The Caged Bird

Bewegen sich!” I yell. Move. They’re all huddled together, crying and sniffling like goats before they are butchered. We only have one job to do today- kill the Jews. KILL THE JEWS. As always our Swastikas are proudly pinned to the arms of our S.S uniforms. “Make a line! Quick!” I snap at them. An old lady whispers something about a child and I guess she’s pleading for mercy. They always do. They always plead and beg like pathetic parasites instead of fighting. That’s why they’re treated as inferior beings, that’s why it’s so easy for us to put a bullet through their heads.

“You!” says the Commander pointing at me. “Ja?” I ask. “Check the building, these fickers will do whatever they can to escape! They need to be exterminated!” he shouts dramatically. “We’ll take care of the ones here,” he grins. I nod and move towards the entrance of the building followed by two soldiers. We burst into every single room killing all the hidden Jews and shooting the dead ones again to make sure they are dead.

I’ve done this so often it feels more like a tedious routine than massacre. Little children sometimes cling to the dead bodies of their parents but it doesn’t matter because soon they too will join their parents. Bodies lie on top of each other, their eyes bulging, their mouths slightly open with blood pouring out. A young girl lies there in a pool of her own blood, a shocked expression frozen on her face. She was holding something I realize bending to pick it up. It is a worn out, blood stained, black and white picture of her with some people I assume are her parents. She had been smiling at the camera. She will never smile again.

“We have an escapee!” shouts a soldier as someone runs past us. “I’ll get him,” I reply. There’s usually an escapee- someone who thinks they can outrun the fate of their race and religion. “STOP! STOP!” I chase him grabbing his coat, pulling him to the floor. “DO NOT MOVE!” I yell pointing my gun at him. I hear soft sobs and then the wail of an infant. I turn the Jew around only to realize it is a woman cradling a new born baby in her arms. Her face is covered in blood and tears and her dress is ripped but I could have recognized her from anywhere.

“Marie…” I breathe, numbed by the surprise. All the memories come flooding back and I blink rapidly trying to push back tears. It all seems so fresh again- the pain, the anguish. The hushed goodbyes, the last time I held her in my arms, the last time I gazed into her beautiful brown eyes stroking back a loose strand of hair.

The love of my life stands before me pleading for mercy with another man’s baby in her arms.

Kiss me, I had continuously begged her. Let’s just kiss once. She had finally given in at eighteen. That had been the first night we had spent together wrapped in each other’s arms. I love you I had softly whispered to her as she closed her exhausted eyes. The next morning we heard that President Hindenburg had died leaving Hitler and the Nazis in charge.

“What are you doing here? You promised you would leave this godforsaken country!” I whisper. My father had lied to me, I now realize.

I still remember the horror on my parents’ faces when I told them I loved a Jewish girl. “No,” was all my father whispered, the blood draining from his face. It wasn’t long before he was doing everything in his power to separate us. My parents wouldn’t let her into our house, calling the Jews filthy, greedy pigs. As the segregation of Jews increased it got harder for us to be together. Eventually it got so bad for them that I knew I had to help them even if it meant helping them escape Germany- meaning I may never see Marie again. I had no other choice but to ask my father who gladly agreed to help smuggle her family into Switzerland. He called a friend in the S.S who would soon become my Commander to talk to him about how to get them out of Germany. Of course there was a catch to it- I had to join the S.S army. I bluntly refused, pointing out I wanted nothing to do with the Nazis whatsoever but he insisted that this was the only way he would agree to ‘help the bloody Jews’. The Jews were being hunted every day and Marie and her family were in danger. I knew I had to sell my soul to the Nazis to keep them safe. I would have to kill poor, innocent Jews every day for the rest of my life. It was a heavy price to pay for her safety and it still hurt every time I pulled my trigger.

The night before they left I had held her in my arms, her heart beating against mine. We had whispered our hopes and dreams promising each other that this wouldn’t be the last time we were together. I watched her sleep, reminiscing about the past. We had been inseparable since the age of four. We had spent every waking moment together. At twelve I had already been head over heels for Marie, especially since my parents so obviously disapproved of her. In my youth I had loved rebelling against my controlling parents and that is why I had chased after Marie but as we grew older our love grew with us and I knew it wasn’t just rebellion anymore, I loved her.

