OUT FROM THE GRAVE
by Alexander Kimel
On March 20, 1942 the Einsatzgroupen killed 3400 Jews.
After the action, when I was looking for my sister, I saw
a shadow of a girl moving slowly through the streets. She
was all soaked and stained with blood. When she came
closer I recognized her. It was Cyla, the sister of my
school friend Arnold.
When she came closer to me, she recognized me. She
approached me and said: "Josh can you help me to get
home?. I am all shaken. I just came out from the grave."
Without asking her any question I took her under the arm
and walked her home. When we walked into the room she
collapsed on the bed. I took a wet towel and started to
wipe the blood off her face. I wanted to see if se is still bleeding?
When under the influence of the cold water she slowly came
to her senses and opened her eyes. She recognized me.
"What happened to you? You are covered with blood."
"I was shot and came out of the mass grave." She answered.
"I can't believe it. How did it happen?"
She told a blood stirring story. "I was standing in line
to be shot. I was the last of my family. My father,
mother and my brother were already shot. The SS man was
sitting at the edge of the pit and shooting nonchalantly
people. I felt like being suspended in a world of non-believe, watching a horror movie. The carnage was
"I was very calm. When my turn came, the Murderer looked
me straight in the eyes and nonchalantly lifted the
weapon. I heard an explosion and I fell into the pit.
Thank God it is over for me, I said to myself. It was so
fast, without pain. Now I will be going to Heaven. The
worst is over."
"After a while I started to choke. The weight of the
bodies falling on my dragged me down. My ordeal is not
over. I am alive. I started to move my hands, my head. I
was alive, indeed. With all my strength I pushed upward
to get some air. I whole day I struggled to keep
"After a while the shooting stopped, and soon I heard the
Prayer for the Dead- Kaddish said. It meant that some
Jews are still alive. I laid quietly, afraid to be shot.
When the darkness fell I crawled out of the pit and came
back. Joel, what is going to happen to us?, I am scared
of living and afraid of dying."
Before I could answer the question, the door opened and an
elderly neighbor walked into the room. Seeing the girl
she started to cry softly.