“They were called the “Red army” but they wear blue uniforms. They killed a certain type of people (I did not know which). There were corpses and blood everywhere in the streets. I suddenly saw a girl (in her 20s) running towards me; she miraculously escaped, running away from “them”.
She had blood on her head and abdomen. I took her in my arms to hide her blood as other soldiers ran by and saw us. It is incomprehensible why she has not been seen and shot, but there was so much confusion around. Her blood betrayed her. I now had her blood on my front. Because I rescued her, I had also become a target.
I looked around; I wanted to find a hiding place for us. We entered a building. I found a grid over an air conditioning duct. Being the priority, I asked her to get in and to stay there until I came back later to get her. I placed the grid back and urged her to wait for the whole day and night if needed, to be still and silent. I went upstairs and hid but I am not sure where (I think the loft). I could hear the steps of soldiers in the stairs, they were looking for any of the people they were ordered to kill. I felt the fear, the sweat rolling down my ferehead. I was thinking of the girl, praying for her and me to be spared.
I saw the shadow of a soldier with his gun very close to me. I shut my eyes thinking he would go away, that he did not exist and stopped breathing. He went away. Then, I waited. I heard the steps of the soldiers’ fainting steps and voices in the vast stone stairway. I waited for a long time, after that. I so wanted to make sure they had vacated the building, to make sure that nobody was there. I thought of the girl. I hoped she was alive and if she was; she must have be paralysed because the duct was narrow and she must have been stressed.
I went down the stairs very slowly, on my toe tips to be as silence as possible. I could only hear my heart pounding. I finally reached the grid and whispered to the girl. I wanted her to recognise my voice and my hand instinctively reached for her mouth. I did not want her to scream. She was alive but terrified. I helped her squeeze out of the duct. We went out. I was scared that people across the street may have seen us and informed the soldiers of our existence and position.
There was a fire station nearby, we got in. A firefighter was checking his engine and saw us. He looked around quickly to make sure we were alone. He helped us climb on top of one of the engines where the soldiers may not think of looking. He said he would come back to give us some food and water and move us to a safer place.
He kept his word. He dressed us in complete US firefighters uniforms, the helmets concealed our faces.
We accompanied them on a call. The other firefighters did not speak to us and ignored us as if we were invisible but I liked it this way.
Then no memory….
The firefighter came back a second time with some uniforms. They were nurses’ uniforms. He told us we should go to the hospital which was in another part of the building. He advised us to mingle amongst the medical staff. He said as a “gesture of good will” the “leader” of the soldiers had pledged they would not search the hospitals. He said that he did not believe him and did not trust “them”. He suspected that anyone injured would simply be picked up as they were entering or exiting the hospitals. That’s why the medical staff’s uniform was a wise precaution. From that point on, we were hiding in the nurses’ lockers during the day if we suspected trouble and slept on top of the fire engine at night. We saw many soldiers outside the hospital, we simply pretended to work there (carrying some trays, bandages, paper work). They did not enter but we could tell they were looking through the big glass window. We were scared they would come in but they did not.
The girl was gone. I am not sure where she was now but I felt she was safe and well. I felt I would be also safe thanks to the care of the kind firefighter, in the safety of my locker by day and the top of the engine where I spent the night…”
Dream made on Feb 23, ’05, two days after I finished Ann Frank’s journal