After she left, there had always been a void in my heart that my wife could never fill no matter how hard my mother tried to convince her that I was only going through a phase. Marie was the only woman I loved and nothing would change that. That is probably why my marriage had failed and why I now came home to an empty house every night and drowned my sorrows in alcohol until I blacked out. I had no power, freedom or choice. I had been a puppet for my parents and now I was a puppet for the Nazi’s and could do nothing about it.

“Please Markus, the baby’s my sister’s, we have no family left, please let us go,” she begged, tears pouring down her cheeks. Her sister was dead? Her whole family had been slaughtered like the rest, I realized. Her sister Amelia, had always been a sweet, innocent little girl, she would only be sixteen now.

Before I can help her we hear footsteps. “What are you waiting for, Mark?” questions Steven, one of the soldiers walking towards us. “Wait? You going to screw her first?” he asks giving me a toothy smile. “Can we get in on the action?” he continues, grinning.

Her eyes widen in fear as she looks at me hoping for some ray of hope and humanity. Steven begins walking towards her, his hands almost touching her. The thought of him even near her made the bile rise to my mouth. “Get away from her,” I whisper menacingly. “Look if you want to go first I got no problem with that,” Steve mutters putting his hands up in a gesture of surrender. “I just want a taste,” he continues licking his thick, ugly lips.

We hear more footsteps and turn to see who it is. “We were wondering what was taking you so long,” mutters the Commander leering at Marie. He is joined by a few other soldiers who also seem to be staring at her. “Unfortunately we’re out of time, boys,” he adds his eyes still lingering on her. “Take care of her and the brat in her hands, Mark,” he orders, looking me straight in the eye. I know he is testing me and there is nothing I can do about it. He enjoys watching me squirm. My palms are cold and sweaty, my legs feel weak and my heart is beating out of my chest. The Commander looks at me, frowning.

“I told you to kill them, Markus!” yells the Commander, so loudly that some of the soldiers flinch. “Kill the ficken Jews!” he screams, the nerve on his forehead protruding. I can do absolutely nothing but stand there surrounded by surprised soldiers who have no idea what is going on. “Is this her, Markus? The Jewish SCHLAMPE you ruined your marriage for?” the Commander sneers. I look at Marie who keeps her head down, silently sobbing. “Kill her, Markus and prove to us that you’re not the ‘Jew Lover’ your father claims you are,” he continues. “Prove your loyalty now or face the consequences,” he threatens. The baby in Marie’s arms begins to wail again. I look from my Commander, a Nazi who would show us no mercy if I dared to disobey him, to Marie, the Jewish woman I love. Even if I tried to fire at any of the soldiers or the Commander I wouldn’t be able to do much good, it would be me against about ten men. If I got lucky and killed a few the rest would still take me down and they would definitely kill Marie and the baby. On the other hand I could never harm Marie, the love of my life. I take a deep breath and look into Marie’s sweet, pleading eyes just as I had done all those years ago.

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So this was one of the pieces I wrote for my A levels English coursework a few months ago and I wanted to share it with you guys and find out what you thought of it! Please do let know in the comments what you think of it!!

And if you enjoyed this post don’t forget to like, follow and share!!

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75 thoughts on “The Caged Bird

    1. I don’t claim to know anything that Jews went through because I’ve never been through anything even a little similar. My topic was caught in a dilemma and that was what it was about. I’m sorry if this offended you but that was not my intention

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      1. Chanukah began Dec. 24th. The Jews commemorate the victory of the Jewish Maccabees and the rededication of eternal light in our Temple, on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The world is awash in anti-Semitism and your words fuel that fire. Fourteen UN countries just voted Judea and Samaria as “illegal”; it’s not… Did you gain the accolades you wanted, at our expense?

