HOLOCAUST POETRY & ART



Angel

Untitled Art by Maryl Winningham




Treblinka

by David Graham 1995


Europe's Young stir peacefully in sleep.
After praying to God for their souls to keep.
So tired after a sunny day of playing.
Now tucked to bed warm, after on knees, praying.

What a horrible thing - to awaken the next day.
To realize these things are now taken away.
Into ghettos they march - collective custody They lied.
And in the distance, Treblinka's mouth is opening wide.

Oh God in Heaven, show Us your great power!
Why must these little Ones plunge from Life's Tower?
To be rendered of their Souls by Treblinka's great might
In yellow sand they are buried - day and night.

Oh, Treblinka, Treblinka, Your jaws gape so wide -
The young lambs herd in, unaware of what's inside.
Run, little children...Run for your lives!
You've been brought to The Slaughterhouse - where no one survives.

It is easy to swallow these small ones whole -
Efficiently you render body from soul.
Straight from the trains - chased through your door...
As Warsaw is emptied, you strain for more.

Nothing stops you, Treblinka - hidden away in the woods.
As your yellow sand turns red with blood.
Is there anyone to stop this? Something must be done!
If You are not stopped, there will remain not one.

Treblinka you child-eater, your wheels spin and turn.
Your gears well-oiled, while the human soup is churned
A soup made of children who no longer run or play.
A bloody soup that is dumped into yellow sand and clay.

Dig pits in the sand - hidden beyond the trees -
Treblinka exists only if no one sees.
Covered over by Them, so that none would see The Place.
To hide what was done - there is scarecly a trace.

The Satanic Nazis smile, beckon & beguile.
Why - it is not so hard to fool a young child!
Could God really be giving these young ones up to die?
Innocent teary eyes look to their parents & say "G'Bye"

It would have been better had there never been a birth.
For these innocent eyes will never see life's worth.
Fate has chosen these little ones to die.
Many today still ask, "Why?"

We think it's all over - "...it is done, it is past"
We want to believe the children screamed their last.
But listen close, and you will hear the sound,
Of Treblinka's faint heartbeat, below the yellow ground.

In our weakness we call the madmen Them and They.
Are our souls so different & brave - that we'd have stood in the way?
So exalt not my friend, in a self-glorified stand....
For Treblinka sprang forth from the heart and mind of Man.





The Dream

by Trish McAllister

She prepares the table, the colors are so bright!
Her daughter will be so surprised, delighted.
This will be her first party.
What fun!
Six is a wonderful age....

I shiver in the cold,
My stomach aches with hunger.
I stare at my children as they sit lethargically.
They used to play with such abandon.
Now their eyes - so hollow. No more tears.


She serves the cake,
Laughs as her birthday girl
Tries to blow out candles that won't extinguish.
How carefree, and happy
She never thinks of her freedom. It just is.

My skin feels dry and clammy, all at once.
Fear is my constant companion.
How grateful I'd be,
To give myself over to The Monsters,
If only my little ones were spared.


The children bang on the table
Anxious for their piece.
Anxious to move on to games and the clown!
Precious and loved
They are so cared for, spoiled, revered.

The banging on the door -
My heart stops.
(Oh how I wish it would!)
Are the camps as bad as they say??
They couldn't hurt the children!!

She wakes up to the pounding.
The dream of parties and running and laughing
Is over.
Her children cling to her, roughly pushed
Toward the train, toward the end.


I wake up with the sun
It was just a nightmare.
Now I have a party to prepare for
But a tear falls - for her.
I am her. She is me.

Wake up.





Child-Like Heart

by Dr. Maryl Winningham 1983


A child-like heart is a precious thing
God grant that we never lose it:

Joy in the simple, delight in beauty
Trust that dares face betrayal

Our hurting world cries for more hearts like this
It's wounds are begging for balm
This gift can be ours if we choose to receive it
And then take the courage to use it.


