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The Beautiful Days of My Youth
by Jasmine Dancer
11/08/11
Not For Sale
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Auschwitz, the word means work, for all of us here. For my rank of five and I, it means that we are to work in the mines. It is hard and tortuous labor; someone hands me a stone, I turn and give it to the next person in line, then turn again and receive a new one. There is always unpredictable weather; ranging from a burning sun to a freezing rain, it holds us in line. Pick, lift, and pass; over and over, my hands are blistered, my mouth is dry, and my back aches. They shout, their dogs bark, and their whips! They sting our backs until we speed up, I am terrified, to the point where there are no tears left and my heart and soul are throbbing. This torture, I believe, I wont be able to stand much longer, now with my tongue a piece of sandpaper and my breath coming in short, painful gasps. They don’t care about our pain, our tiredness, our suffering. All they care about is the job getting done.
Break time means relief, there is no food or water, but there is a few, precious minutes that they take to count us, then we will head back to the mines. Now Jurek orders them to begin, and they count us, row after row but then they reach the middle. Someone is missing; we all hold our breaths, immediately Jurek sounds the alarms. Within minutes they find her, she’d been sleeping somehow. She’d been sleeping on this grey mound of dirt that they call a hill.
They bring her to the front and she tilts her shaven head up at Jurek in innocent expectation. She’s too young to realize what she’s done, too young to see the monster under the guise of an adult. He raises his whip and it cracks through the air and slams into her back. She cries out, but he ignores her and strikes again, two more times. The poor girl sways on her feet, I want to look away, but I can’t. Now her simple, grey dress, which was ragged to begin with, is ripped at her back and stained with blood. The whip bites her and she collapses. Jurek is furious, his toy has already broken, so he whips her five more times until a couple of the guards comes and carry the body away.
We go back to counting as if nothing had happened, as if murder hadn’t occurred just now. I should be sad, but my heart is relieved because it wasn’t me, ‘it wasn’t me’ that’s what we all are thinking. One day, I will cry for her, for my family, and for everyone else who has been killed her, one day after the day of reckoning and salvation from this horrid place.


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Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom  08 Nov 2011
Wow! what a powerful story. It brought tears to my eyes. You did an excellent job with this one. I have 2 small suggestions. When writing for the internet, make sure you double-space between paragraphs. The white space makes it easier to read. Also near the end, you had her instead of hear. Your passion leaps off the page. It is vital we keep telling these horrific tales lest we forget. Great job!




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