
Confused by all this chaos, Anton began shouting at everyone and everything in sight. Then, furious as he was, walked off to fetch some of the SS. I turned and shooed everyone away, and tried to make sure they were safe from Anton when he got back.
I never saw that girl again. I never saw anyone again, really. I was sent back to the capital and formally punished for defiance. And that was, thankfully, the end of my career.