Living Life in World War 2


Evelyn C, Creative Response

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Thump! Thump! Thump! I listened as the Nazis stomped above me. I wasn’t breathing, for I was afraid that if I made a sound I would be dead. I clutched my mom’s and dad’s hands as I kept my eyes tightly shut.

Earlier that month, my private Jewish tutor came to my house and apologized to me, “I’m sorry. I can’t be your tutor anymore.” I didn’t know why I was sad, but my heart ached. I felt like I was being driven away from my religion of being Jewish. She was the only Jewish tutor in town. My stomach felt as though it was turning. My best friend Charlotte told me that my tutor had already taught me so much that I didn’t need to learn anything more. The weight on my heart began to lift, and soon thereafter, I forgot about my tutor.

However, one day Charlotte’s and my happiness was interrupted when I ran straight into a tall, muscular man with a gun who was planted on the corner right outside of my school. I bounced right off of him like his belly was a balloon. He was wearing a green uniform, black boots, a black hat, and a patch on the left side of his chest. The patch was a shape that I had never seen before. I didn’t think anything of it considering the fact that I was nine.

“Watch where you are going!” shouted the soldier with a thick German accent.

“S-s-s-sorry sir,” I said as my face began to heat up and my legs became shaky.

The next week Agata, Agnieska, and Ala were all missing from school. I took little notice of it, but as time went by, I realized that more and more students were not coming to school. My brain finally connected the dots: all of the missing kids were Jewish. Although I was Jewish too, my family decided to keep it secret, for we lived in a very Christian town. I was soon to find out that my life was saved because nobody knew that I was a Jew. As days passed I watched as seats in the classroom became empty just as my heart emptied, bereft of the friends gone missing. Then it hit me: When will I be gone?

Soon thereafter Nazi’s were on each street corner. My parents told me that Nazi’s hated Jews down to the bone. They didn’t want anything to do with us.

“You are not to tell anyone that you are Jewish!” commanded my father. I stiffly nodded my head, not knowing how bad the consequences would be if I did. Next, my father commanded me to come straight home after school and to avoid contact with anybody. I agreed. Suddenly chills went down my spine. The way he spoke made something very clear: I could die if I disobeyed my dad’s orders.

The next day I walked into the classroom, and I immediately went ghost white. Every Jewish kid was gone besides me. I still allowed in silence about my religious beliefs. The Nazi’s were set to clear every school of Jews the following week. All of the other Jewish children were running away with their families to safety. All throughout my lessons that day I couldn’t focus, for my mind was filling with terrible thoughts of what would happen if I was found as a Jew. My whole world would crumble into a million pieces. The next morning I was awakened suddenly by my dad at 4:30 in the morning. My heart was racing when he told me that we were going to escape. I leaped out of my bed and sprinted to the front door of our quaint apartment. Soon all of my excitement diminished when once again all of the bad thoughts were coming back into my head. I was nervous about what my future would hold. My mother told me to get ready to go. Then there was no time to think about what bad things could happen; I had to focus on the plan. We carefully opened the creaky, old wooden door and crept out into the hall. We quietly ran down the stairs and made it outside. There was a sharp chill in the air that night. It was pitch black with only the stars as lights.

My parents held my hands as they led me through the forest. I was tumbling over stones left and right, but that didn’t stop me. When we made it to the port, the sun was just breaking over the horizon. A man waved us over to his fishing boat, and he took us to a secret shelter hidden under the deck.

When we were in the secret shelter, tons of other people and families began to join us. After about fifteen minutes of being in the shelter, we heard big heavy footsteps above us. My head started to spin, and my small knees began to wobble. I heard harsh German yelling coming from the main deck. Tears started to stream down my face, but I didn’t make a sound.

My mom leaned over to me and whispered, “I love you.” At that moment I was the most scared that I have ever been in my life. After a while, the footsteps stopped, and I felt the boat begin to move.

In the shelter, it the was wavy and shaky. Many people were getting seasick, but I fell asleep. After what felt like years, we had finally made it across the Baltic Sea to Sweden. We were greeted by nice welcoming families who invited us into their homes without skipping a beat. My parents and I were overcome with joy.

One full year later my parents both had jobs, I was at a new school, we had our own house, and my mom was pregnant! We were still very close with the Swedish family that took us in. Living in Sweden made me a happier person, and moving there was the best thing that ever happened to me.

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