Work Makes You Free

Arbeit Macht Frei or, in English, Work Makes You Free was the sign seen by millions of people as they entered hell and their deaths. This sign marked the entrance to Auschwitz, a concentration/extermination camp where over 1 million Jews died. This is a made up story about a girl who was sent to Auschwitz, and the story of her life in there.

 Adelein had pale blonde hair and shining blue eyes. Her skin was very fair, and her features were pleasing to look at. She always wore a thoughtful expression. Merely seeing her, you couldn't help but think she was intelligent, and maybe a little mischievous. Adelein appeared to be the perfect example of a member of the Aryan race. No one would ever believe she was a Jew.

 For sixteen years, Adelein had been mistaken for a pure German. At her old house, the local kids played with her, and always welcomed her into their circles. Her father owned a candy store, so everyday after school, she and her group of friends would sneak over to the shop and bribe a piece of candy out of her father. He was more than happy to give a piece of candy to her 'little friends'. She quickly became the most popular girl in the neighbourhood.

 That all went downhill, however, when her family had a background check done. Adelein hadn't been worried. Her whole family was pure, and not gypsies or, God forbid, Jewish. She and her family never did anything close to a Jewish practice. Her brother was a proud supporter of the Nazi party, for goodness sake! She couldn't be Jewish. It was not possible.

 But it was. A background check proved that her grandmother on her father's side had been born a Jew. Which meant that all of her grandchildren were officially Jewish.

 When her friends found out, they stopped playing with her. Adelein was forced to attend a Jewish school. Her father had to put up a star of David on his store sign, which severely depleted business. Her whole family, too, aside from her mother, were forced to wear the star of David wherever they went. Once, the star managed to get her assaulted on a back road. She came home with a black eye and three broken bones in her left arm. The boys who did it were never charged.

  Eventually, they were forced to move into a ghetto. Their living space was hardly enough room for five of them. Adelein's mother had stayed at the old house, since her marraige to a Jew didn't count. Adelein's three younger siblings, Marie, Augustus, and Cecily were all forced to share one bed. Adelein's older brother had run away, and no one had seen him in months. They lived like this for five months.

 Then, that fateful day came. Nazi stormtroopers invaded the ghetto. They forced the Jews out of their homes and sorted them into two lines. Adelein and her father were sent to the right. Augustus and Cecily went to the left. Marie had been shot while trying to escape. This was the last time she saw her loving siblings.

 The right liners were put on a cattle car. There was so many people, there was no room to breathe. The smell was awful, and it was the most unsanitary environment Adelein had ever been in. For two days, she was stuck inside the fowl cattle car. Fresh air seemed like a dream. Finally, a dark smoke stack appeared in the distance. It was so dark, it blocked out the sun. Cries of agony could be heard from within metal gates, and a crushing sense of death overwhelmed her.

 That was how she got here today. Now, she and the rest of the right liners walked into their new prison. Adelein couldn't fight the silent tears that fell from her cheeks.She knew that the chances of her survivng were slim, and the odds of ever seeing her family again were slimmer.

 As Adelein took her final step out of sweet freedom, and into the black abyss, she looked up at the sign at the front gates. The three words written there would burn in her memory forever. No amount of healing could ever make her forget. They would become her motto in prison. The entire camp would live solely on that one small saying. Arbeit Macht Frei.

 Work Makes You Free.


The End

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