My father spent four years as a slave laborer in Nazi Germany, and my mother spent two and a half years there. They were two of about 12 million people who were taken to Germany to do the work the Germans needed done while their own workforce was out trying to conquer Europe.
My parents weren't Jewish, but they knew people who were. Poland was a country with a large Jewish population, and Jews had lived in Poland for almost a millenium.
Like I said, my parents knew Jewish people. Two of my mom's aunts in fact married two Jewish fellows, twins. The four of them died in Auschwitz.
Here's a poem I wrote about what my mom thought about the war and the things that happened.
WHAT THE WAR TAUGHT HER
My mother learned that sex is bad,
Men are worthless, it is always cold
And there is never enough to eat.
She learned that if you are stupid
With your hands you will not survive
The winter even if you survive the fall.
She learned that only the young survive
The camps. The old are left in piles
Like worthless paper, and babies
Are scarce like chickens and bread.
She learned that the world is a broken place
Where no birds sing, and even angels
Cannot bear the sorrows God gives them.
She learned that you don't pray
Your enemies will not torment you.
You only pray that they will not kill you.