Chapter 1 - Gates of Uncertainity
The muddy sign read "Arbeitsdorf", it stood propped up against the tree next to the crumbling road of the mist in the distance, the lorry rumbled on up the road into the fog. This lorry was packed with captured German Jews along with people of other ethnicities that the Germans had rounded up. They all sat scared and shaking in terror after being forcefully crammed into the back of a small damp lorry.
The German soldiers showed only brute force and stared with stoned faces at the whimpering mothers and small children. They shouted at them in a vicious manner and pistol whipped them with their guns if they attempted to cry or move. The men and women prisoners were kept apart from each other in the back of the lorry, they were separated by a few German guards and no communication or movement was allowed.
The smoky air was filled with the smell of tobacco as the German guards lit up and puffed away, some blowing into the faces of young children and babies who innocently coughed and cried. The mothers pleaded with the guards to stop.The guards hit the women and warned the men if they got involved they would be shot in the head and dumped beside the road.
There was a great sense of unease amongst all the prisoners. They were all tired as they had been travelling for hours without pause, communication and movement. They didn't know what layed ahead of them, they were being mistreated by soldiers that once guarded them. These soldiers had turned against them since the uprising of Adolf Hitler.
A young woman began to weep in the corner of the truck. She had brown shoulder length hair, she was a small woman and had a distinctive scar which ran down her left cheek. As she continued to weep the guards stared remorsly at her, they shouted at her as she cradled her tiny baby. She cried and cried until it had become apparent that the tiny baby had stopped breathing.The guards came over to her and hit her forcefully with their guns. She held onto the lifeless body for dear life, they began to tug away at her arms to make her release the tiny body, two guards grabbed hold of her arms as she unconstently let go of the dead baby. The guard carried the baby through the lorry towards the back where he threw the dead infant into a nearby river and walked back to guard the rest of the prisoners.The prisoners stared at him in disgust and grunted at him; he looked far too calm after performing such a deed.
The guard looked very young himself, around twenty years old. He had eyes that stood out against his pale skin as they were a deep, sharp blue. He had a defined jaw line and a big straight nose. He was of average height and seemed the most vulnerable out of all of the guards. He was bossed by the other guards throughout the journey and there was a sense he had been forced into the army; perhaps by his family or peers. He was made to do all of the gruesome jobs such as disposing of seriously ill or dead people. Many prisoners had died on the journey due to dehydration and breathing difficulties because of the cramped conditions.
A message had come through the lorry from a small gap which led to the front seats. The guards quickly organized themselves into groups and they grabbed and pushed the prisoners into lines. They separated them into sub groups of men, women, children and women with babies. The lorry came to a sudden halt, there were a few moments of silence followed by instructions from guard to guard. All the prisoners were tired and weak, they struggled to stay upright. The men were led away first down a ramp onto the muddy ground, they were in single file and there wasn't a word spoken between them. They were completely silent, just the sound of the wind rattling the sheet metal which lay dumped on the roadside could be heard.
The guards began to lead away the children, they reached out in vain for their mother's arms. The guards smacked them forcefully with their guns and pushed away the women. The silence that once reigned had now become a sound of terror and children's whimpering. The guards were rent less with their demands. They pushed and shoved the children out of the lorry then led them away into the darkness.
The women were next to be lead out of the lorry, they were restless and aggravated. The guards lashed out with their guns to gain control of them, one woman tried to break free from their grasp and run off down the road. She was wrestled to the ground and pinned down by two guards, a third guard stepped over her, he reached for his side pocket and pulled out his handgun. The woman was laying face down in the rain in a muddy puddle, the water filling her mouth as the guards forced her head down. A shot rang out in the dark of night in Arbeitsdorf. The other women in the group shrieked in horror and stared grimly at the lifeless body of the woman that layed before them, the guards dumped her body in a ditch and began to arrange the movement of the last group of women who had babies.