I spent many months in Lodz. But I cannot waste what precious paper I have recounting what happened there. Because that in contrast, is insignificant, it was like a training exercise. Resilience is rendered useless here. I’m aware the world is a cruel place, but this is ridiculous. They spare us no compassion, not an ounce of civility.
One unbelievably sweltering day the summer, they took a large group of us from the ghetto. We were herded into the back of boxcars. Cattle trucks. There was barely room to breathe, let alone sit. We were stuck standing for hours that seemed endless as we were transported. Not that it made much of a difference, but I was fortunate enough to be to the edge of the truck, where the hot air filtered through the barred windows. I was sandwiched between two sickly looking women. Both of which were alive when we first boarded, but were dead by the end of the agonizing journey. I kept my head turned up, away from the sight of their stiffening bodies. The intolerable conditions had simply saved the Nazis the trouble of killing them by their own hands.
As darkness engulfed the tiny truck, in some hour of the night or early morning, between the two I couldn’t tell, the truck reached its apparent destination. I, along with those who were still alive, tumbled out of the trucks. From the dark conditions of the truck, the unnatural bright lights and commotion blinded all my senses. Long enough for my body to be crushed within the sea of frantic people and moved along between the gates. I cannot waste what paper I have left trifling about the smallest details. Because, they mean nothing. Just as the lives in this nightmare mean nothing.
But our, ‘orientation’, did nothing short of destroy some of the remaining illusions held most of the women in my transport. I was not one of them. I came to this place with no hope of reprieve, as many of the others did.
”ZWEI LINIEN, TWO LINES “, was screamed once, and the women of my transport quickly arranged themselves in two haphazard lines.
”LASSEN SIE IHR GEPACK, LEAVE YOUR LUGGAGE“ .
The lines began to creep forward, stepping over the remaining luggage as we did so.