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Intermediate. Years 7/8/9

The ghetto

By Jenny McCord, year 9, Les Beaucamps School

When I was in the ghetto I saw some awful things, but this was by far the worst. A group of young children, the eldest probably only six years old, was crawling under the huge ghetto wall which separated us from the outside world.
Earlier that day I’d seen their mother forcing them to go under the wall, begging them. She was so desperate, like all of us. Everybody in the ghetto was slowly starving to death.
“Please go, go!” cried the mother to the eldest child. “Take care of your sisters and be back before it’s dark!”.
There was a very small hole under the wall but they were so small and skinny, from the lack of food, that they managed to crawl under. I wondered what they would find outside of those walls and wondered at their bravery and determination, even at so young an age.

Only two of the group made it back. They must have been caught or perhaps suffered some other terrible fate outside of the walls. They had brought back food with them. Sadly for them two Nazi soldiers were standing near the wall and caught the children sneaking back through.
“Stop!” the Nazi soldier shouted.
The children tried crawling back through, but the Nazi soldiers yanked them out and threw them on the floor. They brutally beat and kicked them until there was almost no life in them.

Later that evening the mother came back to see her dead child lying on the floor shot in the head. She cried into her hands and hugged her dead child. By morning she too had died, perhaps from starvation but I think she had just given up on life. The war had robbed her of everything. She had lost her children and so no longer had any reason to continue living. That scene will stay with me forever and I still regard it as one of the saddest days of my life.

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