I stood, frozen in what we were to call our home for the forthcoming future. The small, three bedroomed flat loomed above the town square, in which my brother and sister used to play. But I only got to look out of that single sacred window in this dark, cold place for a moment before my Mother closed the deep brown curtains with a look of sadness on her pale blank face. For it was illegal for Jews to buy make up or anything to make ourselves look made up any more.
I was tired, hungry and cold. Yet I couldn't do anything about it. My Father's worn old leather jacket I wore was pulled around me as tightly as I could have it, yet that didn't block out the coldness in my heart. The only thing of real importance that I brought with me from our old home down Hales Grove, was a picture. A picture of my brother, sister and me. Standing in our coats with our 'sacred' stars sewn onto the outside. That was the last day we saw our Father. That was only a few days before we came here.
You can tell my Mother is feeling the pain of our loss. It wasn't a natural death either. Our Father, A beautiful man, a gentle man, a man with a heart. Gone in an instant. And the worst part is... we were made to watch. A podium of shame we stood on, my five year old brother not understanding. Tears pouring down my Mother's and sister's cheeks. Neither of them should have been made to watch that. My sister just twelve, my Mother... her husband up there. I stood strong that day. I was sixteen then, seventeen now. I looked at my Father's face. The person who had taught me all. How to make a paper aeroplane, how to tie my shoelaces. All that mattered to me as a little boy.
As the gunshot sounded, my brother fell silent. Only silent sobs coming out of his premature mouth. We were led away then, from that place of darkness, that place of dread, That place of death. I can see that out of the window that Mother pulled the deep brown curtains across. The tiny crack in the tight bringing together of what will keep us safe. I still can't forget that day.
It's hard for my brother, his mind wanting to run free yet he is constricted to a small area, No screaming, No shouting, No being five. Thomas, his name is. Too posh for my brother, so his five year old mind thinks. He is sitting here now, just beside me as I write this. His feet tapping the polished wooden floor below us, his mouth letting off sounds that resemble a train. My mother comes in, paler than ever. Her eyes no longer their bright, joyful blue.
"No noise, children," she reminds us in her shaken, quiet voice just audible
"Yes Mother," my brother and I chorus, in our hushed 'hiding' voices.
She then leaves, quickly followed by my brother and I am left by myself in my thoughts once more. Many things rush through my mind. 'What if Hitler hadn't come to power' and 'What if we had fled earlier'
And the main one that hits me often-
'Why didn't Mother let me go to the work camp?'...