The Victims

A sad sort of clanging from the clock in the hall and up in the nursery an obsurd little bird is popping out to say “Cuckoo”. Dust. Every surface covered in the stuff. Cobwebs. Hanging from every inch of the ceiling. Belongings strewn everywhere. Howls of wind blowing down the corridors. Curtains flapping around like fishes out of water. The living room dead – still blackened from the fire.

Kremenchuk. September 9th 1941. The start. It just got worse from then on. Stars. Yellow stars. September 27th 1941. Home gone. Belongings left except a suitcase each. The Novo-Ivanovka suburb. All fourteen members of the family forced to live in one room, together. Once a house with sixteen bedrooms, now a one room flat. Change. It hurt. Crying. The children didn’t stop. Crying. Hours and hours at a time. Grandma; barely able to walk, forced to sleep on the floor with the rest. Hans. The 18 year old son. Hidden under the floorboards. Not even his family knew where he was. November 7th 1941. Taken again. Killed. In the street. Like dogs. Murder.

Mother, dragged by the hair. Scratching and clawing at the floor. Screaming and kicking. Shot. Between the eyes. Blood splattering the pavement and road. Grandma, flung out of the window. Plummetting to her death, hands flailing. Crunching into the stone below. The three little girls beaten and locked in a cupboard, carried into the street and burned alive. The grandfather, the Rabbi. Praying softly in the corner. A dog, let loose. Mauled, bitten, torn apart. Blood dripping through the floorboards onto the grandson beneath. The rest lined up and shot. Bodies piled in the street, bodies burnt in the street. Days later their ashes blew in the wind.

Hans kept hiding. The silent room above. The silence throughout the ghetto. Sneaking around for food and water. October 14th 1945. Still alone. Noise again! A car – no, wait; a truck. Russian. At last a saviour. It was over. His hell was over. Home, his real home – at last.

The front door creaked open slowly. He stepped inside. A sad sort of clanging from the clock in the hall and up in the nursery an obsurd little bird is popping out to say “Cuckoo”. Dust. Every surface covered in the stuff. Cobwebs. Hanging from every inch of the ceiling. Belongings strewn everywhere. Howls of wind blowing down the corridors. Curtains flapping around like fishes out of water. The living room dead – still blackened from the fire.

A photograph on the floor. Frame cracked. Glass shattered. His family. The only way to remember them. One single, ripped, stained, burnt, tattered photograph.

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One comment

  1. roweyourboat · March 10, 2015

    year 10 CA?

    Like

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