The holocaust was one of the worst events that happened in the world and it happened 21 years after the First World War. What was more tragic was the stories people told who had survived the concentration camps they went through and the punishments they had to suffer just to survive and live on, but even some people were killed for no apparent reason, other than just for fun. In this story Prisoner B-3087 it tells us a sad but survival story about a boy, named Yanek Gruener who survived ten concentration camps, where he had to survive being tortured, worked mercilessly, and almost starved.
In the beginning before the whole holocaust, Yanek was 10 years old; he was just an ordinary child. Then the day came when Hitler was saying that all Jews must disappear from Europe, the planes and the soldiers came to invade Krakow, the town they lived in, as Yanek and his family just waited and watched outside the window looking outside where buildings were bombed by the planes. As they watched the German soldiers fill the streets and tell everyone who was Jew in the city the new rules.
Jews were not allowed to go to school anymore, they’re not allowed to speak unless spoken to, all Jews are not allowed outside by 9 pm or they will be shot and a lot more for them. One late night to prove that Jews were not allowed outside after 9 pm, The German soldiers set fire to the synagogue where they worshipped and one person came outside to check and was shot on site, then a soldier pointed a gun to the dead man and still shot him; Proving they were serious.
Two years after that event they started building a three meter wall around Yanek’s neighbourhood to wall in all the Jews, all the people who weren’t Jews had to move out and the Jews who were living outside that ghetto had to move in. Wave after waves of Jews came into that ghetto and people who had to move in with other families so they wouldn’t be outside the streets at night. 1942 came and still no help approached to rescue them from the Germans, all they could do is still hope to be rescued. More and more Jews are taken into trucks so they would be brought to work at a factory for the war, but some of them never came back.
Then came the Germans to Yanek’s flat, invading and taking everything valuable they owned, and leaving his mother in shock. Yanek then goes outside to check if anyone else was left, and went to the roof higher than he would usually go to, and found a big silver door which lead him into finding this pigeon coop, he then told his father that they can fix this pigeon coop up and hide in there from the Germans. His father agreed to live in there and invited some of his cousins to hide with them, they then put silver bars on the door so anyone from the outside can’t get in.
Then one day, The Germans made an announcement saying that they needed seven thousand Jews, which freaked everyone in the ghetto since they never needed that much before. So they asked for the healthiest people to come and volunteer since they needed healthy Jews to work, the next day when no one came out, the Germans yelled at them to come out, but since no one listened they went into the hospitals and dragged out the sick and shot them on the street, and they just kept pulling all the sick out.
It lasted for the whole day, and then at night they gave a last warning that if no one came out they would liquidate the ghetto, meaning that they would kill everyone in the whole ghetto. So they all decided to leave their homes so the ghetto wouldn’t have had to be liquidated, except for Yanek and some of his family who stayed in hiding until the Germans collected Seven thousand Jews and taken away. The next day after the deportation, Yanek made a fateful decision, instead of heading home that day he went by a friend’s house, and that’s when another deportation happened.
Yanek ran and squeezed himself into a corner on the other side of a short set of stairs to an apartment building and tried to disappear in the shadows. Luckily Yanek wasn’t spotted by anyone but he did spot someone, which was his parents, Yanek thinking it was his parents almost yelled out their name but held back just in case it wasn’t. After that deportation Yanek ran all the way back to his flat to check if that was his parents, but when he knocked on the door he saw his cousin Sala, tears running down her face, Yanek was devastated and fell to his knees sobbing.
One day, Yanek was working at the tailor shop in Krakow hoping that he would be saved from deportation but that ended up being the reason why he was leaving. Yanek was gripped by fear while he was in the truck but he wasn’t sad to leave the ghetto because all of his family were gone and he was the only one left. The truck then took him to Plaszow, a labor camp just a few kilometers outside Krakow.
After they arrived Yanek was given wooden shoes and a blue-and-gray-striped prisoner uniform, they were all then marched to the tailor shop to work, meanwhile they were marching Yanek scanned the prisoners along the tailor shop and saw his Uncle Moshe and he called him. Instead of Uncle Moshe looking up in excitement he looked a Yanek with horror and shook his head at him, later that night when they were marched to their barracks, Uncle Moshe found him, and pulled Yanek in for a hug, and asked for forgiveness for him not being able to greet him in the moring.
He then told Yanek how to survive and told Yanek what happened to his aunt Gizela, and little Zytka, and he told them they died because they couldn’t work, so the Nazis shot them. He then told Yanek to avoid Amon Goeth, the commander of the camp, Amon Goeth was a very cruel man who killed any Jew just for fun and he would send his dogs to do it for him, he wouldn’t have his breakfast each day until he’d killed at least one Jew.
Then one day, Yanek was taken away to clean his ghetto, since they liquidated that area he had to clean out anymore valuables that was left, and luckily for him he found a sweater and a jacket where his mother had sewn in money into those sweaters, which made him really happy because it means they would be able to buy food from outside and his uncle knew someone who snuck in bread and sold it for a prize. That night when he came back he told his uncle about what he found and so his uncle bought half a loaf of bread which was more than what they usually get, and they had tons of food to eat.
Until that one day when Yanek returned from cleaning out his ghetto, he asked what the score was (How many people Amon Goeth has killed that day) and this guy named, Thomas said one, and looked down. He asked who it was and he said it was his uncle Moshe; Yanek couldn’t believe it and asked how if he was working outside the camp. Thomas said that they closed that shop and reassigned all the workers inside the camp, where his Uncle was made the leader of a group breaking rocks, and when Goeth demanded to know how much work they did, he didn’t like the answer and so Uncle Moshe was killed that day.