Tuesday, January 25, 2011

January 27 International Holocaust Remembrance Day #1

These next few days, in a tribute of remembrance, The 2 Spies will leave the Land of Milk and Honey and journey elsewhere. A place and time that is difficult to visit.  A journey to Hell. A journey we can chose to take or not. For the ones remembered.... they had no choice.

We have no words. Our words are feeble and trite and cannot express any measure of what happened to 6 million Jews and 6 million Gentiles. Instead we will present the words of those who were there. Please forgive the graphic descriptions and photos but they are our only ticket on this path of remembering. May G-d give us the grace to learn deeply and wisdom to know how to make a stand in the face of such Hell as history will repeat itself.

The Butterfly
The last, the very last,
So richly, brightly, dazzlingly yellow.
Perhaps if the sun's tears would sing
against a white stone. . . .

Such, such a yellow
Is carried lightly 'way up high.
It went away I'm sure because it wished to
kiss the world good-bye.

For seven weeks I've lived in here,
Penned up inside this ghetto.
But I have found what I love here.
The dandelions call to me
And the white chestnut branches in the court.
Only I never saw another butterfly.

That butterfly was the last one.
Butterflies don't live in here,
in the ghetto.

Pavel Friedman: Friedman was a young poet, who lived in the Theresienstadt Ghetto. Little is know of the author, but he is presumed to have been 17 years old when he wrote “The Butterfly”. It was found amongst a hidden cache of children’s work recovered at the end of the Second World War. He was eventually deported to Auschwitz where he died on September 29, 1944

First They Came For The Jews
First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

Martin Niemöller was a German pastor and theologian, born in Germany in 1892. Originally a supporter of Hitler’s policies, he eventually opposed them. He was arrested and eventually confined in the concentration Sachsenhausen and Dachau camps. He was liberated by the allies in 1945 and continued his career in Germany as a clergyman and as a noted pacifist.

Auschwitz Rose

There is a Rose at Auschwitz, in the briar,
a rose like Sharon's, lovely as her name.
The world forgot her, and is not the same.
I love her and would not forget desire,
but keep her memory exalted flame
to justify the thistles and the nettles.

On Auschwitz now the reddening sunset settles;
they sleep alike—diminutive and tall,
the innocent, the "surgeons."
                                                     Sleeping, all.
Red oxides of her blood, bright crimson petals,
if accidents of coloration, gall
my heart no less.
                               Amid thick weeds and muck
there lies a rose man's crackling lightning struck;
the only Rose I ever longed to pluck.
Soon I'll bed there and bid the world "Good Luck."

Michael R. Burch is an American poet, essayist, editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry. The painting is by Mary Rae. Burch describes the painting's genesis as follows:
"The Rose came to me in a vision, and Mary Rae helped bring her to life. In my vision the Rose floated in the air, suspended before the dismal gray Auschwitz death camp. Thornless, she symbolizes women and children who are defenseless, unless we choose to protect them."


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comments. Your post will appear soon.