Good morning everyone. My name is Joshua Orefice, in the early part of my childhood life is beautiful, living in Arezzo, Italy with my loving mother and father, Guido and Dora, but things take a turn for the worst with the occupation of my hometown by German forces. On my fifth birthday my Mother, Father, Uncle Eliseo and myself were forced onto a train bound for a concentration camp. At the time I was confused, unaware of the true nature of the camp and completely oblivious to the vile actions that really occurred at this place of death. In order to protect me from a world that was not fit for five year old boy, my father had to think fast on his feet to turn the hard truth into a mere game. In the camp, my father would hide me from the Nazi guards, sneak me food and would always try to humour me. In an attempt to keep up me spirits, He convinced me that the camp was just a game, in which the first person to get 1,000 points wins a tank. He told me that if I cried, said that I was hungry or complained about missing my mother, I would lose points, while if I was quiet and remained hidden from the camp guards I would earn points. In a similar fashion he also convinced my young self that the guards are also a part of the game and that were angry because they want the tank for themselves.
My father maintained this story right up to the end of his life, and as the Americans advance on the camp and their tanks come closer to rolling over the hill, my father was forced to make the greatest sacrifice in order to ensure my safety and that I can be again reunited with my mother. Despite him knowing that his death was inevitable, at our final moment he still upheld his positive attitude and protected from the evils of mankind.
From this journey I can now look back on what my father taught me, that love, family and imagination can conquer all. Life is beautiful.
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