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A Short Story by Ian C. Kenson

Once again our parents had been driven and hounded from there previous homes, far away in the east, finally a little halt in the persecution had allowed them to begin to settle into living life again.

Three weeks later that changed, as all of the families were rounded up, transported in rail box trucks to the site of residence, herded from these rail trucks, begin driven down the barbed wired walkways, into the reception area, this was Auschwitz.

Selection took place, you that way, or you the other way. Moving as directed, was the normal choice, being stopped and pushed to the other line was not normal. When every one had been moved, we entered the barracks room, seven young girls in total, the cramped room only allowed two girls to a bed, better than the rail trucks.

Workers was select the next day, in the large warehouse, every one from the previous days train, had left there cases along with their discarded cloths, we were ordered to sift through every thing, removing, trinkets, cash and any thing of value. Every girl had an SS guard who would collect all items found. Weeks went by, many of the girls were changed, the SS guard moving contraband from our section, dropped a note before me, it read, I think I love you. Haughtily staring into the SS guards face, I ignored him. Every day he would stand slightly closer, there was never any response.

A month later, as the train load of rounded up people arrived, a face very familiar to me past by, shouting out, I was only heard by the SS guard, demanding to know, he was told, that is my sister with her two children, the SS guard immediately told me, she I can save, the children I cannot. So the sister was saved.

Through this effort, my feelings towards the SS guard changed, having secured both of us in the collection gangs, life became slightly easier. My feelings for him developed into deep love, keeping both of us clear and out of the hands of the executors, who systematically removed people as they wished. Every day was a bonus, we were surviving the horrors of the death camp.

Finally the SS guard told us we were going to be liberated, as the foreign troupes arrived, The SS guard was arrested, we were freed, but my love for the SS man, was now my greatest desire, having been within this system for more than four years, where could I go to, unless it was with this man.

Once a week he was allowed visits, tears were streaming down our faces as we parted, finally a lingering hand shake between us was allowed. The note was so small, no one saw it as my hand dropped into the coat pocket, arriving back into the room, that had been assigned to me, the note was recovered, flimsy as the paper was, when unfolded, it covered half a meter, written in tiny script, were his requests.

Throughout his assignment at Auschwitz, he had always taken from us, items we had found, extracted from the massive piles of suitcases that we emptied, not all of the proceeds had found there way into the transfer system, he had ferreted some of it away, large amounts of different monies, as well as gold and jewellery, all of which was cached up at a specific location. Would she now agree, for him and their possible future, deposit these items into the system he had set up years before.

Making her way through the streets, she was nervous, entering the building, handing over the details, every items was deposited immediately, a receipt was given to her, an hour later she had completed the task. One month later at her next meeting with him, she slipped the receipt to him, smiling slightly, he inclined his head.

His trial was held two weeks later, as an SS guard, he was questioned seriously, about what duties he had preformed, his defence lawyer utilized her sister statement with regards to how she had been saved from being eliminated in the gas chambers by his interaction, although the judges questioned him as to why he had not saved the children, his answer was I had no control over children, only adults. His sentence was 10 years imprisonment, they did not pass the death penalty, as was normal for SS personnel.

Three years into her life without her now husband, application was made to have his sentence reduced, she with her sister attended the court, the application was heard, judgement was delayed as the judges wished to review extra evidence, weeks passed by before they were recalled to the courts, with the judges now in session, the lawyers began to make their final supplications, which were immediately suspended, the government lawyer, rose to make a new referral to the judges.

Introducing before the court, this lawyer made claim to the judges that in fact both the women applying for reduction in the sentence, were in breach of the law, by perverting the law of justice, there were gasps around the court room, their lawyer acting for them, rose, but was told to sit down, the prosecution lawyer, stated that although originally they had been, victims of the Nazi regime, they had in fact had aided and abetted, the SS guard to plunder and steal hundreds and thousands of confiscated jewellery pieces, pieces of gold, whilst also stashing away thousands of foreign currencies in monies form, which had been deposited into a specified banking account, the judges on hearing this, halted the application, extending his time to twenty years, whilst imprisoning the women to five years sentences, also confiscating, the illegal proceeds from the previously set up bank account.


About the Author

Since his childhood, the author has taken part in numerous facets of life, volunteering for the merchant navy and sailing throughout the Far East and Australia, before volunteering in the Royal Air Force as a radio operator on air-sea rescue bases, which is where he became involved in the military throughout the Suez Crisis. After these episodes, he spent seventeen years in chemical manufacturing and the oil and gas industries, before taking on the life of an expat oil and gas worker, ending as an advisor and consultant. He spent the next forty-three years travelling the world whilst expanding his knowledge. Throughout these times, he became very competent within these industries, to the extent that he resolved production problems and numerous dangerous happenings. Specifically, he dealt with a 500,000-bbl (barrels) floating roof tank fire, successfully extinguishing it without the loss of production, whilst always considering the local communities and populations.

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