Drops of ice line the windows, looking out over the white and grey landscape. The people stood drunk with fatigue swaying in rhythm with the floor which creaked and shook. My son's head shifted in my lap as the floor bumped, his dirty hair brushing my torn trousers.
They came yesterday, they came when I was reading, while my wife was cooking and when my son was sleeping. They burst through th front door dressed in their grey uniforms with a rifle slung over their backs. They asked me what my name was and wrote it down on a long list. My wife was to stay at home and my son and I were to go with the soldiers. We were to be well looked after in a camp in Poland where we would help in a factory in exchange for food and water. My wife wept as we put into a large truck with several other families who were huddled into blankets.
When we came to a stop it was pitch black outside and I could identify the outline of large brick building which towered over our heads as we wearily staggered behind two soldiers. We were taken into the building which must have been a train station judging by the large deserted ticket booth to the right of us. We were led out onto a platform in which a large train with several wooden carriages attached to it. A soldier stood up and told us that this train would take us to eastern Poland where the ammunition factory was. We were all given a bowl of hot soup and a crust of bread.
So here we are in the carriage. I'm hungry, my son has eaten my last crust of bread but he needed it more than I do. Why do they need us they already have plenty of workers in the factory?
The train screeches to a halt and they all jerk awake. The doors slam back and people start flooding out of the carriages, into the freezing tightly packed platform. We all queue up behind tables and are asked for our names and addresses. My son is gripping my hand so tightly that it aches. We are all then given more bread and told to go to a truck. Someone runs toward the wood and an ear-splitting crack rings through the cold, crisp air. The man falls and an ark of blood spreads itself around him in the snow.