Joanne Faries

Imbued with a sense of courage, I secreted special documents in my room. I was lucky to have a room. I knew that. My blonde hair and blue eyes marked me as a chosen one. I served the Third Reich in the capacity of admissions. I had to choose who would turn to the left or right. One was certain death, the other perhaps a prolonged chance for life, a lottery depending on how one played. †

I tried to keep the left choice to a minimum, but in order to survive I had to make a quota. It was so hard. Fathers pleading. Mothers crying. Children staring. I thought, ďPlease donít cough. Please donít stagger. Please stand up straight.Ē I had nightmares when I closed my eyes at night. Believe me, this wasnít easy, but it was a question of survival. Mine. †

I was no saint, but if I could save pieces of history, then so be it. Some of these people had their marriage certificates sewn into their jackets. Some smuggled the Bible. What made them trust me? Why, why was I chosen for this task? †

I faked it. I moaned and told Herr Commandant he was an amazing lover. In turn, I had complete freedom to move about the camp. I donít know how these scarecrows managed to survive. But they did and they managed to hand me documents, written testimony of their experiences. Iíve stored them all. Pages and pages of horror and hope.†

First published: November, 2009
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