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      2. By I don’t claim to know what Jews went through I meant I obviously have no first hand experience of it. I know a lot more about the Jewish faith then you think I do. I also respect Jews and everything that they’ve been through and many of my idols are practicing Jews. Like I said I did not mean to offend you or any other Jewish people with this story and it has very little to do with Jewish people. I was given a topic by my school and I wrote a story that was FICTION. Also I don’t appreciate you blaming me for something the UN did. I am not anti-sematic in any way whatsoever. If you want to fight for people to respect Jews and their beliefs maybe comment on blogs that actually have anti-sematic posts on them.

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  1. Jews and Nazis are the clear subjects you’ve used to fulfill your topic assignment of “Caught in a dilemma”. You whitewashed the Jewish half for the story right out of your tags, though. You use Nazi Germany, History, Nazi’s (sic), Nazism, Nazi, German History — but not a single one about Jews. You claim in your response “and it has very little to do with Jewish people.” What!? All you talk about is the Jews in your story, repeating the ugly insults of prejudice that the Germans used as a pretext to exterminate us during the Holocaust! Saying your story has nothing to do with Jews, when, in fact, your entire story is peppered with the words “Jew” and “Jewish” and leaving Jews out of the tags, whitewashes them right out of the Holocaust picture you portray. Minimize the Holocaust much? While the Germans are solely responsible for their own hatred, the objects of their hatred were not fictional. They were Jews who died because of anti-Semitic beliefs held by the Germans.
    So, you make your Nazi character, Markus, decide that killing other Jews, as long as they’re not “his” Jew, is okay, and yet you comment that he’s not “like the rest” of the Nazis? He’s exactly like them, whether he felt “love” for one, or not; he still participated in killing them. It’s the old “my best friend is Jewish” canard.
    And, lastly, I didn’t accuse you of casting any UN votes! Don’t you accuse ME of false accusations: the subject I used to demonstrate my point was “Fourteen UN countries”; I’ve never mentioned you or your name related to that!
    You also reply, “If you want to fight for people to respect Jews and their beliefs maybe comment on blogs that actually have anti-sematic posts on them.”
    So, my reason to exist as a person is not okay? I don’t get automatic acceptance as a person just because I was born? You mean, you really think I must “FIGHT for people to respect Jews and their beliefs”, as if a double-standard exists that allows other people to just be accepted “as-is”, but that, somehow, Jews are not, and so we must have to “earn” the right to exist on this planet as a Jewish person?
    Well, let me tell you two things, dearheart. People who minimize the Holocaust and Jewish suffering, and those who require of the Jews a double-standard of their existence on earth are guilty. My ancestry is Jewish and I was born that way on earth. Do you believe that your own right to exist as you are necessitates further justification for your being? You hold me to a double-standard that you might not impose on other people. Would you feel right substituting another class of people that you think need to fight for their respect and beliefs? Chinese? Black? Do you still think it’s okay to require that of them? No? Oh, now you see what “double-standard” means. That is one aspect anti-Semites use to dehumanize and deligitimize Jews. Do you do this?
    Your made-up story capitalizes on the story of the Holocaust. The Holocaust was a direct racial extermination program called “The Final Solution” perpetrated by the Germans against those they deemed genetically inferior to the themselves, which included the Jews. Taking the Jew out of the story is like the Germans did to the Jews of Europe; they also denied doing so. Minimizing the six million Jews who really perished during the Holocaust by saying that your story, whose main characters are a Nazi and a Jew, has very little to do with the Jewish people, is a minimization of the victimization of the Jews during the Holocaust. That’s dis-respectful. You could have chosen other ways to illustrate a dilemma, but you chose a Jew and a Nazi.

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    1. I did not minimalize the suffering of the Jews in any way whatsoever. It clearly shows how much pain and death they had to go through. Are you sure you’ve read the entire story?

      You did indeed accuse me of things the UN did. You said “Did you gain the accolades you wanted, at our expense?” Do notice the use of the word YOU.

