So close to the Border.
Pavel lay in the frost frozen. The frost spitting and eating away at the skin on his face and hands. Too dangerous to move. Undressed, just the upper body covered with a think pyjama like shirt, sleeves too small only reaching just below the elbows. The shirt soaked though with icicles dangling off the edges. He lay there motionless with no thought about how cold it was, just concentrating on those guards, standing there wrapped in their thick coats smoking slowly. With no moon this night there is only two faint body like structures with two orange circles floating in the air. Not much longer to wait for the change of guards.
These eager but nerve racking moments, with the urge to just to run from the camp but thinking if he could just wait a few moments. Freedom was waiting for him just over the border. The scent of waffles wafting through the air making his stomach really churn. With the wire cutters in his hands, which were buried at least a foot into the snow just waiting… All it needs is a few snips and there’s a whole in the thick barbed wire. He lay there watching as the guards threw away their cigarettes. He had precisely 3mins to get out of the camp to a small amount of safety. He knew that he would only be safe once he had crossed the border.
Pavel had no idea what date it was, he could only tell that it was probably about 7:00 for the sun had set along time ago. Now was his only chance. He began cutting away at the wire, panicking. Finally the hole is cut. Crouching low so that he doesn’t give away his silhouette, he slowly moves across an open plain, which goes on for about 75 yards. Once he reached the brush he gets out his secretly hidden map. It is sewn in on a handkerchief, which his Uncle gave him just before he died. He could not see the map. He knew that the direction he was heading in was south which was the general direction he was going in.
He could tell that he was going south for the south wall was where the people who were going to be gassed had to line up before being taken away. He had escaped from the direction of the south wall. Pavel is a seventeen-year-old boy. He was born through a Christian family but adopted by a Jewish family about 14 years before the war broke out. They counted him as Jewish even though he had not been circumcised because he was found in a Jewish temple and his records were found of his life and about being adopted. He was straight away sent to the camp in Auschwitz and sentenced to death after a few years of labour.
He escaping for it almost time for him to meet his death and he wants to find the rest of his family. He was caught in the church. His family got away. I am frozen with fear now. I had got the main part done which was getting out of the camp. I can’t think what to do. I lay still, huddled up on the ground, just staring out into the night. It’s a big country, but now made small for there are troops stationed everywhere. The sirens might even go of back at the camp in about 30 minutes. I started walking when a German sentry walked on to a path directly coming my way.
I could tell there was no news of an escape; otherwise these soldiers would be looking a lot more alert. They rifles were slung up on their shoulders and dangling while they were smoking calmly. I waited for them to move past me. I didn’t want to give myself away already. The footsteps died out in a just a matter of seconds. I struggled to get back up and when I did I staggered in the brush along the path in the southern direction. I was walking for about an hour now and had past quite a few machine gun posts. My aim was to get to Hungary, I don’t know how but I was going to do my best. I heard noises and smoke from the chimney of a hut.
For a moment a thought it was just drunk soldiers. I crossed the path and came close up to an open window. The soldiers were not drunk. I saw them loading rifles and magazines with bullets and from my faint knowledge of German language they were talking about an escape from Auschwitz. I knew this was I. I waited for the Germans to go. I heard their motorbikes revving up and watched them leave up the windy path. I didn’t have a clue where I. I went close to the light coming out from the window and I took out my handkerchief. I found the area that I was in. I was astonished by how good this map was to me.
It had fooled the guards at Auschwitz and now it was going to get me past the border. I realised I sill had around 100 kilometres to go before I reached the border. It sounded a long way. I saw nobody inside the hut. I could see German trench coat near the window and I reached across to grab. A voice suddenly in a gentle tone said, “Food? ” I didn’t reply. I was paralysed with fear and a turned around after a few seconds. Again came the voice of a young man, “Would you like some food? ” I replied, “You’re Polish? ” His accent seemed a bit funny but I assumed he was a decent person. “Yes”, said the man, “You have runaway haven’t you.
You’re Jewish aren’t you? Would you like some food? ” Ignoring the offer I carried on the conversation. ” I am. Do you think there is any way I could get to the border quickly? My feet have worn out. I have no shoes. Will the Germans be coming back here? ” ” They will, but don’t worry your safe here. You must be so tired and cold. You can stay in my cellar; the Germans think this will be the last place someone would stay. I have wine going to the Germans a the border, you might be able to hitch a lift. ” I didn’t yet know if I could trust this man and his ideas for me. “Could I have some food and some shoes? ” I asked.
He stood there thinking. ” I don’t have shoes but I do have some food. Here. ” He lay down some bread and butter. I was happy. There was about half a loaf. In Auschwitz we only got about 3 slices of bread without butter a day. I had suffered bad symptoms. I kept on fainting. I finished eating all I could and got up. I was being very cautious of this man. He led me outside the hut and there was a little door entering the ground. I jumped in. His last words ever to me were, “You can stay here for the night. The delivery truck will beep when he gets here so you will hear it and wake up. I will tell him of the situation. ” “Thank you.
Thank you so much. ” The door shut and me last glimpse of light faded to nothing. BEEP! I heard the sound of the truck and there was light coming through the cracks of the door. I opened the door slightly and peered out through the gap. There was a black truck there. I knew what to do. I climbed out and jumped into the back. There were some empty cargo boxes and full ones. The full ones were at the back of the truck and the empty were towards the front. I jumped into an empty box. I was worried. I didn’t know who was driving, what if it was a German in disguise and this whole thing was a set up to get me returned back to the camp.
The engine started off and the vehicle started moving. I never realised it but there was food in the box. There was some bread and cheese. I thought this was a luxury. The truck had been driving for about half a day. I thought we were lucky because we had not been stopped once. The truck glided gently into a halt and I heard some voices. I heard the driver explaining that we have wine for the officers on the border. The back of the truck opened up. I could see a German officer through the holes in the box. He stepped into the back and opened up a box. I could tell by his face that he was satisfied.
He took two bottles and gave thumbs up to somebody. I heard the back door slam and the truck started off again. The driver gave a tap to the wall between the front and back of the truck. I assumed this was my call to get out. I slipped out of the box into the night. I could see the watchtowers and there were lights moving all over the fields. The place was swarming with Germans. I thought this was going to be the last of me. I knew I wasn’t going to make it. I heard the truck go off and I started to make my way out of the area because it could be the centre of attention to the Germans.
I was trundling my way through deep snow when I spotted a German post. I avoided it and found my self in the middle of a spotlight. My instincts were just to run. I heard bullet fire. I then got shot in the back. I was just at the barbed wire and I started hacking away at it with my wire cutters. At this moment Pavel was shot in the back of his neck. He carried on cutting through. Eventually a hole was made. Shots were landing all around him from MP40 fire. He jumped through the barbed wire and his ragged trench coat got stuck on the wire.
He tried to set himself free and got shot in the back. There was just a little whole in his back but the round exploded in his stomach as it came out. HE carried on trying to set himself free when six German soldiers approached with their rifles locked into their soldiers. Each of them aimed at Pavel and fired. Pavel lay there strewn along the barbed wire. He did not know this but he died two days before his eighteenth birthday and his family had all died in concentration camps. This is not based on a true story but this would have happened a lot in the world war two in Poland.
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