This is a story about a boy, a boy I will call “A” for the time being. A boy who’s father was a boot maker. A had four siblings, he loved going to the park, ice-skating and singing in the choir. He was born in 1929.
When he was ten years old his family was forced out of their home, and they walked over 40 miles to stay with family. This was their only option. It was that or be homeless. Being a large family themselves, it was very cramped to be living with relatives. There were too many mouths to feed and not enough food to go around.
Over the next three years A was separated from his family. He was taken against his will from his family to be a slave. He was given small amounts of food as a slave, but many times went without. During his first year of slavery, 2000 of the people he was working with died or were killed. After a year of work he was sent back to where his family was staying only to find out most of them were also enslaved or had been killed. Soldiers came and took 4000 people from the area where they lived, and forced them into a church to be executed. A was able to escape, but later taken to another slave camp. At that camp, 10,000 children who were there, were killed because they couldn’t meet the work expectations. A was able to hide in a cemetery to avoid being killed, he later made his way to a temporary orphanage.
When A was 16 he was forced to walk for three days under soldier command with no food, in temperatures as low as -25 degrees. He survived. A few months later he was loaded on a train to travel for over a month. While on the train he witnessed other slaves on the train cutting flesh off the bodies of the dead just to survive. A survived by eating grass and leather. Over 2000 people who were on the train died. A survived.
Before he was seventeen, A was finally freed from slavery and allowed to learn a trade. He built a life for himself despite his experience. He later went on to write a book about his story. He travels all over sharing the history of his family and what they went through.
This is a small piece of his story.