You sit at a crude wooden table, knitting with nearly fifteen other women. Your heads are bowed over your work and everyone furiously knits dull green socks; by keeping your hands busy you do not have to make eye contact or speak to one another. Each person entertains her own thoughts and prayers, thoughts of lost friends and family and prayers to Yeshua for forgiveness, mercy, and freedom.
The only furniture in this small room is the rough wooden table and the primitive chairs where you sit. Echoes of knitting needles are the only sound in the tiny space. The walls and ceiling were once a lovely shade of pure, snow white, but now are dirty and marred with the scars of war, a perfectly horrible reflection of your very soul. The air is heavy with the smell of cheap perfume used to try to cover the smell of sweaty, dirty, unwashed bodies.
Your outfit is the same as the other women at the table: a cheap gold-colored belt clasped tightly around your small waist and a brightly colored, but thin, stripped tunic, that falls only to your knees, exposes the number and the memo “For Officers Only” written in harsh German on your shoulder. A loose braid hangs down your back.
From the single door behind you, comes the sound of a key turning in the rusty lock. Every woman knows what is coming, but still you each hold your breath and close your eyes with hope that, maybe this time, you are wrong.
The door swings open on its cringing hinges and a very large man strides into the room. He is wearing a drab green uniform, with a patch on his shoulder of the ugly black spider, haloed in a white circle floating in a sea of red blood. An intimidating, sadistic grin splits his face in two. “Time for work, ladies.”
Placing your knitting in the basket beside your chair, you silently merge with the single file line being formed and follow the man out of the room and down a series of halls. He pauses now and then to lock a woman in a room and then he continues again. When it is your turn, he cruelly shoves you inside and growls, “You know the routine.” The door slams shut and you are left alone in the dark.
Mechanically, numbly, you remove your clothing and place them by the door. Then you feel your way towards an ancient bed and slip beneath the grimy covers. You have to wait only for a moment before the door opens again.
A short, stout figure appears in the doorway, but he stands in front of the light and you cannot make out any other details. As quickly as the door was opened, it shuts again. You hear the man’s heavy breathing as he makes his way towards you.
The bed creaks.
He touches your shoulder.
You close your eyes and dream of the relative freedom of Ravensbrook, the most dreaded woman’s concentration camp in all of war-torn Germany. Starvation, disease, unending, backbreaking labor, and death by gas chambers or any other Nazi invention, must be better than the nightmare you are living now.
If only you had known…
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