Search for books, people and lists
Read This Twice
HomePeopleBooksLibrariesSign In
Prisoner B-3087 book cover
Prisoner B-3087 › Quotes

Prisoner B-3087 Quotes

If I had known what the next six years of my life were going to be like, I would have eaten more. I wouldn't have complained about brushing my teeth, or taking a bath, or going to bed at eight o'clock every night. I would have played more. Laughed more. I would have hugged my parents and told them I loved them. But I was ten years old, and I had no idea of the nightmare that was to come. None of us did.
Life is but a river. It has no beginning, no middle, no end. All we are, all we are worth, is what we do while we float upon it — how we treat our fellow man.
Your parents, Oskar and Mina. They are dead and gone now, Yanek, and we would grieve them if we could. But we have only one purpose now: survive. Survive at all costs, Yanek. We cannot let these monsters tear us from the pages of the world.
I shook with helplessness and rage, but also with fear. This was what fighting back earned you. More abuse. More death. Half a dozen Jews would be murdered today because one man refused to die without a fight. To fight back was to die quickly and to take others with you. This was why prisoners went meekly to their deaths. I had been so resolved to fight back, but I knew then that I wouldn't. To suffer quietly hurt only you. To suffer loudly, violently, angrily--to fight back--was to bring hurt and pain and death to others.
It was all a big joke. I could see that now. There was no rhyme or reason to whether we lived or died. One day it might be the man next to you at roll call who is torn apart by dogs. The next day it might be you who is shot through the head. You could play the game perfectly and still lose, so why bother playing at all?.
And you wanted to escape,' a man near me whispered to another man. 'You wanted to run off into the woods and fight. But do you see? Do you see what the rest of them think about us? These people would sell you back to the Nazis for a sack of potatoes and then toast you at their dinner table.