Arbeit Macht Frei
Another re-post but I thought while we’re remembering the fallen of various conflicts …
Arbeit Macht Frei
There is the sun.
Still yellowed and faded by the smoke
but there it is
pale in the white sky.
They are here
and does it matter
that they have come too late
for the Cohens and the family Leiberwitz
or Kaufman and Morgenstern,
they are here.
Sarah Stern still breathes
raises one skeletal hand
but the soldier turns away
and cannot look.
We hang our heads
we cannot meet their eyes.
It is wrong to look into the eyes
of the victors
this is the lesson of the day.
And what is free
and what does freedom mean.
A scab, picked from a festering wound
but leaves the septic puss
embedded in the tissue.
The soldier sees our nakedness
and we see his naked pity
Which is more revolting.
Are we to blame for our lack of courage.
Sheep can only bleat
but when the axe falls are silent.
Is there respite?
Those who survived
who turned up their ragged sleeves
to show the numbers to the cameras,
who took the chocolate bars
and did not see the shame
in the soldier’s eyes
will never know
cannot believe that they survived
to tell their story
to a world that has long since
And on another day
will the soldier’s grand children’s children
see the hermetically sealed remains;
the hair, the limbs, the false teeth and the spectacles
and will these generations yet to come
understand, without the smell
the cold, bring them only in winter,
the bitter, sad sounds.
Chrissy it seems that one generation past the memories are short lived.
Some don’t believe it even happened.
My Dad was at Belsen when they removed the commandant from his position.
I remember the photo’s he brought back and one story in particular that he told.
Yes the stories have to be told over and over again so it never happens again.
But politics is a strange game, it was then and still is…enjoyed the read…Tony
Tony, many thanks for your comments. I have as I said in the intro, posted this here on this site before and I think it is in one of the anthologies. I wasn’t born until three years after the second world war but this unimaginably horrific thing became a part of my life. The problem is of course we are as a species incapable of learning from our own history. It will happen again, it has happened and it will go on happening because of that inability to learn and yes, sometimes the inability to even acknowledge that we, as… Read more »