by the thinker
a short journal entry of a jewish man in ww 2
|February 28, 1944 |
It finally happened. The Beje has been raided. Thankfully, we made it into the secret room just in time. It has been hours but it feels like it's been days. There are seven of us. Two are agents of the underground and the rest of us are Jewish. My heart is pounding so loud I fear the Nazis will hear it. I will never forget the terror I felt listening to them storm Corrie's room and interrogate her. They kept asking, “Where is the secret room? Where are the Jews?”, over and over again until they took her away I pray that God protects her and her family. The Ten Boom family has been good to all of us. They took us in when no one else would. The Nazis kept hitting the walls with hammers trying to find our secret room. It was maddening. Every time they hit our wall, we all jumped a little fearing they had found us. Then they moved on. A silent but collective sigh of relief escaped us. It has been quite for several hours now, but we dare not leave for fear they are waiting for us hoping to bluff us out of our hiding place. As I sit here in this place, I can't help but think of my family and wonder if I will ever see them again. Will I ever again get to tell my beautiful wife that I love her? Will I ever see my children again? Are they even alive? Did the farm get raided as well? Oh, how I long to see their smiling faces and to pick them up and hug them. Dear God protect them. I can't bear the thoughts of my children dying in a Nazi Death Camp or my wife suffering humiliation at the hands of some Nazi devil. I know I am not alone with these thoughts. My companions' faces reveal that they too are struggling. We have all either lost someone we love or know someone who has. The Nazis hunt us down like animals. Don't they understand that we are human beings?
Perhaps, God has forgotten us, or worse, simply turned his back on us? What have we done to deserve this fate? Why have we been forsaken? No, I must not entertain these thoughts. God is with us or we would have already been found. Why didn't they hear Mary Itallie's wheezing? Surely this must be a sign of God's favor, a small miracle to protect us. No God has not forgotten us. He has provided. He has kept us safe to this point. If we were meant to be discovered and executed, we would not have been taken in and given sanctuary by the Ten Booms in the first place. My family would not have been given sanctuary at the farm up north. I must think of the Ten Booms. What will be their fate? They are so sure that Jesus Christ is the Messiah and they do this in his name and for his glory. Casper refers to us as the chosen people. I only pray that God does not forget them. These wonderful people who have taken us in are to pay a devastating price. The guilt is almost unbearable. I pray that God returns the kindness they have shown us with his protection and favor. I can't bear thinking that they have taken my place and are suffering because I would not. I know that they received us willingly, but I can't help but feel responsibility for their fates. God forgive us.
Everything that I own is in this room with me. Ironically, had I left anything behind, it would have doomed us and most certainly incriminated the ten Booms even more. I grabbed this journal not from materialism, but out of survival. I am grateful for my journal. Without it there would be no account of what has happened. Nothing to chronicle the kindness and selfless generosity of the Ten Booms as well as every other member of the Underground. At least, for now, the Nazis have found no evidence that we were ever here or surely they would still be looking for us out of surety that we were here. Thank God for the drills and the warning buzzer. Thank God for the all the people who have cared for us and were willing to stand against this abomination. I look at this journal and realize that this may be my final entry. I contemplate my life and realize every mistake I have ever made. Somehow all I can think of are my own shortcomings. Surely this can't be all there is to who I am. My name is Meyer Mossel. I am a Jew. To whoever finds this, please remember us. May God have mercy on me and on us all.