Arbeit macht frei” (work set’s you free)
Beneath a winters sun a biting wind blew,
Where nobody saw and nobody knew.
With tears in the eyes of our guide
Shock on our faces no-where to hide.
I couldn’t remove her words from my ear
The ones no decent human wants to hear.
Watching through a fog knowing the reality
It slid beneath flesh and warped earth’s polarity.
Ramming evil home, planting it deep
like marrow into the bone.
Escape was not made for here,
corrections happened and slaughter… its clear.
They walked towards death one by one,
Without the fear of what was to come.
When water became gas, to help them cope,
they sang the Hatikvah, their song of hope.
I see piles of hair when I try to sleep,
the discarded shoes torn from innocents feet.
I see their faces before me as I softly weep,
Brush crematoria soot from a tear stained cheek.
This place bore witness to pure evil that time,
it can not be erased from the depths of my mind.
At the shooting wall I picture them standing that day,
Singing hopeful prayers they refused to face away.
The Nazi machine, its power so strong,
kept the furnaces burning all night long.
Hundreds were cremated day after day,
Not fast enough to clear the piles of decay.
First their status then their pride
Ripped them apart nowhere to hide.
For all the souls that gather there,
Their fortitude, their pain and despair.
I beseech you all, to stand and see
the shooting wall… just like me.
The rose was placed on one of the beds that held six bodies in the barracks of Auschwitz one. Poignantly positioned, by someone paying respects on March the second 2017.
In light of new trials of two Nazi guards (one male one female) beginning imminently and national poetry day I repost this poem.
A piece of me shifted that day, my eyes clouded and my heart cried. I thought long and hard before posting this and though I hope you leave me a comment I will understand if you don’t.