All around and beneath her she could hear strange submerged
sounds, groaning, choking and sobbing. . . . The whole mass
of bodies were pressed tighter by the movements of the ones
who were still living.
Some soldiers came out on to the ledge and flashed their
torches down on the bodies, firing bullets from their revolvers
into any which appeared to be still living. But someone
not far from Dina went on groaning as loud as before.
Then she heard people walking near her, actually on the
bodies. They were Germans who had climbed down and were
bending over and taking things from the dead and occasionally
firing at those which showed signs of life. . . .
One SS-man caught his foot against Dina and her appearance
aroused his suspicions. . . . But she hung limp and gave
no signs of life. He kicked her in the breast with his heavy
boot and trod on the right hand so that the bones cracked,
but he didn't use his gun and went off. . . .
A few minutes later she heard a voice calling from above:
"Demidenko! Come on, start shoveling!" . . .
Her whole body was buried under the sand but she did not
move until it began to cover her mouth. She was lying face
upwards, breathed in some sand and started to choke, and
then, scarcely realizing what she was doing, she started
to struggle in a state of uncontrollable panic. . . .
With her left hand, the good one, she started scraping the
sand off herself, scarcely daring to breathe lest she should
start coughing; she used what strength she had left to hold
the cough back. She began to feel a little easier. . . .
be scared, lady! I'm alive too."
It was a small boy in vest and pants who had crawled out
as she had done. He was trembling and shivering all over.
she hissed at him. "Crawl along behind me."