53 872 – Ida af Klercker

Day 32 – 46 deaths witnessed

I came here 32 days ago on a train with my sister. I barely know where here is and I do not know why I am here. Or I mean, it is because I am Polish, but why does that mean punishment is needed?

But this place is insane. I have been here for a month, and I think I am going crazy. I decided to try to steal pieces of paper from where I worked and tried to write things down to keep my humanity, because I have noticed that some of the other women do so. I am going to try to keep this objective and fact-based because I feel like that is the easiest way for me to stay sane. If I get caught I will get shot, but it is worth it.

My days here are almost all the same. We wake up get our daily coffee and bread, go to work, come back and get some soup and coffee before we can wash and go to bed. That is a good day. A bad day starts or ends with a roll call where we stand outside our block for countless hours without water or rest. A lot of people faint or sit down and then they are beaten. Luckily that never happened to me.

I live in block 27 with my sister who is very dear to me. We tried to escape to the north together, away from the war, but we got caught at the coast and now we are here. Both our parents are gone, so it is just her and I by ourselves now and she is everything to me. We do not work at the same factory but we shared a bed and a blanket during the nights.

Life inside the walls is but half a life. The walls surrounding us are the real enemy. Without them we could have just gone away from here.

I usually let my sister have the blanket because she is always very cold, I just hope she does not get sick and end up like that other girl that always moans through the night. So far I have witnessed 46 deaths. /Sylwia

Day 55 - 121 deaths witnessed

My sister is getting sick. I think it is tuberculosis but I cannot be sure. We are all trying to make it better and making it seem fine so she does not get selected. I cannot imagine a life without her. I tried to give her some of my soup to make her feel better. I got ten trikes and one turned into an open wound. One day I got no food at all. I can fit approximately three hands around my waist now.

In the factory we sometimes sing old songs and share stories to stay human. But we can only do it when the light-haired one is on guard. The dark-haired one does not even let us cough or sneeze without punishment.

The moaning girl in the bed across is dead now. The leg they operated on had doubled in size at the end and her toes were blue and white. But it was time, she looked like a ghost already. Eaten from the inside by the cruelty of the Germans. Feasted on by the vermin in the beds consuming our pasts and turning us into nothing but the numbers on our chests.

Day 81 – 203 deaths witnessed

I want to go home.

My sister is getting worse and worse. She is losing her memories and I hold my breath during every selection now. She talks about wanting to escape, but that is not possible. A couple of young girls tried but they were brought back four days later and were beaten in the square. No one has seen them since. But the hope of escaping is what keeps my sister walking so cannot bear to remind her about the girls. She is beginning to look like the moaning girl now. Here eyes are like black holes. She walks like the old ladies from block 42 when she actually can get out of bed. Her disease is destroying her. She keeps talking about visiting our mother, and I do not want to tell her it is not possible, She is dead. There is no point mourning the past. I see that now. People die here every day and no one raises an eyebrow. I want her to get better, but I do not have any hope left.

Day 250 – 592 deaths witnessed

One day my sister did not come home from the factory. Maybe she escaped, maybe she got shot. For her own sake I almost hope for the latter, so at least she did not have to suffer anymore. A girl also ran today. She walked in between the blocks, where we may reveal ourselves, and then suddenly she sprinted all she could, and before anyone could stop her she reached the fence. She just stuck. She did not fall, her frail body just kind of stayed and her head fell back. We did not get food for a day because of it, and we had a roll call where every tenth woman got 15 strikes with the bat.

Our new block supervisor will do that even if you did not do anything. I cannot even imagine what will happen if she finds this. But it does not matter, the Lord will take care of me. No one will look where I hide this, though, so I will probably live.

Now I can fit my hands around my waist and I do not flinch at the sight of death claiming his new victims. I can barely remember my old life anymore. This is all there is now, perhaps all there has ever truly been.

Day 268 – 1281 deaths witnesses

I miss her like crazy. I have since shared my bed with 5 other people who all passed away. The fifth one is still in the block. I do not want to say anything because then I will have to share my blanket. But they will come for her eventually. I am numb to the pain of the strikes now, I can easily handle 10 and 15. Our block supervisor has noticed a little bit, though. Yesterday I got 25.

I am beginning to lose faith. I used to think there would be some end to this. But there is no salvation in sight. I have no idea what is going on outside these walls. Is Poland still there? Is there still such a thing as faith in humanity or is the whole world like this? We have no connection to the outside world and no way of knowing. So why would we believe there is a light at the end of this tunnel? I admire the people who have kept their fire going. How can they? Having witnessed humanity at its worst, how can they still believe there is good in the world?

Day 493 – 2749 deaths witnessed

Why am I still here? What is this place? How did I get here? Did I ever get here? Or is this all there has been? This is all I know; this is all I do. I count my ribs for fun. I know every brick on the wall. I just sit. This is my life. My destiny. The smell. The vermin. The pain. The strikes. The punishment. The insects. The filth. The deaths. The smoke. The rocks. The people with black holes, and the others. Everything I know is gray, everything else is forgotten.

Day I lost count

There is no point left. Everything is monotone. I am dull, I am a ghost. My hope is gone. Nothing has changed and it will never do. It is not worth it. This is not a life, at least not a human life, not my life. I do not have anything to live for anymore. No one to live for anymore. What I had to live for is gone, and I miss her. All I want is to see her again, be with her again.

I am going to make a run for it. The fence is not my enemy anymore. I will welcome it, as a friend and as my end. / 53 872

                                                                                                                

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