Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Novel / Chapter » Historical Fiction

E - Everyone Violence

Off We Go

by AilahEvelynMae

(I wrote this back in primary school so there are many errors. I had such little knowledge as well so many details are incorrect or off.)

(this is only some of the story, the rest was handwritten and I lost it)

Part one

December 20 1937

Hello my name is Manuela Har-Zahav. I am a 9 year old girl. I live with my mother, father and brother. My aunt from my mothers side has given me this diary well she gave Obadian, my brother a teddy bear. I must go, mother is calling me for supper.

December 25 1937

Hello it is me Manuela. I have been very busy because school is now out on holiday. Today is a holiday called Christmas that most kids at my school celebrate. Mother says we don’t celebrate Christmas because we are jewish. She also said Christmas is a Christian holiday, not jewish. Sometimes I wish I were a Christian so I could fit in with the other children. Well anyways goodbye.

January 2 1938, dear diary

Hello it is me Manuela I have decided to start saying dear diary at the beginning of every entry because that is what my best friend Ursula does. Ursula is lucky because she is a Christian so she gets to celebrate Christmas. Her mother asked if I wanted to join them for Christmas but mother wouldn’t let me. I was so angry with mother that I called her a fat pig! I was then grounded. Bye I need to go to bed now because school is starting tomorrow.

January 3 1938, dear diary

I am so sad. Today me and all the other jewish children were not aloud to attend german school. No more school, I love school though! Not only that along with all of the other jews only rules like how we cant vote or go to parks, pools or theatres, there is a new rule! All jews need to have their passports stamped with the letter j so we cant leave the country! I am to upset to write.

January 15 1938, dear diary

One of9+++ the jewish families that I knew from school has vanished! Nobody has seen them for weeks! There was a mother, a father then two twin boys who were in my class {Ovid and Ofer } then there is their older brother who I think was named Abel or Abdiel and finally they’re little baby sister Raakel. Their surname is Filipowski. I hope they are okay because I always loved to smile at baby Raakel.

February 4 1938, dear diary

Guess what! Mother is pregnant! We will soon have a new baby in our family. I hope it is a girl because one brother is enough. If I haven’t said my brother obadian is my twin. We are the same age and have the same birthday except I am two minutes and seven-teen seconds older. My {our} birthday is April 7 1929 bye I must go to lunch.

February 25 1938, dear diary

Even though I cant go to school anymore I still love to play with my best friend Ursula. Sometimes we will pretend I am a Christian and walk around and talk loudly about Christian things until someone looks at us weird then we run away laughing. I bet you if mother found out she would go crazy! When I think of it mother has been very sensitive recently, father says it is because she is pregnant. Father is calling me so I must go.

March 1 1938, dear diary

I have just finished packing the last of my toys. We are moving in with my aunt and my uncle because father has been fired for being a jew and mother quit her job around the time she became pregnant, she never told us why though, so we don’t have enough money to live in such a grand house. My aunt and uncles house has three bedrooms so they said we could have two of them. That means I will have to share a room with obadian! I must get to bed because we are leaving early tomorrow morning.

March 18 1938, dear diary

We have now settled into our new home with aunt and uncle and everything is going fine. Mother and father have been acting strange and sad for the last few days and I do not know why. I will see what I can find out.

March 22 1938, dear diary

It is worse than I thought. After days of asking, mother finally screamed in my face “ I am not pregnant, the baby died!” mother would not tell me how the baby had died though, as hard as I tried.

April 7 1938, dear diary

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday to Manuela, happy birthday to me. For my birthday I received no more than a kiss from my mother. We are now to poor to afford anything and are moving out once again. We are moving into a one bedroom, one bathroom apartment. Father says don’t complain because it was that or the street.

