The carriage screeched to a halt ending my tortuous journey across Europe. I heard dogs barking, children screaming and loud German voices. We huddled for warmth from the freezing winter but mainly through fear.
The doors flung open. Officers held back Alsatians straining at the leash. “Men to the left, women and children to the right” they barked as they hauled us to the ground. “Leave your luggage here, you’ll collect it later”.
It was a freezing night. A burning stench filled my nostrils. All around me ash fell from the sky. We passed under a sign that proclaimed ‘Work sets you free’. “Remove your clothes, you will shower” they ordered. My red shoes stood out on a mountain of others. They were brand new, a gift from mum for my birthday two days ago. “You won’t be needing those again” grinned a German as I walked into the showers.