Madame Schaecher: A Short Story

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Trapped, sealed, and locked in. The train begins to move. We were packed into the cattle cars. I was almost mistaken for dead and thrown from the car but thankfully my son, Eliezer, walks me. We traveled cramped together so tightly in this cattle car that it is impossible to even lie down. We even had to take turns sitting down because there is no space. Being in there for two days feels like eternal. We were tormented by nearly unbearable conditions. There are so many people that there is no air to breathe. I can smell the sweat, tears, and fear from the people. After days of travel the train came to a sudden stop. We stopped at the Czechoslovakian border; we were not simply being relocated like we had thought. They took all of my valuables, everything I had. The German army threatened to shoot every one of us if anyone escaped. The doors to the car are nailed shut. Out of all the people on the train there was a woman who stood out, mostly because she was crazy. Her name was Madame Schaechter. I believe she is losing her mind. She starts screaming hysterically about a fire and a furnace that she claims to see in the distance. She terrifies the people in our wagon, and they rush to see what she is pointing at out the window. I don’t see it though and neither does anyone else.…show more content…
Everyone else on the train feels like they are about to go mad too, including myself. Her screams were like nails on a chalkboard. Finally, the wagons arrive at Auschwitz, which then we are told is a labor camp where conditions are good. People 's spirits lift, although Madame Schaechter continues to scream. As the train pulls into the camp, we suddenly see the flames and chimney that Madame Schaechter had prophesied. When her vision finally materializes, Madame Schaechter becomes silent. We are forced to get out of the train, amidst the smell of burning flesh. We were at Birkenau, the reception center for
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