My thoughts drag me backward
To those days of the nightmare:
Into one huge City of Slaughter.
Discarded were the Commandments
Still echoing down Mount Sinai;
Symbols of truth, justice, honor.
Not thieving, terror, or murder!
Deaf to this call of justice
Men sank into Gehennas of madness.
The heavens raged into torrents:
Torrents of Nazis drowning the earth--
Building ovens of fire instead of an Ark
For people, birds, creatures in pairs.
Ovens for children just cuddled and kissed,
Mothers' milk not yet dried in the breasts.
Slaves to the right! Death to the left.
Jewish bones crushed into soaps,
Delicate skins stretched for their lamps
To heighten sadistic, devilish lust.
Our lawns of green and flowering herbs,
The fruit of the fields of corn and bread,
The Hitler devils dug up and spread
With hunger and death.
Our houses of worship with all things treasured:
Ancient artifacts, Holy Scrolls that we cherished,
Torched into flame, burned to the ground
While the world with indifference watched
Our ruin, our torment and pain!
Some silently whispered, No, this cannot happen.
While THEY drank, danced, orgied and gorged,
The death camps devoid of a mere crust of bread.
WHERE WERE YOU CREATOR
above the blue skies?
Up there from your HEIGHTS
surely you saw
Your innocents broken in body
WHY?? For what are we punished??
We have accepted, held Holy
your Torah and Law.
We must ask you the question,
Doesn't it hurt you
that so many perished?
Hacked down by axes
of the mad one who led?
And still today the world floods
with the poison of hate!
Our one and only vision and dream:
Let us live in peace from now on.
Bronia Porus Chosid
Translated from the Yiddish by Rahel Gil Grindlinger
NOTE: Bronia Chosid and her cousin, Rahel Grindlinger,
are former residents of Svintsyan who immigrated to America.
Copyright © 2000 M S Rosenfeld