After that first week on the block of the zugangen I felt myself reaching the limits of my endurance. I knew that I would not be able to manage. I would simply be crushed by those who were stronger than I. I was hungry. All around me raged an animalistic struggle for existence, a battle for a little bit of watery soup, even for a little bit of water. I was cold during the day and cold at night. I hatched all sorts of plots in my sick head. I wanted to do something that would attract the attention of some noble soul who must have existed there, though I could not imagine how. I could not decide what I should do, and I did not find that noble soul. I was dying, perishing in this terrible world.
Then I decided to commit suicide. Truly, there was no other way out. This may appear strange, but what bothered me most in my desperate situation were the naked decaying corpses lying in front of the block. Every morning the sztubowa pulled dead women out of the beds. She immediately stripped them naked, dragged them through the whole block, and heaved them into the mud. As she dragged them through the block by one hand you could hear the bones crack, and the loosely hanging heads banged on the cement. I thought in despair that these might have been highly intelligent, talented beings -- actresses, painters, poets. Or maybe they were just women who loved and who were loved in return. Maybe they had children to whom they were most beautiful. Maybe they were dreamers. Maybe they believed in miracles that would redeem them from this Hell. But no miracle had occurred, and now they were being dragged through the mud without honor and without pity.
I was frightened by the thought that tomorrow they would be dragging me through the block, a nameless dishonored corpse, unmourned by anyone. Although I did not believe in life after death, still I trembled at the thought of what was going to happen to me after I died.
I decided that on the coming Thursday I would make an end of