      And do not accuse me of white washing anything. As an Indian-African do you think I don’t know what it feels like to have my ancestors mistreated for their race and beliefs? Did you know that my Indian ancestors fought during WWII to stop the Nazi’s and was the largest all-volunteer force in history (2.5 million people)? Do you have any idea what my people went through because of what white people have done to them? Do you know how many Africans and Indians were literally eaten alive by lions while building the railway and do you have any idea how many millions of Indians and Africans were killed by the colonists? That is such an insensitive and offensive thing to say to someone who you know nothing about especially when you’re accusing them of being offensive. Don’t you dare accuse me of racism or white washing anything. And the only reason I wrote about the Nazi’s is because I asked my English teacher approved that over a large number of ideas I gave him. And I came up with that idea because I love history and was learning about the Nazi era and plan to someday do my doctorate in it.

      Lastly, I did not say your only worth is to defend Jews. You can give your opinion as much as you want. However you seemed very passionate about defending your race (which I can understand) and so I gave you an alternate way to do this without wrongfully accusing people.

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      1. Are you the writer? The story is about the Holocaust, which was a targetted genocide committed by Germans against Jews. Therefore, saying that Jews have very little to do with the story is false, and a lie. That is a minimization of the Holocaust. Second, the guy was a Nazi. He was a monster killing Jews. That’s what the writer wrote. It doesn’t matter that he “loved” one Jew — He killed Jews! The writer twists the meanings: the man was NO DIFFERENT; Jews died at his hands. Having feelings for one doesn’t change the outcome of his actions, does it? He still killed Jews. No, dearhearts: it is the writer, and people like yourself, trying to justify the actions of Nazis by eliciting sympathy for them which twists the facts of the Holocaust. And, yes; leaving the tags “Judenrein” speaks truth to what this fiction is all about. No, this minimizes the Holocaust, and you both laugh with your “ha-ha’s” and show no compassion toward the Jewish victims. Both of you don’t know what anti-Semitism means, for it is actions such as these that are a part of it.

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      2. I did not say you voted at the UN! The UN reference is an illustration to support the sentence preceding it — that the world is becoming anti-Semitic. It is You who is twisting MY words.

        The “accolades at our expense reference” means this: you DO state this is just an assignment for a class. So, why didn’t it stay there? Your re-publication of it here, in an outside, public forum shows that you’re seeking further recognition beyond the scope of completing your initial assignment. End of assignment; end of story, right? No, apparently not. You want further eyes on your work. And, yes, it comes on the backs of Jewish suffering. So, have you gained further accolades (Yes; you’re seeking new avenues and means to promote it) and at our expense (solely a story of fiction for you; a Holocaust of real death and destruction to us, the Jews) — the question fits!

        You left your tags “Judenrein” and whitewashed them out of your story, while choosing seven tags pertaining to History or Germans.

        Did you know that part of the Nazi stratagem to rid Europe of Jews entailed burning Jewish books, in order to erase Jewish culture and history? It doesn’t seem that you know the true scope of the type of actions which are anti-Semitic.