Untitled


by Marisa Bluestone 1994


Alone
But not really
A selected few

Surrounded
Cold eyes
Harsh hatred

Rejected
Yellow stars
Unspoken voices

Horror
Unsettling future
Another pile

Destruction
Without a chance
Devastation

Families
Torn apart
By a belief
Friends
Cast away
By neighbors

Justice
Not served
Denied

Masses
Taking charge
Innocent faces

Hope
The chance
To make it

Don't let
Them bury
You


What I Don't Know
by Ruth Dykstra 1999

What you don't know can't hurt, they say.
I disagree.
Did they know?
How awful, how hateful?
The ghettos, the camps, the chamber, the stars?
That made you feel, so different, so sad.
As if, you weren't human, anymore.
The lives taken, those spared,
Will be changed forever.
Those that saw and then, saw no more,
Those that saw again and again.
Those forced to leave,
Those forced to stay,
Those forced to be somewhere in the middle.
There was no way out, no escape.
Only to live,
Only to die.




Untold Lies
by Brittany Knoll 1999

The train has come to a stop.
I smile. My throat is very dry.
Oh, how long the trip had been!
When will they give us our water?

I stepped off the train.
A mist encircled my body.
The mist told me of many things to come.
What was to happen next?

I stood before the officer.
His blue eyes flashed with a fierce will.
He told me to go to the left.
Is this the right direction?

The mist came back.
It let me see, hear, and feel the pain of others.
I know understood.
How many children will cry in the night, before one can see?

I was promised a shower.
I could feel the icy fingers of death waiting to seize me.
Take my life, take it. I am not afraid.
How many times can the fires burn before one can hear?

I stripped off my clothes.
They don't belong to me anymore.
Take my clothes, I am as strong as ever.
How much blood can fall to the soil, before one can feel?

Do not worry.
It is almost over now.
My soul will live forever in peace.
When will they realize that?


"REMEMBRANCE"


By Tawnysha Lynch

Here I stand in the midst of Auschwitz
My mind racing with memories.
Silent people walk
Where living skeletons worked.

There is a silence,
But I hear the cries of my people.
A slight breeze passes,
But I feel the beating of a whip.

My hands sift through what seems like ashes
And I glimpse a sea of bodies aflame.
There is an open field,
But I see innocent people beaten.

A lone building stands in the distance,
But I see a place of death.
A place where terrible things took place
Horrors not even known to man.

With wistful eyes, I observe this place
Seeing things of the past
This place being as I left it
With an echo of remembrance.

Excerpt from Remembrance, copyright 2001 ISBN 189123157X


AS THE ORCHESTRA PLAYED


By Tawnysha Lynch

Summoned to Auschwitz’s doors,
I could hear the violin’s mournful voice
Calling to me as I entered history’s largest grave
As the orchestra played.

When life’s selections took place,
I could hear the drum’s rhythmic pace
Chronicling our short life’s goodbye
As the orchestra played.

When I became a prisoner,
I could hear the clarinet’s fluid notes
Mocking at what I have become
As the orchestra played.

When I sorted through the evidence of martyrdom,
I could hear the guitar’s music
Allowing my mind to escape
As the orchestra played.
When beaten without reason,
I could hear the trumpet’s shout
Announcing each crippling blow
As the orchestra played.

When I dug graves for my brethren,
I could hear the bass’ low hum
Predicting the horror to come
As the orchestra played.

When train loads of people perished in gas chambers,
I could hear the bagpipe’s chilling song
Forever haunting their frozen, blackened faces
As the orchestra played.

When I saw massacred skeletons wither away in ovens,
I could hear the cello’s sorrowful tune
Lamenting a bitter cry
As the orchestra played.

When I struggled to survive,
I could hear the flute sing
Telling of my affliction
As the orchestra played.

When I was chosen to die,
I could hear the accordion’s melody
Foretelling my fate
As the orchestra played.

When my essence exhaled its last,
I could hear the harmonica
Proclaiming my life’s departure
As the orchestra played.

When my ashes drifted from the grave,
I could hear the instruments join as one
Bidding me farewell
As the orchestra played.

Excerpt from Remembrance, copyright 2001 ISBN 189123157X

"SIMPLE WORDS"


By Heidi J. Helmick

Simple words invoked in a swiriling twist flowing so pristine,complex as a honeycomb and intricate as a daring weave,Yet deeply moving as a singing bird on a highland perch above a weathered cliff.

