Monday, January 28, 2013

The Last Stop

The train jolted Ania awake. For a moment she was confused and afraid.

“Are we there yet Mama?” she asked as she tugged at her matka’s sleeve.

“I believe we are not there yet my darling. Let us hope we are never there and we ride this train forever.”

The pair dozed another hour until grinding wheels and tooting whistles signaled a stop in progress.

“Are we there yet mama?”

Krystyna held her little girl close and whispered “Yes dziecina, now do you remember all I told you?”

“Do not speak unless spoken to, do all I am told, be brave. Was that all mama?”

The train ground to a halt. Twenty six boxcar doors slammed open simultaneously reminding the passengers of the artillery shelling their village had absorbed only a week prior. As those aboard were rousted from their rest Krystyna said loudly “and always remember your mother loves you more than life itself. More than LIFE ITSELF!” she shouted as an SS soldier dragged her child from her arms.

“Please step to the ground and form a single line” came a loud cancerous voice from behind a group of snarling dogs. “Welcome to Buchenwald meine kleine Juden.”

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