My clothes were cold and clammy and my shoes squelched. I hugged myself and wondered about the pain in my side. It was growing worse. Once we were in the truck, every bump sent a red-hot stab of agony through me. The swaying truck made me feel very sick.
“That brute Peter!” Zenaida muttered her indignation: our team boss, a criminal prisoner, was in the truck. They’d fished me out quickly once they’d had their laugh. After all, they had to report back to the guardroom with the same number of prisoners as had set out that morning. A slave-laborer less would have been a loss to the State.
Somehow we got back to the hut, where I wrung out my wet things. My side was badly swollen, and the skin had been scraped from my hands and legs. It was agony to raise my arms. Every few minutes during the night I tried to find a more comfortable position. But there was none.
In the morning I saw “Doctor” Cretzeanu. A huge purple and yellow bruise like a map of Africa spread down one side of my body and it was impossible to raise my arm above waist level.
“Fit for work!” she pronounced.
I fell in with the others.
“What’s the matter with you?”
The woman overseer was glaring. Perhaps I had swayed. I felt faint. I said, “I can’t go to work today. I’m in great pain. I think my ribs are broken.”
But Peter was watching out for me. He caught my wrist and pulled me out of the rank. “What’s wrong with her is that she didn’t fulfill her norm yesterday. Get on with it!”
He spun me around and planted a large boot in my back. I wasn’t so much kicked as heaved forward into the line of women.
So I went to work that day and every following day. I had broken two ribs (doctors established this after my release) but God healed them. We have seen in prison many miraculous healings.
Sabina Wurmbrand (1913–2000) was the wife of Pastor Richard Wurmbrand and co-founder of The Voice of the Martyrs.