(This is Chapter 2 of the “Potato Story.” ~Kati)
That was a very long day for me before nightfall. My plan was ready. That afternoon it wasn’t as cold earlier; the snow started to fall, sometimes very heavy. The snowfall just helped my plan, at least in my mind. I figured out I would dress in my white long johns and a white shirt to camouflage myself and simply crawl in the snow to the potatoes. To make it more clear, I will draw a sketch with a diagram.
The night came closer and I got more nervous. Finally it was eight o’clock and bedtime. I waited about one hour and quietly walked downstairs to the back corner of our barracks. From there I waited for my chance, but the whole thing was starting to look hopeless. The snow had stopped falling and the flood light was shinning over the potatoes, it felt like daytime. I just stood there hiding in the corner. It was starting to get very cold and I was about to give up when I heard voices from the guard-house.
The Russian guard came out and began to talk to the other guard watching over the potatoes. The “potato guard” was a prisoner like me, but selected for guard duty. They were of course better fed and in better physical condition then the rest of us.
Finally the Russian guard went back to the guard-house and the other guard began to walk toward the kitchen. My mind began to work at high-speed. This was the time I told myself, RUN and I did; the second the guard disappeared behind the kitchen door. The distance between where I was standing and the pile was about 50 feet or less. I ran to the barbwire and began to lift up some of the loose wire and tie one line up to the next; doing the same with the other wire down. In a very short time I was on the other side of the fence, where I crawled under the canvas. My heart was pumping and my throat was dry, so I took a short rest. I was sure the guard could not see me as long as I was under the canvas. I tied up my long johns right above my ankles so I could fill them up with potatoes.
I was still laying under the canvas when I heard the guards foot steps, returning from the kitchen. The other guard also came out and they started to talk again; when everything went quiet. I heard only the guards dancing footsteps in the snow. Finally I started to pick up the potatoes when I encountered the first problem. They were frozen together like ice!