Change in lighting to indicate a time shift. Enter a descendant of an Auchwitz survivor carrying a box and holding it protectively. Seats self on stump and begins to sift through the box's contents.
Decendant: All these things...I never knew... It's funny to think that when you were little and you kept little secrets, they meant the world to you. When looking back at something like this though, it makes those secrets seem like little tales.
I rmember as a child asking Grandma what growing up was like for her. Her usual answer: "I don't want to talk about it." I knew not to push the subject when that phrase was said. When she said it, she meant it one hundred percent. When you're young though, you'd never think that your grandmother was subjected to...to this kind of terror. In this box lay what few things sh didn't want to share with the world: a few passed notes, some letters but most of all, her journal as a young girl during the second World War. Having not grown up Jewish, I never realized what really happened until just recently; when she died and told me the box would answer my yearning questions. But I was expecting something like hard times or even rationing, nothing like this!
(flips through journal and reads entry) October 7th 1943, The long train ride finally ended this morning and they pushed us all out of the boxcars into the courtyard of this creepy new place. They segregated us in two groups. My group was sent to be tattoed, the others went to what some people call here the showers. I don't really know what it means specifically but I can tell it's nothing good, that's for sure. They tattoed my family and myself and separated us by gender and age. I'm not too far away from Ella and see her a little bit but I rarely see Mom and not Dad or Gerry at all. It's tight in here and everyone's really skinny. I can see why after dinner, it was really meagre and gross. I hope were not stuck here long.
February 14th 1944, Happy St. Valentine's Day. I wish we were at home celebrating it where it's warm. It's freezing here and I've lost a lot of weight in the few months I've been here; I can tell. I heard from the others that my Dad and my brother Gerry have been drafted to work hard labour for the Nazis. I hope they're getting treated better than the rest of us, it's really very horrible! I've been avoiding the guards because of how nasty they're becoming. Maybe the cold's getting to them...
December 14th 1944, We've been here over a year now. More and more people are sent to the showers everyday, I got word from the others that they sent Ella the other day and Dad today...
My goodness, no wonder she didn't want to talk about it. She lost her younger sister and father in that horrendous place. (Flips through further, pauses) Her mother died of starvation a month later. (pauses taking everything in)
How can people be so cruel? How could those soldiers stand there and kill people by gassing them or by watching them slowly die from starvation or exposure? How could anyone stand by and let something so...hainous happen? How can people be so evil?
I can understand now why my grandmother was the way she was. Her lost faith in humanity, her aloofness and her distance from her past. Who wouldn't be after experienceing something like that?
(towards heaven) Grandma, I am so sorry for poking my nose in where it didn't belong and asking you to tell a story you weren't ready to tell. I promise to you now, I will do my very best to keep history from repeating itself: I'll raise awarness about this and remind people that terrible things happened and we can't afford for them to happen again! That I my promise to you, I swear to keep it.
Fade to working lights