Throw Back Thursday on a Wednesday!

Throw Back Thursday on a Wednesday!

A Story by Original Stories

The Netherlands.  That’s where we first heard it.  The Germans invasion.  With Italy on their side and Netherland police they got the Jews, us.

            No one was ever worried though.  Either they didn’t want to believe they would invade our town, or they were so certain that they couldn’t invade our town.  Yet, they did.  They invaded our hometown France.  With ease.

            My whole family tried to hide with our fellow Jews.  In the attic then in the cellar.  We moved frequently from place to place because neighbors heard us or we were unsure of our hiding place.  We heard of many betrayals, of friends, neighbors, even husbands or wives.  All these betrayals were just to save another one’s life.  A bird for a bird, a stone for a stone.  We ourselves were betrayed by our savior.  We could not bear this betrayal but yet we must.  That leads to today, in the camp of Bergen-Belsen.  We had been deported there from a ghetto.  So many chosen.  First the kids, then the old.  Then us.

            The weight of standing in a line and waiting for our certain deaths to be called was nearly impossible.  Whether if going right or left meant anything no one knew.  All we knew was they both lead to certain death.  When I got to the front of the line my heart was pounding against my chest. Was I going to live or die?  Which was worse left or right?  I was chosen to go left.

            When I got to the left camp we all could see the smoke in the right camp.  Some mourned for their loss the moment they registered it, others were already in too much shock to do anything about it, and some lost it.  It was a very mournful day only to be accompanied by work.  Hard labor and no food.

            When it finally grew dark and we went to what they called the ‘bunkers’ we piled in.  About five more or less skinny people could fit in one.  We had to fit in seven.  Six if we were lucky.  While most people slept I, on the other hand, kept thinking laying wide awake.

            I’ve lost count of days.  I’ve been here no more than a week and already hundreds of deaths and more to come.  This is the only thing keeping me sane.  Keeping from the monstrous world out there. This notebook, this journal is the only thing keeping me safe.  I constantly recall the last entry in my journal.  Wish I had put more in there in case someone else found it.  In case someone found their sanity in reading it.  Just in case.

            As I lie awake at night I remember my family.  My little sister who always carried a little stuffed lion I made for her.  My mother always cooking and filling the house with the smell of food.  I can only wonder what happened to them.

            Early in the morning we get an orientation of sorts of how this new world works.  We get up at 4:30 and go to bed at 9:00.  We get three meals.  If we miss one we have to starve until the next.  We are to be given some bread at the end of the day which is to be saved for the morning.

             In between we have to work, not stopping until said.  If we do, we’re as good as a beached whale.  We have no hope of escaping, even if we wanted to, we’d be too scared.  Plus, where would we go?

            I hated working at home and I hardly had to do much.  All I had to do was yell at people to get them to buy our food, get their money, and put it in our box.  This is like a blade of grass trying to not get trampled by a stampede, (the stampede being the work we have to do at the camps).  Now, we have to help them get ready to kill us.

            We hauled wood logs all through the day.  Then tugged and tried to uproot trees during the night.  Everyone was sore and unready for this amount of work with so little food.  Anyone who complained got whipped. 

We all got our little piece of promised bread, though.  I thought.  My mind’s always looking on the bright side of things even though there is none.

About 4:30 in the next morning I hear the guard yelling at us to get up.  Whacking some beds of the unmoving people, then whacking some heads of the screaming people.  I get up as fast as I can hoping not to get beaten.  All we have is a few ragged clothes and sole less shoes to live on.  We are happy no one’s died this morning but we all know there will be at least one.

            We went to the ‘dining’ area where we got some liquid that they call herbal tea.  Some people didn’t see their friends at the ‘dining hall’.  They searched everywhere only to find them dead.  Some mourned but we all knew it was coming.  None of the Nazis cared they just got the rest of us to leave.  Off to work.

            I constantly try not to think of my sister while I work.  It’s hard.  I keep trying to think that I’ll see her later, when this is all said and done.

            A crack of a whip then the screech of a hurting person pull me out of my deep thought.  The man fell.

            When the scene cleared all I saw was the man curled up in a ball, crying.  The crying only made it worse.  My dad said, before he was taken by the Nazis, that crying only helps you get more dehydrated.  He was a doctor, meaning he was one of the first to go.

            We all carried on, hauling logs and uprooting trees, like nothing ever happened.

When lunch hour came I saw the man.  His eyes were droopy and distant, like he lost something very valuable he could never get back.  He had some bruises and sores where they beat him, and his hands were cut from carrying all the logs.

“Hey,” I said as I sat across from him.

He barely looked up.

“My name is Nepaul.”

“Tuplezner,” he replied.

“What?” I asked highly confused.

“That’s my name. Tuplezner.”

I sat across Tuplezner for the day and stayed by him.  He hardly talked and I wondered if his vocal chords were broken.

The next day I was struggling to lift a log.  I was afraid I was going to get whipped.  Tuplezner spotted my trouble and he came and helped me.

Thanks.  Thanks for saving me although I didn’t even try to save you.

We found twenty-five dead this morning.  Since then five have passed out, seven have gone to the doctor, and six more have died.  The ones that have died have been put out of misery.  They don’t have to live through this horrible torture and death camp.

We got new recruits at night.  They all shuffled their way through the bunkers fighting to get a spot to sleep at.  This guy named Tuperick came and stayed with Tuplenzner and me.

We worked hard all the next day, struggling to stay alive. We ate and worked then worked some more. We all had to use our last bits of strength to finish our day.

At midnight we heard it.  We all heard it.  The gate being blown down, soldiers shouting orders, and everyone screaming.  Best part, no one knew it was coming.

We got over to a safe place with the U.S. army and ate, a lot.  We stuffed ourselves silly and took hour-long showers, enjoying the comfort of a home.  When all was said and done I saw my sister’s grave.  No one could comfort me.  The only family I had all died.  I was lost all over again.  It was all lost.

Tuplezner took me in as a son and we made many memories.  I learned that he looked better with a beard.  Also, that he had a son that he said was a lot like me.  I will never forget him.

© 2017 Original Stories

Author's Note

Original Stories
Old story I dug up. Major errors throughout but I was too lazy to revise it. : )

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Added on February 15, 2017
Last Updated on February 15, 2017
Tags: Throw Back Thursday on a Wednesd, germans, WWII, world war two, historical fiction


Original Stories
Original Stories

Roanoke, VA

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