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 The life a Jewish man.

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HunterK

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Posts : 147
Join date : 2017-04-15
Age : 22
Location : Illinois

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Name: Marcus Coughlin
Faction: NCR
Level: 32

PostSubject: The life a Jewish man.   Sat Jul 29, 2017 10:59 pm

This is a story about Matvey Gredinger, a holocaust survivor and please understand that the details I have entangled into this story are in no way or fashion meant to be disrespectful of him or his family. I merely thought that his story would make a great legend, and he was a great man. There is no proper ending to this story as Matvey was captured and sent to a Ukrainian labor camp, then rescued by the Russian Red Army in 1944. I hope you enjoy the story and please be kind as this was someone's life.

I am a citizen of a small town called Vertujeni in the area of Bessarabia, Romania. I am a Romanian Jew, as a child I studied at a Jewish school, mostly Hebrew and Jewish history. I moved away after completing the seventh grade to the Romanian capital of Bucharest. The year was 1934, I was working in a textile factory when I started hearing stories of anti-Semitic groups, especially the League of National Christian Defense, we heard that they were attacking and harassing Romanian Jews. My name is Matvey Gredinger, this is a journal I wrote in during the holocaust. I am a survivor…

Vysoka, Romania, June, 30th 1940-.

I’ve just arrived to Vysoka, this is where my family lives now, it’s not quite like Vertujeni, but it is at least calm here. There is unrest in the capital, the Soviets occupy Bessarabia right now, and we are all hoping that this will keep the Germans away from us. I’ve seen Romanian soldiers whispering about how the Germans grow closer to us every day; this information is of course passed down the line from word of mouth, and can change any day. One day we are being invaded, the next day the Germans are being pushed back all the way into Berlin. Anyways, I think I’m going to retire from my job at the textile factory and try to protect my family. The Germans are a treacherous people, and I’m sure the violence will be getting worse here soon...

Vysoka, Romania, July, 4th 1940-

The Red Army is pulling out, leaving only us and the Romanian army. All the officials are being pulled out along with the soviets for protection. My family is boarding up the house; my brother and I are taking turns sitting watch, I’m sitting with a dimly lit candle next to me peering out of a crack between the boards of the window. My Mosin Nagant is sitting in my lap, my hand on the grip and my finger is on the trigger. I feel calm for some reason. I know what is going to happen when the soviets pull out completely, it means that all of the Jews here are going to be killed or captured by the Romanians, or the Germans. I can’t say I blame the Romanians though; I’m just as scared as them only I don’t show it. I must be strong for my family…

How long had I been sleeping? The candle had burned down to a pile of melted wax, I looked around and the whole house was dark. My brother was sleeping on the couch. I set down my rifle and lit a match, walking to the kitchen for another candle. I lit the fresh candle and the room was immediately illuminated, so bright that I was forced to squint my eyes to be able to see; I gave it a second so the candlelight dimmed, and then made my way to the common room; I set down the candle and picked up my rifle. I was looking outside the window when I saw the bright dancing flames of a burning torch. I quickly snuffed out the candle and chambered a round into my soviet made Mosin Nagant 7.62x54R I held my breath; I could see the faces of all four men, they were Romanian soldiers. Prowling towards the door I moved like a complete enigma, never making a sound.

The four men stopped in front of our house, I backed away and leveled my rifle at the door. I could see the glow of the torch get brighter as the men came closer and closer to the porch. I had decided in my mind that I would wait until they kicked the door down, knowing why they were here. And then it happened, in an instant the torch light went dark, and then there was the loud crash of the door being kicked open. It was me and them now, the door seemed to open as if time had stopped. I fired off my round, nicking the edge of the door; all the same the bullet whistled and made a loud wet crack when it hit the chest of the first soldier, who collapsed into the front door. I had already chambered another round when I saw the next soldier running towards me. I chambered the round, his face right in front of me, I fired off another round into the man’s face, causing it to distort and wrap around, shooting out the back of his skull. Blood covered the door way. I reached to reload when out of the dark; another soldier flung himself through the doorway crashing into me before I could reload. We scuffled out onto the front lawn, and then another soldier started to help his comrade beat me. They threw me to the ground and that’s when I heard the sound that changed my life. The loud bang of a Tokarev TT-30. I felt the inertia of the bullet, the feeling of torn flesh, and the warmth of fresh blood. I could smell the gunpowder in the air, and then the whole world went dark…
I awoke into a world of darkness; I waited a minute for my eyes to adjust to the dark.
I lied there, wondering if I was dead or not, I reached for my neck, the wound was still tender, the flesh was torn. I had been lucky. The bullet neither hit the jugular vein, nor my wind pipe. The wound had clotted stopping it from bleeding; I heard footsteps coming my way and gently laid my head back on the ground. I could hear talking, and that’s when I heard the strike of a match, the smell of sulfur filled my nose; the soldiers were back, and one of them put a match in front of my nose and mouth, checking to see if I was still alive or breathing. When it seemed he was satisfied, he and his comrade started to pull some bodies from the house; I could hear the dragging of feet. When they were done, they started to pile rocks on me; I suppose to pay homage in some form of a pitiful grave.

