My mother was taken to Germany as a slave laborer in 1942 after seeing the women and girls in her family raped and killed by the Germans.
She worked in various small camps. The work was brutal, and when she first arrived in Germany in November, the cold and snow was so bad that she didn't think she would survive a week. She survived 3 years.
This is a poem about her.
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.
The poem is from my book about her and my dad: Echoes of Tattered Tongues: Memory Unfolded