It is cold, so bitter cold, on this dark, winter day in 1942. But it is no different from any other day in this Nazi concentration camp. I stand shivering in my thin rags, still in disbelief that this nightmare is happening.
I am just a young boy. I should be playing with friends; I should be going to school; I should be looking forward to a future, to growing up and marrying, and having a family of my own. But those dreams are for the living, and I am no longer one of them. Instead, I am almost dead, surviving from day to day, from hour to hour, ever since I was taken from my home and brought here with tens of thousands of other Jews. Will I still be alive tomorrow? Will I be taken to the gas chamber tonight?
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I walk back and forth next to the barbed wire fence, trying to keep my emaciated body warm. I am hungry, but I have been hungry for longer than I want to remember. I am always hungry. Edible food seems like a dream. Each day, as more of us disappear, the happy past seems like a mere dream, and I sink deeper and deeper into despair.
Suddenly, I notice a young girl walking past on the other side of the barbed wire. She stops and looks at me with sad eyes, eyes that seem to say that she understands that she, too, cannot fathom why I am here. I want to look away, oddly ashamed for this stranger to see me like this, but I cannot tear my eyes from hers.
Then she reaches into her pocket and pulls out a red apple. A beautiful, shiny red apple. Oh, how long has it been since I have seen one! She looks cautiously to the left and to the right, and then with a smile of triumph, quickly throws the apple over the fence. I run to pick it up, holding it in my trembling, frozen fingers. In my world of death, this apple is an expression of life, of love. I glance up in time to see the girl disappearing into the distance.
The next day, I cannot help myself as I am drawn at the same time to that spot near the fence. Am I crazy for hoping she will come again? Of course.
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But in here, I cling to any tiny scrap of hope. She has given me hope and I must hold tightly to it.
And again, she comes. And again, she brings me an apple, flinging it over the fence with that same sweet smile.
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