"The Post Office delivered the deportation and denaturalization orders; the Finance Ministry confiscated Jewish property; German firms fired Jewish workers and disenfranchised Jewish stockholders; the universities refused to admit Jews, denied degrees to those already studying, and fired Jewish academics; government transport offices arranged the trains for deportation to the camps; German pharmaceutical companies tested drugs on camp prisoners; companies bid for the contracts to build the crematoria; detailed lists of victims were drawn up using the Dehomag (IBM Germany) company's punch card machines, producing meticulous records of the killings. As prisoners entered the death camps, they were made to surrender all personal property, which was carefully catalogued and tagged before being sent to Germany to be reused or recycled."
There was a constant and terrifying sound of war. Echoes of thunder came closer and closer to their home. On the third day, very early in the morning, Samuel's mother awoke to the sound of shots being fired. She climbed out of her bed and looked out of the small window.
In the semi-darkness she could see soldiers arresting people in the adjacent street and lining them up for questioning. Her eyes squinted as she tried to see if she could recognize any of them. As she did so, she whispered to herself,
"It is just the men . . . " She jumped as she felt a hand on her shoulder and glanced around to see Samuel.
"They're going to question the men." He shook his head and soberly whispered,
"No . . . " His mother looked inquiringly into his deep brown eyes. As she did so, she flinched at the sound of guns being fired in unison and looked back to see about a dozen men fall to the ground. She put her hand to her mouth and said,
"Dear God, they've shot them!"
The noise of Samuel and his mother had been enough to wake Jerry, who was now standing by the door of his bedroom. He had heard their voices earlier, and got up and slipped on some clothes. When he heard the shots, he came out of his room. Samuel ran across, grabbed him by the arm and said,
"They're shooting the men! We've got to hide bef . . ." There was a loud pounding on the door that made their hearts stop in terror. His mother said,
"The back door, quickly!"
Samuel opened the door, pushed his son ahead of him and said,
"Run Jerry! Run for your dear life!"
To be continued.