School: Jordanhill School, Glasgow
Zaczynać się-To begin
This story begins at the start, middle and end of my life. What’s happening now is the beginning of my new life, the middle (I hope) of my current life and the complete dead end of my old life, which withered like a flower in winter after the men came.
Dzień pierwszy- Day one
The warmer weather is advancing upon us, luring us to believe that better things are coming. Everything that happens that is not a tragedy is taken as a good omen, a beacon of hope. As I write these very words, the fading light from the sun on the horizon brushes across the paper, and puts an iridescent shine on the small stones surrounding the sleeping block. I can hear the men shout from behind, telling me with conviction that I am a brudny Żyd- a dirty Jew. They tell me I am useless and I’ll need to go now and I actually
Dzień drugi- Day two
I shan’t waste my stolen time on the events of yesterday, as they aren’t of any interest and I have a limited supply of stolen paper. There is a woman of my height that follows the men around like a small puppy. She is of a terrific posture and with her pinched, grey lips she is as intimidating as any of the men. Her hair is wispy and baby-like, not unlike spun sugar. There is a yellow tinge that adds an angelic quality to her presence, but this small piece of beautifulness is challenged by the ugliness of her skin. Upon first look, the woman seems elf-like, but when your eyes venture further, it is clear to see that her almost translucent skin does nothing to hide thick blue veins protruding from her forehead and neck.
The woman’s hands are smaller than my own. Her fingernails are perfectly oval and gleam in the sunlight, but her cuticles are chapped and rugged, with open cuts and sores. She walks with a gracefulness I only imagined a ballerina could possess, and as she walks her hair bounces up and down, up and down.
The woman is, like the men, a Nazi guard.
Dzień trzeci- Day three
Today, the woman was doling out mouthful-sized portions of soup to us when I overheard her name. The male guard spoke to her in a derogatory tone, and I was able to make out the name Nosek, a common surname from my home country of Poland. After the man had beckoned her, she stopped handing out food short of my table and so we went hungry. With an emptiness in my stomach, I was determined to fill the emptiness in my head with reasons why I was bothering myself about the woman. I was hesitant to admit to myself that there were none.
I must succumb to sleep now, because I am sharing a bunk with four other men, none of whom have any consideration for the others. The rain is sloshing about in the puddles outside, and I know this because I can hear the guards laughing and drunkenly staggering around. Why must they be permitted to have a fun time while I must stay in a bunk trying not to crumple my stolen paper?
I cannot hear a woman’s voice outside.
Dzień czwarty- Day four
I seem to have developed an adolescent liking for the girl guard. Her ethereal aura seems to entice me, even when my back is tender and my bones are feeble from overwork. I believe that she is not a typical guard. My restless mind is forever constructing different fantasy stories and tales of why she is here. A top-secret spy coming to save us all from the man in charge. She is my guardian angel, come to save me from the horrors of life. My mind begins to work like that of a small child’s, as no situation I imagine is truly impossible. She is an alien from the moon, referred to Earth on a job. She is a puppet made to entertain us while we suffer.
Today was a jubilant day (if a day is permitted to be jubilant in this place), as it was a guard’s birthday, so they were all in more sympathetic moods than days before. There was a light sprinkling of sunshine on the ground, like dust of a faerie.
Passover is nearing.
Dzień piąty- Day five
One of my bed-mates has died. I expect a new man will transfer to our bed soon, as it is larger than most.
She is magnificent in her manner. Today I have made progress, as I have discovered her first name. I was walking towards the eating blocks, my thick skin barely defending my body against the jagged edges of rocks scattered wildly on the ground. The girl guard, whose last name is, of course, Nosek, brushed past my arm, rustling my blue uniform and breathing with her humid breath into my ear. She said, almost inaudibly, Nazywam się Pola- my name is Pola. Pola Nosek. A pure and original Polish name. I think I am in love. I think I am obsessed.
Dzień szósty- Day six
The days are long here, and not just because of the growing hours of sunlight that we are all thankful for. They are long because of the waiting for my faerie girl. She is in my shaved head at all times. I write her name in the dust outside the sleeping block and hastily rub it out for fear of someone observing my obsession. I can no longer focus on the day ahead of me.
Dzień siódmy- Day seven
My writings here are limited in size for two reasons. I am running out of my crumpled and stolen paper and I am thinking about Pola. I don’t know, and I don’t want to know, what is happening to me because I fear it shall dampen the happiness I am experiencing in the midst of this nightmare. I must see Pola now. She must be outside where the guards congregate to laugh and joke at the expense of the Jews.
Dzień ósmy- Day eight
Polapolapolapola. Her name rolls around my tongue like the boiled sweets I used to eat in abundance during my childhood. I can hear her name in my head, reaching out to me. I must go in to her arms, go to safety.
pola I must go to your arms you will comfort me pola I love you will you look after me pola pola I cannot stop thinking about you help me please help help help
Dzień dziewiąty- Day nine
I am leaving this place behind. Goodnight.
He thought my name was Pola. He was wrong.
I am death, come to welcome you into my arms.
Be nice to the faerie girl. I will take care of you.
Note: The language used in this piece of writing is Polish and this is the language that many of the Jews spoke.