FC: NIGHT Elie's Album | Anne Marie Devlin
1: This picture is nothing but an ordinary day. People in the market, going to Synagogue. It is like th stories we hear, the horrific tales, coming even from our own, don't exist. It is like they belong on a different planet, or even a different universe. They are far away and they will never touch us. | Sighet
2: The ghettos, our new lives. There to help us, they said. We will live amongst ourselves, there is shelter, there, and work. We will be safe from the quickly approaching war front. The Germans have nothing to scare us, and yet Moshe still sits in his corner, moaning, shaking his head, speaking of how he had warned us. I miss the days where I could talk with him, about our religion ; he was so wise. Yet now he seems to have lost his mind
3: When we arrive at the camp, everything begins to fall apart. My family is immediately separated, and I hope that they are going towards the good side of the camp. They must be, for we continue to walk towards the rancid chimneys, spitting out smoke that smells of flesh. When we finally turn away from the smoke, I feel not relief, but as if the weight of the world is crashing around me. Maybe death would be preferable to this inescapable despair.
4: Sitting idle all day while the alarms sound is worse than working. The most dangerous times in this camp are the times when you have the opportunity to think. When I have time to think all I can do is think is think of how forsaken we are. Left behind by the God who we have served our entire lives. Then there was the matter of the man who tried to steal some food. No one believed he would succeed , I wonder if he did himself. If he didn't, that is just as good of reason to do it. Anything to escape the endless amount of depression that is pulling me under. I don't know how I will ever resurface.
5: People all around me celebrate the holidays as though nothing has changed. They continue to worship God as though he still exists, or as if he still watches over us. We were once the chosen people of God, now were are chosen only for the slaughter houses. Some of us beg for forgiveness from their sins, but why should we try to stay pure when God allows such evil to walk this earth. There can not be a God, not anymore. For apart of me has been ripped out, and left empty. Once a vital part of my life, God has been torn from me,and the world.
6: We run on forever. The road never ends. It is as if I don't even think about being worked like an animal anymore. I no longer respond to the pain, the burning in my lungs , or my legs. I no longer think I just do. This is what we have become; an unthinking mass of hollow bodies. The Germans who have not yet taken our lives have taken everything else. They have not killed a mass of people. They have killed a culture. And so we are slowly drifting away, into nonexistence, into death. Like our ancient culture we simply fade away.
7: We are finished. It is these last days that have killed us. Or rather we have killed each other. We have gone of the edge, more animal now than human. Our minds do not function as they did. People act more savagely than ever. Sons murdering their own fathers! were these not good people? Were they not long ago just as I was, educated, and yet sheltered, more than I could have ever imagined. How much longer will I be able to cling to my sanity, and help my father cling to his life?
8: My father is gone. I am free. I can now focus on keeping myself alive. I no longer have to look after him, no longer endure his complaints, no longer give up what little I had to help him. Yet with my father goes the little bit of Elie that was left in me. With him goes my desire to live. At least while he was here I had a reason to stay alive: I must stay to help him, it was my duty. Now I am left with nothing. I do not feel human any longer. People have feeling, a desire to live, the fight to stay alive. I have lost all these things. The flame has gone out. I have lost myself.
9: Oh how we have changed. When we are freed we do not seek out the Nazis, to revenge our murdered family and friends. We do not think of God, and how the impossible has happened. We run with the few ounces of strength left in our bodies to the food. When I look in the mirror the changes are so obvious. And yet me hair will grow back. My foot will heal. My many cuts and bruises will vanish in time. An gradually, you will be able to see less of my bones. Those are not the damages I am concerned about. You can never forget these events. It is not possible to block them from you memory. It is not possible to fill the gap in me, my family, and my people. You can never escape the ghost of your past.