By Trudy Hess

The sun was just rising over the peaceful city of Breslaw as a member of the
Gestapo approached the little front door of Mrs. Siegler’s apartment. Mrs.
Siegler was just coming to the end of her dreams as she heard a harsh voice
yell outside her door—“Open up in the name of the German Reich!” She
turned over in her bed and was about to go back to sleep when she heard
another voice saying—“Open up before we break the door down!” She just
caught the two last words and from those two words she knew they had come
to take Ernst away to a concentration camp. She also knew that no door could
stop them from coming into their house. Quickly she turned around and jolted
the quiet figure beside her and whispered in a very excited voice, “Wake up,
dear! The Gestapo are right outside; you must hide!!!” Ernst had evidently
not caught on very well to what Marie had just said because he got up very
slowly and started to put on his socks. “Not now!” was the hasty cry of his wife.
“You don’t have time to get dressed. Jump out the window and hide in the
cellar below.” Just then there was a crash in the front hall and a voice shouted,
“Search all the rooms, you darned fools. Why did it take you so long to get that
door down? They have probably escaped.” By this time Marie had climbed into
bed and was acting asleep as one of the storm troopers came up and yanked her
out of bed and threw her on the floor. “Where is the swine?“ “He isn’t here,“
she replied immediately. “Where is he?” he snarled, pointing his gun at her.
“I told you he is not here.” He snarled, pointing his gun at her. “I told you he
is not here,” she whimpered, shrinking back—“Search the place,“ he yelled
back again to the other men who had been standing behind him, sneering at
seeing how frightened poor Marie was. After about fifteen minutes in which
the leader had questioned Marie, revealing nothing whatsoever, the men came
back again. “We didn’t find a trace of him,“ one of them said. “Did you search
the cellar??” Was Marie relieved when she heard that they hadn’t found him in
the cellar!!! “You Jews are smart. You always get away just in time, but since
we did not find the Jew bastard, you will have to give me the keys to your jewelry
box or else!!” Marie moved toward the drawer in which the keys lay. She knew
she had no alternative, unless she wanted to get killed. Rings, watches and
bracelets faded out of her mind as the gave the box to the Nazi. On their way
out, they broke some chairs, but she did not care. All she could think of now
was that they hadn’t caught Ernst. Ernst was safe in this house. The words
came louder and louder in her mind. She almost danced with joy, but then
she remembered that they were not safe yet. They might come back tomorrow
and find him here!! That is what she was thinking as she walked down the
steps into the cellar. “Ernst, where are you? “Where are you?” Suddenly
something moved behind her. She quickly turned around. There was a black
figure standing behind her. It was Ernst, covered with coal soot. It was plain
that he had been hiding under the coal pile. “Oh Ernst, I’m so glad they
didn’t find you. We have to get out of here now because they will probably
come back again tomorrow. Poland is about ten miles east from here, and
I’m sure we can make it there by tonight. Then we will be over the border
in Poland and we will be free!!“ That last word came out of her mouth with
happiness. “I’ll take this loaf of bread along,” came Ernst’s voice out of the
kitchen. They packed gleefully and went out the door, arm in arm, planning.
___A burst of machine gunfire ended it all ___.

Posted in: 1943 Stories

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