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    2. It amazes me how worked up someone can get over a harmless imaginary story written for an English coursework! Did you even read the story? It was bringing out the idiocracy of racism; as long as you don’t know that person its okay to harm them but once you get to know that person and see them for whom they are and not their religion or skin colour, you truly realize how all that hardly matters. Which is how he fell in love with the girl, it had nothing to do with their religion. And what’s your problem with the story? That the guy found it easy to kill others and not the girl? Yh thats the character flaw, its entirely written from the point of view of a brain washed Nazi turned guy so ofcourse you can’t portray the suffering from his eyes, which by the way the writer has, which is incredible.
      All I see you doing is twisting her words and her story into your biased interpretation and relating things that the story has nothing to do about. And get this: what the characters say and think have nothing to do with her personal opinion, ofcourse she has to think like a nazi to write his character, she can’t put in a sympathetic nazi. So stop targeting her personal opinions with “May the L-rd recompense you the rest of your days in the manner of your characters.”
      Let me say this again, her personal opinions are different from the nazi guy.
      Her words don’t “fuel the fire”, this story doesn’t make you go against Jews, it in facts brings out how ridiculous it is to be racist against them.
      Also it’s her story and she can write it on whoever she wants to whatever she wants. And this just makes me laugh, are you seriously commenting on how she didn’t tag the word “jews”? Really? Yh that is super racist, total nazi behaviour. You honestly think she didn’t tag it cause she’s racist against Jews?
      When she said it has very little to do with Jewish people, she meant its more about the guys thoughts and feelings and opinion and life. And sorry for “minimising” the holocaust, there was a word limit, remember it’s a high school English course work, not a novel. And yes he was “not like the rest” because (if you read the story) in the beginning he was not against the Jews, he gave up his morals and become brainwashed so that he could save that one family.
      Stop twisting her words! How did you get “my reason to exist as a person is not okay?” From “If you want to fight for people to respect Jews and their beliefs maybe comment on blogs that actually have anti-sematic posts on them.” Everyone is fighting their wars okay, for their rights, so instead of lashing out on a harmless story, maybe you should lash out at people that actually believe in racism and not a writer.
      Ha! Really which other people are getting accepted, this is news to me. Even freaking one half of the population is not accepted as equals. We are all fighting to be accepted, its not just you. Why are you fighting with her? She accepts Jews, her idols are Jews, she meant fight with people who don’t i.e on ant-sematic posts.
      And finally let me repeat this one last time that this story was a school course work with a word limit, you can’t portray the whole holocaust in it, the story is a work of fiction from a nazi point of view and not her personal opinion. She is not isolating the Jews or being racist against them just cause she chose this topic, if it was any other race would really have taken this offence. You are twisting her words, like that i can say you are being racist by classifying people as black or chinese.
      Hahah you are literally just stuck on that little comment of Jews had very little to do with the story, and making up your own meaning out of it. I suggest you read it with an unbiased opinion and not target her and her beliefs from a fiction story.

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      1. Are you the writer? The story is about the Holocaust, which was a targetted genocide committed by Germans against Jews. Therefore, saying that Jews have very little to do with the story is false, and a lie. That is a minimization of the Holocaust. Second, the guy was a Nazi. He was a monster killing Jews. That’s what the writer wrote. It doesn’t matter that he “loved” one Jew — He killed Jews! The writer twists the meanings: the man was NO DIFFERENT; Jews died at his hands. Having feelings for one doesn’t change the outcome of his actions, does it? He still killed Jews. No, dearhearts: it is the writer, and people like yourself, trying to justify the actions of Nazis by eliciting sympathy for them which twists the facts of the Holocaust. And, yes; leaving the tags “Judenrein” speaks truth to what this fiction is all about. No, this minimizes the Holocaust, and you both laugh with your “ha-ha’s” and show no compassion toward the Jewish victims. Both of you don’t know what anti-Semitism means, for it is actions such as these that are a part of it.

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    3. Loving a jew is not changing the out come of his actions, that isn’t implied anywhere and we are not justifying actions of the Nazi, you think all those men who became Nazis were born haters? They were made into monsters, they were humans before and had feelings before they switched off which is portrayed in the story. And yes everyone has feelings, that does not mean they were not bad people or that I sympathise with them. And how can you accuse us of having no compassion towards the Jewish victims, do you even know us? Have you talked to us? We have had countless conversations on the holocaust and we don’t need to justify ourselves to you.
      As for our ‘ha ha’ we are not laughing at the Jews or the holocaust, you are manipulating the meaning again. My “ha ha” shows my surprise at how you can relate things out of no where.

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      1. I am done talking to you. You are obviously an extremist and I as an open minded individual have no room for your spiteful words. I understand that you are attempting to defend your race and religion but the only thing you seem to be doing right now is hurting someone who has the upmost respect for Jewish people and their beliefs. Yes I did want to share my work with more people (it’s called freedom read up on it) because I worked very hard on it. I did not use the tags Jews/Jewish because I genuinely didn’t think anyone would care this much. I do not say any of the above because I have a problem with Jews but because it is YOU I disagree with. Maybe you should go argue with Markus Zusak for a while because it’s his story which inspired me. If you don’t like my work don’t read it. I don’t see why you have to spread your hate in MY comments section. No one else seems to have a problem with my work.

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  2. Good day! This post couldn’t be written much better!
    Looking over this post reminds me of my previous room
    mate! He always kept chatting regarding this. I will forward this
    write-up to him. Certainly he will have an excellent read.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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