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The Holocaust - Why was this happening to me?

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Daniel Leigh 11Saul Holocaust Coursework Why was this happening to me? I could hardly breathe or move in the cramped animal wagon. The stench of filth and disease surrounded me and I longed for fresh air. My name is David Cohen and I cannot believe how my life was torn apart in such a short space of time, nor do I understand why it happened even after all these years later. I will never forget that warm April afternoon when I rushed home from helping in my Father's jeweler's store. I was surprised that the front door was open, but nevertheless ran in shouting for my Mother. I heard thuds and screeching as if the heavy furniture from upstairs was being moved. "What's the matter, Mother?" I yelled. Two burly soldiers dragged her out of the living room. "GO!" she screamed, through heavy sobbing. I just stood there, in the doorway, speechless with shock. I hesitated, but I turned and started to run in the direction of the door, but a third lofty soldier appeared as if from nowhere dived after me and just lifted me up as if I weighed nothing. We were rigorously marched down to the depressingly grey train station, which was in total and utter chaos. There was a massively indistinct mixture of hundreds of people sobbing, crying and arguing. "Where are we going?" ...read more.


My mother hid my brother, sister and me into our wine cellar and locked us up for a few days and told us not to worry. On the third day that we were in there, we heard thuds and screeching as if the heavy furniture from upstairs was being moved we stay put but Daniel Leigh 11Saul Holocaust Coursework we had the impulse to shout out: "What's the matter, mother?" but we couldn't. My eighteen year old brother David tried to open the hatch for the door of the wine cellar but it wouldn't come open so somebody must have been standing on it. David tried again after about half an hour. He managed to open it. I said to be careful and open it slowly. He opened it very slowly and cautiously and he saw our parents being taken away as if they had committed a crime. David fell backwards in shock, he fainted. As my sister tried to comfort him, I looked outside the hatch, and to my utter astonishment, three burly soldiers were dragging my mother and shoving my father out of the door. I then had the most uncontrollable urge just to try and rescue my parents but I knew in my heart I couldn't. Then, we waited and waited for the houses and the street to go quiet. After a while, we came out of the wine-cellar and I don't know how I knew but I had knew that I would never see my parents again. ...read more.


After this period of time, Eric and I had formed a secret legion of the Jews which had survived through the loss of their families, the loss of some of the Jews which had tried to escape, but either died on the way (mines) or they were shot by the SS men. In this legion, we could practice our Jewish laws including praying and lighting the holy Shabbat candles (if we could scavenge them). One Friday night, we could not get hold of any candles so we prayed and sang through the night. The next day, Eric, whom I had become very friendly with gathered a few men together and we discussed our immediate future, and how that if we do not receive any help from people who have knowledge about the SS men, how they operate and what were their weaknesses. The next day, Shabbat, there was a battalion of Russian soldiers brought in to the concentration camp for 'war crimes', some of them were Jewish others were not but supported the Jewish way of life. One week after they arrived, the squadron leader approached our small but cosy gathering and started to mix with us. We hesitated at first but we adapted. After a while, they trained us as soldiers and we eventually escaped from the ultimate hell (for us) and Eric and myself lived on to fight in the American army and to the end of the war. Of the events of which I witnessed and live through, a nightmare invaded reality. ...read more.

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