I will Survive

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  • Dedicated to Amanda Vollmer

I was 7 years old when the Nazi party invaded Poland. I was living in a small apartment not far from my father's Jewish butcher shop. I had 3 close siblings. At the time, my oldest sister's name was Ada, she was 10. My youngest sister's name was Agnes, she was 5. And the middle child, my only brother, was named Adalbert, and he was 6. The first night that changed my life was a cool fall evening on the first of September. I awoke to screams in the street. At the second I heard the first screams, I ran into the living room to find my parents whispering. I asked them what was wrong, and my father said, " It's nothing, go back to bed." With that said, he and my mother kissed me and sent me back to bed. When I got back to my room, Ada was playing a silent game with Agnes. I asked, "Why are you awake?". Ada said she was trying to take Agnes's mind off of the recent screams that they too heard. After an hour or so, we all fell asleep. The next morning was strange, I went into the dining room and all of my siblings were there weeping with my mother. I looked around confused. My mother explained to me that over night, German soldiers took my father away about an hour and a half after I visited them in the living room. As my mother was talking to me, a light bulb went on in my head. I assumed that was probably what all of the screaming was for across the street. Over the next days, my mother thought it was too dangerous to stay in our apartment, so she arranged hiding spots for us children. I was sent to a  Catholic home four blocks away, and I was never told were any of my siblings were sent. Well, at my hiding place, I stayed in a room with the Beatka family twins. Luckily, they were very kind girls named, Bogdana, and Biata who were both 8. I was very eager to learn, but I couldn't go to school, so for education, the girls taught me their lessons. I learned quickly, and I was soon learning at a fifth grade level. I was studying one day when the girls were at school, Mr.Beatka at work, and Mrs.Beatka doing house work. In the middle of my studies, Mrs.Beatka rushed into my room and told me that some Nazi soldiers were at the door. As she was talking, I ran to my special hiding spot in the attic; two boards that no one would probably ever guess that a person could fit into. As the Nazis searched the house, I was terrified that they would find me, and guess what, they did. As they took me away, Mrs.Beatka was screaming, and before I could start screaming too, I heard a bang and her screaming turned into a faint moaning. I never saw her again. When I arrived at the concentration camp, I was shoved into a room and looked over by a hissing guard. Luckily, he must thought I was a keeper, and I was thrown in a barracks with other mothers and children. I met a few people but most of them passed away from disease a few days after I met them. I was very lucky that I only got lice, as many other prisoners had too. The little food I got was usually almost decayed, but I ate it anyway. Little did I know that the coming years would be horrible and challenging, but I was determined to survive. When we were finally liberated in 1945, when I was 13, I met my only surviving family members, Agnes and Adalbert. Also, I met the Beatka twins. I soon moved to America to start a new life, and I have always had contact with my living siblings.

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