Sincere ideals expressed in a language spoken only yesterday,A rich volume of deep thoughts written in a notebook written so far away in distance and time,still a voice that the heart can not forget down the random swirl of the years.

Solitary courage in the face of extreme danger and hunger, so crystal pure in brave measure beyond the earnest pulse of memory and heroic deeds by a talented scribe's firm hand whose last words are a defiant cry for freedom and tolerance.

Skillful actions archived in tenacious words given explicit life by a principled scribe that was guided by a feverent need to discharge accurate truth in his own voice for those left behind.

Shrewd words from a remarkable soul in a harrowing isolated world so distant and strange Yet so fresh in truth and dignity that none can forget these candid words written in a set of notebooks by an innocent gentle hand.

Salient words dynamically alive in form forever perserved in historical text bestowed to scholary minds among the living that hunger to comprehend the ruthless storm of putrid darkness that destoryed flesh and whisked away talented minds without mercy.

Dedicated to the memory of :
Dawid Sierakowiak
July 25,1925-August 8,1943
One of many talented writers in the Lodz Ghetto.


Welcome to Auschwitz


Mike Subritzky
NEW ZEALAND

"Welcome to Auschwitz." The survivor said.
A paradox really, he's a Christian and his name is Stanislaus.
I step down from the bus and blink into the kaleidoscope
of a dappled morning sunlight. Nothing has changed!
It is all still there! Just like the photographs taken by the Home Army.

No bodies, but the awful presence of death,
enormous death, 10 kilometres of death.
Auschwitz 1 - A Slave Labour Camp.
Auschwitz 2 - A Death Camp.
Auschwitz 3 - A Chemical/Munitions Factory.
Death envelopes me, engulfs me, enters my body
through my eyes, mouth and ears,
whilst in the hedge-grove a song bird warbles.
Perhaps a blackbird or maybe a thrush.

I am afraid and the hyper-vigilance of the soldier returns.
I want my rifle, bayonet and combat gear.
"Jesus protect me." I whisper

I stand beside Ada Steiner - Auschwitz No. 67082,
she is from Haifa and the blue wound on her forearm
is clearly visible.For her this is no visit,
she is returning to the nightmares of her childhood.
Stanislaus also bears the blue wound,
they nod and greet each other.children who survived.
One a Jew and one a Christian.

"My dear Comrades!
I could not eliminate all lice
and Jews in one year.
But in the course of time,
and if you help me,
this end will be attained."
So said Hans Frank,
Nazi Governor General of Poland.
Auschwitz, 10 kilometres of death.
A true monument to German Efficiency!

The gravel crunches beneath my feet
as we walk between the electric wires
and enter the gate, the sign reads
"Work Will Set You Free"
.Another bloody paradox.

And all the while Stanislaus calls the numbers
eighty thousand Russians starved here...
Thirty thousand Poles; gassed mostly...
Two hundred and fifty thousand gypsies...
many thousands of political prisoners, mainly German...
and 2.5 million Jews.
"Zyklon B" at its very best.

January 27, 1945, and Liberation.
7000 starving inmates remain,
836,525 items of women's clothing,
348,820 items of men's clothing,
43,525 pairs of shoes, 460 artificial limbs,
7 tons of human hair...and so he continues...
I see the mountain of children's shoes,
and leave the warehouse as the tears begin to flow.

In the sunlight once more, I walk down the avenue
past the work-party gallows, towards the gas chamber
and the sole, remaining crematoria.
I hear the sound of gravel (and bone fragments) crunching underfoot,
and the warble of the songbirds nesting in the hedge-grove.
I will wash away the taste of death tonight
with a bottle of good Zubrowka vodka, and sing.
But I shall never forget this day,
or this place, or the murder that happened here. NEVER!


Lost


by dragonmatrix@aol.com

Night, this empty pit less dark,
Alone known not by name, only by a number, a mark,
Held up in these enclosed walls,
constructed to mortify to contain you from the outside halls,
to the corpselike cries you become immune,
the fire that consumes life even cannot consume the night,
with death billowing upon the fire you will be gone soon,
At each dusk the isolated lack of light, again takes away hope and leaves no rebellion no fight,
At each dusk all is lost into the night.




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