The Holocaust — c.2005

Father, what’s wrong? Why do you cry?

Have I said something bad, father? Tell me, is it I?


No my dear son, it’ll never be you.

Run, find some clothes, son- we’ve got much to do.


Why are you packing, father? Are we going away?

Yes, my son, and we’ll be back, I promise. Someday.


But father, please help- I don’t like those men.

Will we ever see our nice home again?


Why’s mummy so small now and sad all the time?

Can’t we be happy, father- it’s not a crime.


Stop asking questions- you’ll get taken from me,

Stay close to me, son- we’re no longer free.


Now get on that train, son, and help mummy up.

Go squeeze in that corner- I’ll have to stand up.


Is this where we’re stopping? But there’s nothing in sight.

Why have we stopped here? This cannot be right.


All I can see are those shacks and those pits.

It’s a camp for us, son, It’s called Auschwitz.


Why did they tell me to say I’m eighteen?

Coz I’m not, father, and, I don’t work with machines.


Where’s mummy gone, father? Where’s she sleeping tonight?

Why did she get told ‘left’ when we got told ‘right’?


She’s gone to be cleaned, son, she’s gone to the showers-

She’s gone like the others, going hour by hour.


But why do the men in the uniforms say

Left or say right, take my mummy away?


It’s not fair, father- I don’t want to work.

I don’t like this, father- I’m hungry and I hurt


Be quiet, my son- be quiet, oh please;

I can’t lose you as well- oh please, Lord, oh please.


But why are we here, father, what are they doing?

Why clean out Germany? What were we doing?


They clean and they clean and they clean and they clean,

They’ll never stop cleaning till the whole world is clean.


But I am clean, father, you know that I’m clean,

You cleaned me last night, I am clean, I am clean.


We can wash, we can wash, we can wash till we’re blue-

We can clean all our lives, but no- that won’t do.


You’ll never be clean, son, not I and not you,

You’ll never be clean, my son, you are a Jew.


Help father! Please, stop them taking me away.

Help me, father, please- I don’t want to die today.


Have strength, my son, please- I’ll never be too far,

And never, son, never forget who you are.


It’s coming, father, the gas- it has come.

We’re dying, father, one by one.


But it’s alright, father, at least it is through.

I’m going to mummy, and I’m strong- I’m a Jew.





3 thoughts on “The Holocaust — c.2005

  1. I saw the death camps in Poland and Germany in 1976. The smell and feel of death lingered. I met, survivors of the camps in my travels throughout Europe in 1976-1980. We cannot allow this action to be forgotten. A powerful poem. Needed to be read by more people. We must know the past. Good an bad. Can’t allow to be repeated.

    Liked by 1 person

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