Auschwitz Story


December 1999. Neglected and overflowing wooden bookshelves lined the walls of Martin Hersh’s study, musty with the smell of yellowing pages of stories growing old. This is where Martin himself felt the most comfortable as he sunk into his crimson chair. This is the place where Martin knew that his own story should be told. But it would not be forgotten, like so many tales and stories in the disintegrating volumes behind him. “Bo He'na,” spluttered Martin. The boy, just days prior to his bar mitzvah, turned his head and walked to his grandfather. He perched on one of the chair’s overstuffed arms, unsure that the ancient furniture would take his weight.
"I have a story for you. Listen. It’s important. You are almost an adult now. You need to know our history, our culture, our past.” The old man raised his sleeve and uncovered a tattoo. Three simple numbers: 461. It had started to fade as his skin started to age, but it was still visible beneath the surface.
"What was that for?" asked the young man, with open curiosity. It was odd that he had never noticed it before.
"Years ago, a life time ago, I was a prisoner. In the Camp…” His gaze was up and to the right, as was if he was staring directly into the past. “Everyone: neighbours, friends, family, even the children, were herded like cattle into the wooden box cars of the train. We had to go.” The memories caused deep creases to furrow across his brow. “The Camp. The horrors. The depravity...” The weight of his past curved his back and slumped his shoulders, like the burdened that like Atlas carried.
December 1944. There were more than 30 of us all in packed in one carriage. It was dark and there was only one window on the train. There was constant Voices were yelling, crying, mourning and screaming. A long time had passed and noise began to dimmer.before the people became quiet, realising there was no point. I made my way to the little window on the other side of the carriage. I...