A young Jewish boy called Alon Berkey is sent to a concentration camp... part 1 of 6
|I remember the day vividly, when I was separated from my mother and father that cold winter day. I was a boy of only sixteen years, wearing the Star of David upon my chest like the rest of my kind. To signal us out as targets by the population of the new Germany.
They came to our house, knocking on the door, and I was scared that we would die. I had heard the stories- those who were taken by the Gestapo were never heard from again, and I was horrified that we had finally reached our hour of reckoning. My mother told me, as calm as she could, to gather some clothes and a photo. I did as I was told, packing some pants and shirts, and a family photo that was taken just a few years ago.
I walked downstairs and saw the man who had come to take us away. I froze in place and walked slowly as the Nazi noticed me. I was amazed as he simply smiled and nodded at me, almost telling me that I was going to be okay.
But my heart told me he was lying. I knew the truth was inevitable to accept, and my fears became reality when we were finally herded out the door and into a truck. My mother hugged me as tight as she could, and I felt the tears streaming from her face.
It had felt as though hours had come and gone before the doors to the back of the truck flew open and a Nazi yelled at us to get out. Schnell, schnell, he repeated, ushering us to move. I grabbed my small bag that contained my belongings and moved out with my mother as the men loaded us, and many other Jews, onto a train. I felt small as the air grew thin from the crowding, and in desperation, I took out a sheet that I had taken for warmth, hooked it between two iron hooks on the ceiling and used it to get air into my body.
I did not know how many hours passed before the train doors were slid open by two Jewish men clad in striped worker uniforms, and a man looking at us with cold, soulless eyes. The sign above him told me all I needed to know that I had very little chance to survive...
Arbeit macth frei... work brings freedom. We had arrived at Auschwitz.
TO BE CONTINUED...