I cried out

“I cried out against the brutality, but no one listened.”

I can still see my father as he waved to me for the last time. After that I was taken to a work camp with 280 men aged 18 to 48. We worked very hard, and although I had not previously done any physical labor, I was young, and I quickly got used to it. We were used for the hardest, most dangerous tasks, such as digging out unexploded bombs. During air raids, we had to stay nearest the military storage for explosives because, as they said, if we were hit, “At least the ammunition would not be wasted.”

They fed us well at the camp, but their cruelty can be best expressed this way: When they confiscated things and searched us, they ripped to shreds all photographs of family members we had in our possession. Fathers watched as their precious pictures–maybe their last glimpses of loved ones–were destroyed before their eyes. As the military snatched them away, they would exclaim, “You don’t need these pictures any more, because you will never see your family again!”