I shoved the rocks aside once they were gone, and immediately ran for the woods, it was clear that my family was dead, all of them. I ran and I ran, until my heart felt like it was going to explode, my head throbbing like the beat of a drum, my veins pumping battery acid, and then I ran some more. Finally I found a small barn, the farm house was dark, so I crept into the upper loft and laid there on a bed of straw and hay, thinking about everything that had just happened. And it hit me that I had just killed a man, several men actually, and yet I felt no remorse, no pain, I was just blank. I knew my family was dead, and yet still, nothing. I used to read the Torah as a younger boy, I thought back to certain verses that talked about killing. There were two ways to put it, in warfare killing was lawful, capital punishment was lawful, and killing in self-defense was lawful. Unlawful killing were things like murder, accidental murder, or murder by neglect. Now I know those Romanian soldiers violated the first three lawful rights for killing, but I couldn’t help but feel like I had committed a crime of nature. In the back of my head the whole scene played over, and over, and over again. I decided to just not think at all, and there I laid for the rest of the night silent as the whispering wind that blew outside the barn.
The next day I woke up to the barrel of a gun pointed in my face and a German soldier spouting at me he said: “aufstehen du dreckige judische Hund!”
I couldn’t understand what that man was saying besides Jewish dog, everything else was lost to me. Since I didn’t understand, I laid perfectly still looking at him dead in the eye, he looked right back at me and with his other hand, motioned “up” I knew what he meant and got up off of the wooden barn floor. The Nazi grabbed me by the forearm and dragged me out of the barn, I saw that there was a canvas topped truck outside with armed Germans standing around smoking, or conversing with another soldier. The one pulling me by my arm, threw back the canvas cover in the back of the truck and shoved me inside, where there were Jews, all cramping for space.
The truck ended up taking us to some back woods compound where we were off loaded and thrown a change of clothes, there were some officers counting in German and writing on a clipboard of forms. Those bastards were logging us like we were their property, like they owned us. And right then and there I decided that I was going to fight the Germans in any way possible. We were prodded along down the line until they marched us to what was going to be our home for the next four years, (five if you count the time it took for the Russians to let us immigrate it other countries.) the barracks was small, with bunk beds on each side going down in rows, although I cannot complain, the long room was insulated for the winters, it had vents and wooden stoves, and there was even windows. Had I known then what I knew now about the desecration and massacre of my people, I wouldn’t have said a word. Auschwitz must have been hell for those poor people that were less fortunate than I.
We were finally settled in and had changed our clothes, the Germans then made us go back outside and took yet another role call to see if anyone had tried to escape, or if they were just trying to skip out on their “duty” to the Third Reich.

Vysoka, Romania, November, 12th, 1943-
It has been two years and the Germans are losing the war. I spoke to the SS Commander that is in charge of our camp, I am a worker relations representative between the Germans and the people of our camp; Things have gradually gotten better, the Germans are finally giving us our personal belongings back. Soon enough the war will be over for them and maybe everyone can go home. Despite as much hatred as I have for the Nazi party, I do not blame the lower men who are acting as their servants. Most are just people like me, cast into a situation they never asked for. I’m a roofer for the Germans, going into other forced labor camps putting up roofs for the workers, and the German soldiers who live in their barracks at the camp. The Americans have also joined in the war; they are allied with the British, French, and the Russian Red Army. I’m putting down this journal and throwing myself into my work. I can still see their faces, the men that I have killed; but still, I feel no remorse even for my loved ones, after seeing the things that I have seen in other camps. I will keep on working, this is my scapegoat, and I have come to accept that I am going to die in this place.
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