Fictional story from Auschwitz
He walked down the dirty path with the rest of them. He was just a number to the men in uniform, beating up those who had fallen to the ground. He watched as they were forced back up and continued to make their way to the camp. He knew the name of the camp: Auschwitz. He also knew what happened there, what happened to people like him. He didn’t know why the Jews were being persecuted. Was it something they did, something they’ve done? He dared not ask any questions. He knew that if he spoke out, he might not even make it to camp. He had already seen a man kicking and screaming as the Germans pulled him from his hiding place. He saw a gun being used for the first time, and the man no longer kicking and screaming as he fell to the ground, lifeless.
The Germans did not discriminate. Men and women, young and old were all forced to walk to the camp. He had even seen mothers with babies in their hands. They must not have been more than a couple months old, and they were being sent to the death camp. Yes, he knew what would happen at Auschwitz. He heard what happened to Jews that entered the camp. Very few of them had made it out alive. Those that did had to hide even better, lest they find them again and kill them. He didn’t know what would be worse, though: dying in a crematorium, or being used as part of a sick and perverted “medical experiment”. He had only heard whispers about these “medical experiments”, but he knew that they were just code for a fancier way of killing the Jews.
He stepped inside the camp the first time, still in the row of Jews. He was separated from the group for the first time. He was grouped with other Jews his age and sex. An imposing man in a black uniform towered above him and the other men. He went down the line, asking every man for his name and where he came from. Many of them remained standing in line, but those couple Jews with severe deformities, like broken legs, were taken away. Finally, the soldier reached him. “Name!” he barked out, in his thick accent.
“Elie,” he said.
“Spread your arms and legs!” Elie had heard stories about other Jews being stripped down, completely naked. Thankfully, the Germans were kind enough not to do it to the children, not here, but Elie also knew that was just one small little thing to be thankful for. Overall, his life would be so much worse once he stepped foot in Auschwitz. After the German soldier finished his cursory exam, he moved down the line. Elie was saved, for now. The young boys with the deformities had been taken away to a building with a lot of smoke coming out of it. Elie had never even seen photos of it before, but he knew it was a place where they burned the Jews. Another thing to be thankful for was that he couldn’t hear the screams of the people inside as they were burned. As he saw more smoke rising from the chimney, he knew that some of his fellow Jews, young boys like him, had just been murdered in cold blood.
The soldier finished with the last boy in life. They were then forced to follow him as he led them beside one of the buildings, one of the crematoriums. There, most of the Jewish boys under 18 were waiting, as well as the rest of the girls and even some women. “Inside!” barked another soldier, this one with an even deeper voice and thicker accent. Elie knew that he should try to escape. He knew what was going to happen to him. But when he bent down, the legs of the boys around him were too small to crawl though. In addition, he was jostled along by all of the boys who had unfortunately deigned themselves to their fate. The Germans prodding along the group from the back certainly didn’t help. Eventually, all of the Jews who had been outside of the building were now inside. None of the Germans were, although quite a few were standing by a window, looking inside. Elie and the rest of them then heard a noise, as what they thought were the flamethrowers were turned on. In fact, Elie and the rest of them would die an even more painful death, as Zyklon-B rained down upon them, causing them to blister all over and burn both their insides and outsides. It did take longer than incinerating them, but for many of the German soldiers, it was more fun to watch as the Jews died a long and painful death right in front of their eyes.