24 January, 2012
Dear Patty Bergen,
I’m going to let you in on a secret. In order to survive you have to watch out for yourself. This is the reason why I have no one left. I was split apart from my mother and siblings when we arrived at the first concentration camp. I was scared to be split apart from my father so we both had to lie about our age. But of course he got older and weaker, and eventually he died.
I’m not sure how long we stayed at each camp, but the selection process was nerve wrecking. The method of selection was simple, but it started with you getting a number tattooed on your arm. You had to run as fast as you could and if the SS officers took down your number you were killed. It was mainly survival of the fittest out there. Either you do what you can to stay alive or die. Oh, and then there was the evacuation course of action. It had to be one of the ...view middle of the document...
I’m not proud of it, but I did what I had to do. This whole experience has turned me into a man, it’s taught me how to fen for myself. If he would’ve fought to stay alive just four months longer he would’ve seen the end of the war. It was sad to know that he could’ve been with me right now, but he’s dead now. There’s nothing I can do about it anymore.
I’m in a hospital in Buchenwald at the moment. I was transferred here because I was struck with food poisoning. It’s ironic because at the concentration camp the food was much worse and my stomach was perfectly fine. We got soup and bread on an average day, but one time I had to eat potato skins and grass because I was starving.
I recall meeting a young French girl at one of the warehouses that I worked at. She spoke perfect German, and was a Jewess. But at the camp everybody thought she was Aryan, because that’s what she told them. She was a forced labor deportee. I ran into her years later, she told me the reason why I hadn’t seen her again was because she had escaped the concentration camp in Germany. She said to me when I was beaten, that’s why I remembered her.
My foot was infected so I had to get surgery, I was so anxious. The patients in the hospital were treated so much better than the others. We got thicker soup, more bread, and water whenever we asked for it. But the downside was that we still had to go through selection. Right after I got out of the hospital all of us had to evacuate the camp. Good thing I left the infirmary early, I heard that they left the injured people behind. I think it was because they didn’t pass selection. I ran with a healing foot; consequently, it left red marks in the snow as I sprinted.
I hate concentration camps; they are anybody’s worst nightmare. It was the most horrible experience I could ever go through. I would not wish that pain and suffering onto my worst enemy. I’m so glad that it’s all over now, hopefully you don’t have to ever go through what I had to.
Write me back and tell me some of your experiences. I’d really enjoy reading your letter.