SELECTION IN AUSCHWITZ

small cloud passed slowly over the flawless sky of Auschwitz.
     The tall SS woman in the blue starched shirt strikingly harmonized with the sky; she tied together heaven and earth. Her eyes gazed through the people who passed in front of her. Her chest rose slowly with every movement.
      "There," she motioned as I stepped naked and shivering in front of her. With the motion of her hand she would decide if I should live or be sent to the crematorium.
      I stretched my frail body to impress her with my youthful strength and, looking straight into her eyes, I whispered: "Its my fifteenth birthday today."
      Our eyes met for a moment. She hesitated, then her hand shifted directions,
      "There," she said loudly. Her voice filled with annoyance for the delay-- it just took seconds.
      I looked around. Hundreds of people, faceless in their haunted bodies, assembled toward the other direction. My pencil-thin legs quivered like wheat in a breezy day. "Freedom! Freedom! God grand me freedom."
      The rhythm of the words shook my body.
      The woman in the uniform, like a well oiled machine, motioned: Left-right. Life-death. Right-left. Death-life. The barbed wire fence imprisoned the limits of the eye, but above was the limitless sky. A regular summer day elsewhere another day in Auschwitz.

                       Excerpt from EMPTY WINDOWS AND NOW IN
                       AUSCHWITZ FLOWERS GROW The Art and
                       Writings of Alice Lok Cahana

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