Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Lest We Forget

Auschwitz

I hovered over trains and tracks each day
And watched as shipments came without delay,
The box-cars crammed with flesh and detritus,
The living and the dead bathed in their pus.
Storm troopers strutted, whips so quick to wield,
Their courage proved not on the battlefield,
But as they scourged and laughed with ridicule,
Defenseless masses died beneath their rule.

I watched as families were torn apart,
The children and the aged condemned to start
Their journeys to the gas striped by the lash,
Their bodies then cremated into ash.
The older, stronger ones with arms tattooed
Were listed just as numbers – garish, crude,
And herded toward the work-camps all around
Or into labs, with screams the only sound.

Throughout the deadly compounds rose the stench
As flames from charring bones the flesh would wrench
And then consume the whole in fiery glow
As martinets yet strutted to and fro.
Throughout the work-camps also rose the stench
As work from filthy bodies life would wrench,
The weaker ones went soon beneath the whip,
The road to charnel house their final trip.

I watched starvation take its daily toll –
It was a tool to gain complete control,
The martinets would laugh and lash in glee,
But starving ones came quietly to me.
The ones marked out like guinea pigs or mice
For every sadist’s fancy – volt or slice,
Throughout a threefold hell ere they could die
Like bugs were smashed…their ash then filled the sky.

Ten-thousands met their fate just through disease
While martinets kept strutting in their ease…
No doctors, medicines, no treatment there,
Regaining health was less than even rare.
Through fevered nights, they wept their bitter tears,
Warehoused in stacks like boxes tiers on tiers,
Emaciated bodies broken, bare,
Were sanitized in flames…then filled the air.

Oh yes…I had been there at Anzio,
Throughout the South Pacific…at Iwo,
I gathered in those places friend with foe,
Saw battle-hardened troops their mettle show.
They came to me – to Death – I gathered them,
They came blood-soaked and spewing bloody phlegm,
They came with honor, fighting for a cause,
They faced me, fears in check, without a pause.

But Auschwitz…what an evil travesty
On what Almighty God had meant to be
A thing of beauty…yes…and called mankind
But seen in martinets so ill-defined!
At Auschwitz they became an evil force,
Satanic animals…sadistic…coarse,
Who sent their victims, shorn of dignity,
So inhumanely…yes…they cursed to me.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

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