The camp’s reception and prisoner processing building still had a line outside. Helga swayed, almost fainting from the lack of food and air on the train. Eva ran to her and held her up.
Inmate matrons were prisoners but worked as guards, keeping the other inmates in line. One matron was tall and fairly thick, in contrast to the extreme thinness of everyone else, which attested to the extra perks she was given for her betrayal of her people. She held her hands out. “Stop. What’s wrong with her?”
“Nothing. She’s just tired. It was a long train ride,” Eva said.
“I really can’t allow—”
“She’s a very good seamstress. The best in Berlin. You can’t even see her stitches. If you need anything, she—”
“What about you? Are you strong?” the matron interrupted, with a slight nod.
“I’ve got the strength of two women in me,” Eva answered, struggling to hold up her mother to prove her claim.
The matron almost smiled. Smiles, unless in ridicule, were rarely seen at Reinigen. Happiness vanished for all who entered. “Go on in, Little Hercules, but remember where you are. Even the toughest don’t survive here.”
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish