Lest we forget…
In reverent memory of all* the victims of the Holocaust on the sixtieth anniversary
of the Liberation of Auschwitz.
With menacing darkness the old ovens yawn,
Dark shadows of slaughter fall across the lawn,
Barbed-wire fence with skull and cross-bones.
Ghostly shadows of children behind the fence,
Memories of pain and agony intense,
The sodden grey earth silently groans.
The “Gate to Hell” through which the brown wagons rolled,
“Arbeit Macht Frei” the bold inscription extolled,
Living corpses, gaunt, worn and bald.
Dogs barked fiercely, whilst the SS men shouted,
Man, women, children from wagons alighted…
Millions to gas chambers strolled.
Historians note and statistics explain…
Memories may fade but agonies remain,
Till the last survivor will die.
In the blind frenzy six million lives were lost
In - what is now remembered as – Holocaust…
Will we ever understand: Why?
Stand still. Bow your head. Pray and - if you can - cry…
…“But for the grace of God, it could have been I”…
The road to Hell is open still…
Teach your children to love, to escape the past,
Teach them tolerance and for world-peace to last
Respect for life you must instil.
© P. J. Oszmann (January 2005)
Illustration compiled and adapted in Publisher, Photoshop and MS Picture It.
* “The Holocaust was the systematic annihilation of six million Jews by the Nazi regime during World War 2. In 1933 approximately nine million Jews lived in the 21 countries of Europe that would be occupied by Germany during the war. By 1945 two out of every three European Jews had been killed.
The European Jews were the primary victims of the Holocaust. But Jews were not the only group singled out for persecution by Hitler’s Nazi regime. As many as one-half million Gypsies, at least 250,000 mentally or physically disabled persons, and more than three million Soviet prisoners-of-war also fell victim to Nazi genocide.
Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, Social Democrats, Communists, partisans, trade unionists, Polish intelligentsia and other undesirables were also victims of the hate and aggression carried out by the Nazis.”
(Ps. My Grandmother and several Aunts and Uncles perished in Auschwitz.)
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."