23rd Psalm- A Holocaust Memoir
The Holocaust and war was no joking matter. Millions were executed both intentionally and unintentionally. Men, women, husbands, wives, parents, grandparents, and children; The SS didn’t care. Nor did the Poles, Germans, or anyone at all for that matter. Nobody cared about the “dirty Jews”, the “filthy dogs”, or the “swine dogs”. There were so many insults that it’s impossible to name them all. People were malnourished, lonely, and hopeless. This torture was part of the everyday life of a young man named Lucek Salzman (George Lucius Salton). This boy lost his parents at age 14 and his brother at age 15. He was beaten, he had paint poured over him, his latter was kicked by a German soldier (this ended up causing him to have an infected leg). What this man went through as a child was brutal, but the fascinating part is that he never gave up and he knew that he had a chance. Lucek Salzman had hope in the end.
Lucjan (Lucek) Salzman was born on January 7, 1928. He was like any other boy; he went to school and hung out with his friends. Lucek had a large, close-knit family and they would always celebrate holidays together and have fun. He grew up in a small polish town name Tyczyn. He said “as I grew up, I grew to know and love my town”. But as time went by, it was no longer his town. He no longer had a place to call home. 50 years later, he still had a house but that is not to be mistaken for a home. For clarification, home is where you grow up and where your family is, whereas a hose is just a building. One of the first signs of the tough times to come was when Lucek’s school teacher told the class that Jews did not have an origin; he said that they’re mongrels. I can’t even imagine how he felt. Nowadays we expect adults to be nice to us; we expect them to be there for us if we need help. So I always get baffled when I read this. It then broke my heart when he was told that Jewish kids couldn’t go to school. In early May 1941, a large group of German soldiers arrived in Tyczyn and were stationed in people’s homes. Now imagine this: They come into YOUR home and boss YOU around. They treated them like nothing in the one place where you’re supposed to feel safe. Things kept getting worse; violence was taken to the streets. One day, as Lucek was walking home, he saw a German soldier pointing a gun at his father’s head; his father was on his knees polishing the soldiers shoes. Later on, one day German police were searching Jewish homes for fur; Lucek’s father started to speak to inform the police that they had got rid of all their fur already but the German officer hit him in the face with his truncheon and insulted him. Blood ran out of his mouth and nose and started to drip down his shirt. Mrs. Salzman went towards her husband but was told not to move. Could you imagine hearing and seeing this at such a young age? Or any age in general. Lucek Salzman could no longer be an ordinary boy; he had to work six days a week for hours on end just to hopefully bring some food for him and his family. The Salzman family had to sell their clothes, furniture, and jewelry just to fill up their bellies.
Things went from bad to worse as time went by. When Lucek was 14, his life was no longer his life. Everything began to change when him and his family were forced to move into the Rzeszow ghetto. You have to keep in mind the word force. This wasn’t their decision; they had to leave the place where memories were made and children learn and grow. The saddest part was they could only bring what they could carry and what they could fit in a few suit cases; the salzman family didn’t get a big moving truck for their departure. They had to bring what they needed rather than what they wanted. Now a days, this would mean would we pick our computer or our clothes? Our cell phone or our family photo albums? Our favorite book or food? The Salzman family arrived at the ghetto with blankets, food, clothes, and some photos...
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