Monday, January 27, 2014

International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Jan. 28

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.


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.


Sue Knight's Blog said...

John, I am glad you manage to tell your parents harrowing story, and tell it without inciting further hatreds too. It could be told in a very different way.

There is so much political spin on the official story of WW2 now that I usually avoid reading about, hearing about it, or seeing anything about it. But I know I can safely read your poems.

Tom Roznowski said...

Thank you for sharing these thoughts, John. They bring light into the room. Tom Roznowski

Tom Roznowski said...

Thank you for sharing these thoughts, John. They bring light into the room. Tom Roznowski

Maja Trochimczyk said...

Excellent. I forgot about this poem, when I started to write my book of memories of my mother, father, grandparents, entitled "What Children Learn from War" - in response I put two of my poems from that book up and also wrote a story.
We have to remember.

Maja Trochimczyk said...

Thank you. I'm working on a book of poems about my parents and grandparents memories. It is entitled "What Children Learn from War" and two poems are up already.

Anonymous said...

I hope that this includes the Armenian Holocast. Hitler said who remembers the Armenians. Well we do. Millions killed at the hands of the ottoman empire

John Guzlowski said...

So many, Holocausts. Since the UN came out against genocide in the early 50s, millions more people have died of genocide