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Jewish people in Germany at this time were in danger. This little boy wasn't Jewish but felt the loss, as did everyone, who lost someone during this time. At first he had a perfect life, then they went to Germany for a vacation, at the beginning of it all, and finally, the loss of someone he loved the most.
Max Steinman was ten years old. He lived in New York City, New York. Max lived in a neighborhood called Kingsley, and resided on 113 Craig Road. He went to the best school in the the whole U.S., Baker Elementary. Everyday after school he would go to the batting cages and practice to be the best player on the baseball team that year. He always dreamt of being M.V.P. Max and his best friend, Stephen Holly, played baseball in Stephen's backyard all the time. They did everything together. Nothing could tear these boys apart.
One day, Max got to school and told Stephen the most exciting news. Max was going to Germany this summer to learn the German language. His dad was German and lived there until he was seventeen. Max always wanted to go there, for his dad could speak German fluently. He was always so jealous. Stephen thought this was miraculous. He told Max to bring him back something special, and pictures of this wonderful place. Max explained that his parents talked to Stephen's parents and agreed Stephen could go. Stephen was so happy. After school that day, they went out for ice cream after their daily trip to the batting cages.
On Friday, Max and Stephen were out of the fourth grade forever. That next Monday they would be leaving for their month visit to Germany. They were at Stephen's house packing for him. The car was getting packed by Max's parents, for their trip on monday, and it was almost done.
Monday, they got in the packed car and drove off to the airport. Once they got there, they boarded the plane and took off while their car was being shipped overseas.
Once the plane arrived at the German airport, Maxs dad started talking to the customer service people, in German, for information to get to their vacation house. So they waited for their car and then headed for their house that they would be residing in for a month.
Max and Stephen got settled into their room. They had everything put in drawers nice and neat. The room they would be staying in was pale blue with red, horizontal stripes along the walls. As they slept so well the radio that they fell asleep to blared like sirens.
At midnight, they were both startled as they were awaken by Nazi soldiers pounding their fists against the heavy, wooden door. Max, his parents, and Stephen jumped off their beds and put their light jackets on to go see what all of the racket was about. When they walked outside, they were suprised to find soldiers at everyone's doors, and taking away the people with six pointed stars on their jackets. The six pointed stars stood for the Jewish people. Mrs. Holly sewed one on Stephen's jacket to let people know of what religion he was.
As soon as the soldiers saw this, they took Stephen by the neck and shoved him toward the other people. Max watched him be taken away. Tears were rolling down both of their cheeks.
For days and days on end Max waited and watched for news about the starved bodies being found and what their names were. Never once had a Stephen Holly showed up.
The last day Max and his family would be in Germany had arrived. They were packing the car. All of them were thinking the same questions. What happened to Stephen? What are we going to tell his parents?
At 12:00 P.M. they were getting ready to leave. Max walked into the living room to turn off the radio. when something appeared.
"TEN YEAR OLD BOY FOUND. ONE OF THE WORST CASES YET.
BEATEN TO DEATH. BOYS NAME IS STEPHEN HOLLY."
Once Max heard this he screamed and started crying hysterically. The newspaper they had then bought showed a picture of Stephen. His head was shaved, and he had purple bruises all over him and his heart sank low into his chest. He could feel it drop right into his gut. He felt as if he were going to throw up. At this point Maxs parents hustled into the car and glanced at the the picture and both gasped. Nothing ever hurt him this bad, not even getting beat up by school bullies. This boy, that is now dead was his best friend. Since taking Stephen to Germany in the first place was Max's idea, he thought it was his fault his best friend was dead.
They returned home and went right to Stephen's parents. Their reaction was the same as Maxs. A week later, they had a funeral for Stephen. It was the most tragic thing that had ever happened in Maxs life. He loved Stephen the best in the whole world, and now he was gone. In one month all of this could happen. No one ever thought that possible.
This story gives anyone an idea of what people went through during the holocaust even if they weren't in it. Other people lost everything they had. Family, friends and millions of other Jewish people were killed after being tortured. Luckily, the United States military freed some thousand survivors.
Oil Springs, Kentucky
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