Gross Rosen Essay, Research Paper
Life has never been this hard. Sitting in a cattle car, don’t know where you’re going. You
have ideas, you’ve heard stories, but you don’t really know. No food, no water, shivering.
Everyone is quiet, some are sleeping, some are crying. It’s been a long ride, and I am
weak, but I can feel the train slow down. Some men start waking others up, one is not
waking. He was wounded earlier in the battle for our capital. Most of us knew this young
boy would not survive, but we were hoping. We hear noises outside, other cars being
opened. My heart is pounding. The noises get closer, until finally they come to us. The
cold air swoops in as the Nazi Soldiers yell at us to step out, to hurry. I shiver, not at the
weather, but of my fear. We start marching from the train station to Gross-Rosen. A
concentration camp near Wroclaw, Poland. Prisoners are running around in Gross-Rosen,
half-crazed and barefoot in the snow. It is the scariest site, something no one should see,
or go through. We stand in lines as officers go through and get our names. The names I
hear are not all true. “Your name?!” he says to me.
“Stanislaw Halinski.” I say proudly. Although that is not true either. Now there
is nothing else to do except to wait. We stand there, quiet, cold, hungry, thirsty. They
call to us and take us in groups to the showers. The water is ice cold and the shower lasts
no more than a minute. I don’t get to dry myself off before they give me my clothes. I put
them on, feeling humiliated. They take us to the men’s barracks, and lock us in there with
no food or water. It’s every man for himself in here. Some start to yell, other’s fall and
cry, lots pray. I pray with them for myself especially, my family too. That night I start to
The next morning we are awaken early and sent out into the field. Here they count
us, we stand for hours until they finish. In groups again, they assign us to a quarry and we
start working on the granite. We are no longer men, now we are slaves. We work hard
with picks in our hands. Not even one break! When we finished for the day, they gave us
food. It wasn’t hot, it wasn’t fresh. It had gone bad already. Cabbage and turnip green
with water into a soupish goop. It was pig slop, no one wanted to eat it, but we were
hungry and I guess that you get used to the food. I must have, eating like that every day
for a year.
I was one of the lucky, you can say. Out of 40,000 at this camp, I was lucky! I
was not picked for weird experiments, did not get sick with a harmful disease, did not get
shot, was not put into a gas chamber, I did not die. Gross-Rosen was above all a hard-
labor camp. But I was lucky.
By: Anya K.
(This is about my grandfather.)