Dora Circa the War Years

By Allison Whittenberg

For remembrance, the picture of her girlish dark-haired freshness and a taut, three-paragraph bio was posted on a flagpole


For a week, students passed her, too wrapped in their own bad days and stressors, their own crosses to bear, to notice       


Hiding, maneuvering, 

Creating a bottomless sense of chaos 

Dora had spent her wonder years as a partisan

Making, makeshift weapons out of lost parts

Sleeping in forests 

Using her trusty machine gun as a pillow


Evading, plotting, 

breathing almost to the date of liberation

She had escaped the ghettos, 

the trains rides, the liquidations

Until, too many Germans surrounded,  

demanding they produce a Jew

Disarmed, momentary solidarity melted to basic instinct

Someone pointed out Dora


They bound her hands

Tied a rock to her neck

Threw her in the river

Then shot her twice


An empty, gray ending to a would-have-been 

full, green life

Under other circumstances…

About the Author

A Whittenberg is a Philadelphia native who has a global perspective. If she wasn’t an author she’d be a private detective or a jazz singer.  She spent 13 years in the Army National Guard.
Her other novels include Sweet Thang, Hollywood and Maine, Life is Fine, Tutored and The Sane Asylum.