April 19 1938, dear diary

I am no longer aloud to play with my best friend Ursula. Her parents say they do not want to get in trouble and .have forbidden me from communicating with Ursula in any way. As the days go on we have less and less food. Mother and father are looking thinner by the hour. Me and Obadian can only have one meal a day if we don’t want to live on the street. I hear father calling for me and Obadian.

April 20 1938, dear diary

You will not believe what father asked me and Obadian to do! Steal food! From now on me and Obadian are our families only food source. Father says we are out of money so when the bills come around we will be off to the street.

May 1 1938, dear diary

Today may be the worst day of my life. Two words. Mother. Dead. For the past few weeks me and Obadian have been the food suppliers for our family. Mother has been very week and we didn’t even see her because she just slept all day and night. So father would just bring her food to her. But today father announced that mother was dead. She had been refusing to eat for a while and before he knew it she was gone.

May 8 1938, dear diary

We are packing and by we I mean me and Obadin. Father told us to leave and then the next day he died. He had been selling his share of the food and mothers she hadn’t eaten so he could try and make enough money to pay the bills but he knew he wouldn’t make it so he left us the money. Obadian says he is almost ready. I am already done because I have not much to pack, most of it has been sold. He says he is done. Off we go.

Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.

Is this a review?



User avatar
184 Reviews

Points: 9200
Reviews: 184

Fri Jul 30, 2021 1:57 am
chikara wrote a review...

Hello hello hello~

This is a very complex topic you've touched on, so of course, there are going to be many ways to portray it. You went the route of a child telling the story, which is basically a classic in the sea of Second World War literature I've seen. Like I said, it's a classic, so that means most people enjoy it or at least tolerate it enough to read it.

Now, the one thing about writing stuff based on a specific moment in time is accuracy to the subject, which is why most people avoid historical writings that are so constrictive like this. There's a lot of things to bring up when it comes to accuracy that aren't even related to the date and place, so you know, it's going to be hard to keep everything together nicely and have it represent what you want it to represent.

First of all, your dates. The second world war did not happen until 1939, so the ending of this collection of diary entries doesn't really make sense. I would get it if you began towards the end of the year, but even then, the start of the war was in the late year time period. There was definitely a lot happening in the middle of the two wars that could've caused a lot of issues like poverty and still general unacceptance, but that's not the angle you were going for.

The best time would be somewhere in between when the war started and when it ended, because that would reflect the atmosphere more. If you want to show the war-stricken, fearful faces of anyone who was targeted, that would be the highest point where people are worrying for their lives and the lives of their loved ones. If you want to show the "good" side, you'll still have a lot of stuff to work with by going that route as you can remain more friendly and still keep the same general vibes.

Moving onto my secondary point-- names. This might seem very nitpicky because it doesn't focus on the actual punch of the story, but if you want to create that realistic storyline that impacts readers' emotions, it's important. I hear a lot of people say that the small details of a story don't really matter, but that isn't the truth. There are many aspects of a character, and diving into them can make or break them.

You're main character has a middle eastern last name and a Spanish first name, which is no at all accurate for either of the two hotspots in the war, Germany or Poland. The brother's name is also confusing because I assume it's also like that. During this time period, a lot was happening in more countries than that as well; if I am remembering correctly, about thirty were affected, and all of them were somewhere in Europe or close to it.

The war affected more than that, yes, but in other ways than actually going to war. The whole world felt some kind of impact from what was going on in so many different ways, but again, that isn't what you are going for with this. If you wanted to write about another area and how that was changed, you would've went about that differently because I can tell from the wording choices you were choosing a specific route.

Lastly, an actual nitpick-

Mother says we don’t celebrate Christmas because we are jewish. She also said Christmas is a Christian holiday, not jewish

Someone who is Jewish will know they are Jewish, and it's the same for people of any practicing religion or any culture. I could bring up the comparison to Christianity with the fact you brought up Christmas and say that a Christian is often brought up from a young age as a Christian, and not later somewhere in their life. The same could be said for a lot of other things that occur in life, like health and family traditions.

Overall, not bad. I'd just focus on accuracy more than actually getting a story finished, as the finished product can always be edited and revised later on.

User avatar
31 Reviews

Points: 264
Reviews: 31

Fri Jul 30, 2021 1:38 am
SpencerReidIsMyLife wrote a review...


Hi! Just wanted to say that the content of this story is very interesting. I think that it has a lot of potential, but would need a lot of work.

Firstly, I'm assuming that the narrator is very young, considering the writing style. However, there are certain events, such as their parents dying, that would have happened over a longer period of time. What I mean is that the children would have noticed something going on. So maybe showcase a child's worries about their parents as the entries went on (maybe by adding more entries).

In general, I just think this could have been written a lot better, even if from the point of view of a young child. However, I see that you wrote this in primary school, so I'm assuming that you were pretty young when you wrote this. I think this piece could have great potential, but certain aspects need to be looked at. Maybe even consider different formats to write the story besides diary entries? That way the narrator could provide the reader with more context, insight, etc.

Either way, your story has a great concept, and I encourage you to think further on it and continue editing.

As always, keep writing.

User avatar
82 Reviews

Points: 42
Reviews: 82

Thu Jul 29, 2021 6:18 pm
View Likes
MomoMajesty says...

OH GOODNESS THIS IS SO GOOD!! I will leave a review later, but ASDFJKAHGSDJFG

User avatar
767 Reviews

Points: 80583
Reviews: 767

Thu Jul 29, 2021 10:11 am
View Likes
MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...

Hi AilahEvelynMae,

Mailice here with a short review! :D

Those were very interesting diary entries you wrote and I have to say what struck me right away was the simplicity with which you wrote the text. You could easily see that it was written by a child because the sentences were simple and straightforward. I think it turned out well because you incorporated this childlike naivety well. I'm just a little puzzled by the name Manuela, because unlike her twin brother, it doesn't sound Jewish. But that is a matter of taste.

As you also wrote, there are some spelling mistakes in the story. On the one hand, they give a certain authenticity, but at the same time they are mostly minor things where I think you only have to read over once and you will find most of them. I liked that you went out of your way to put in those nice brackets.

Some other points I noticed while reading:

January 3 1938, dear diary
I am so sad. Today me and all the other jewish children were not aloud to attend german school.

Here I have to say, that there was actually a real law against jewish children to attempt school. First it was in universities and over the years, no Jewish teachers, etc... it was only in the second half of 1938 (I think in connection with the Reichskristallnacht) that all Jewish children were removed from school. I suppose in smaller regions and villages it happened earlier, but officially it was later than the date of the diary indicates. I would try to make it clear somehow where Manuela lives.

One of9+++ the

Here is a typo. :D

If I haven’t said my brother obadian

Another typo. Later on again, her brother is written in lower caps. Maybe she don´t like him so much. :D

My {our} birthday is April 7 1929 bye I must go to lunch.

That is a strange line in a diary, but I can assume that a child of 7 years would write something like this.

Mother has been very week and we didn’t even see her because she just slept all day and night.

A few posts before that you wrote that they moved to a bedroom-bathroom-apartment, where I now wonder how they couldn't see their mother then? Did they move again and Manuela didn't write that down?

You've touched on a very sensitive subject and I think as long as you want to keep it in a historical fiction, I would advise you to gather a little more information about that time to include more accurate facts. You wrote that you wrote it in primary school, so I assume you haven't changed much, but I think if you want to do a sequel, you might want to check out some websites (or books) about how life changed for the Jewish community in Nazi Germany (I'm assuming it's set in Germany) and how that changed from the 1920s, through the rise to power in 1933 and over the years into the war.

In general, it was already an interesting story, telling the change of the Jewish population from a child's eyes. I liked the approach, but I think you need to look up some things for a sequel so you don't put your foot in your mouth too much.

Have fun writing!


Beware of advice—even this.
— Carl Sandburg