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***Yad Vashem***

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posted on Jan, 1 2004 @ 12:08 PM
Genya, Loughborough, 1997. Written in Risley, 1995, FSBR 2004


On visiting Yad Vashem 1993

We shuffled, shuffled through the displays in silence,
Hundreds of us, staring, helpless, at exhibits, kept neatly in glass cages.
Seeing an enlarged photograph hanging here,
An inmates shapeless uniform draped there.
We were stunned, as cattle are, prior to their slaughter,
By the sheer enormity, bestiality, revealed to our shocked gaze.
But these victims were left fully conscious until their gassing -
Left choking, fighting, gagging for the final killing breath.
"We thought them less than beasts." - was all that we could think.

We shuffled, shuffled, as those humans did in the killing factories,
The slaughterhouses, the abattoirs that were Buchenwald and the rest,
Our minds fighting the urge to withdraw from this awful place.
Desperately, we looked at one another,
Our eyes engorged by the horror scenes before us,
Trying to find relief in our own companionship.
Except there was no relief - there could never be relief.
"We murdered them." - the images filled our minds.

We heard the different voices all around us,
Those hushed, reverent sounds of disbelief, in many dialects, other tongues.
We listened to the sobbing, the cries to God for help,
As those others also begged for God to let them live,
For their children to survive each impending death.
All expressing that self-same thought -
The question needed no answer - had no answer.
"We did." - the only comment that we could make.

A simple text identified each stark picture,
Every aged, dishevelled coat and cast-off ragged garment,
Salvaged from the pile, left carelessly when they showered.
An explanation in Hebrew, German, English of what was shown.
Except it did not explain, could not release the pain -
We had no answer - there was no answer.
"We let it happen." - that's all that we could say.

Expecting visual horror, pornographic snuff movies,
There was nothing sensational, nothing we hadn't seen before.
But this was worse than pictured horror, this worked upon the mind.
Invaded our senses totally, left us numb, racked,
Speechless, as imagination took us to those times.
When others, too, had stood quietly by and said nothing, did nothing,
Did not shout out -
But merely acquiesced by silence and inaction -
Or replied - "Sie sind Juden!"

Genocide, the wholesale slaughter of a people, of a race,
By inhuman human beings, had been institutionalised, mechanised.
Efficiently conducted, displayed in these quiet rooms for all to see.
Calmly commissioned, trains had to run to time to match
Those escalating quotas - deadlines had to be adhered to.
Kapos did not cry out -
They knew - it would be themselves, if not a Jew.

We shuffled, shuffled, drawing ever closer to tears,
Slowly past the fading images, past obscene, discarded, lifeless items
That began the de-humanising of those fellow souls.
Stars of David, yellow asterisks,
Sitting next to those of gypsies, queers - and lunatics.
But aren't we all mad in our own way?
We know - by letting these things continue in our day.


Apologies if this is posted to the wrong forum

Any comments please?

posted on Jan, 1 2004 @ 04:14 PM
Following my post earlier today, I thought it might be appropriate to explain Yad Vashem.

I visited Israel in Dec 1992/ Jan 1993 as aprt of a pilgrimage. During this visit our party visited Yad Vashem, which is the Memorial to the Holocaust, as you will probably know?

Basically, it was extremely moving and the work here *tries* to explain my thoughts and feelings shortly after my return to UK and the comfort of home.

I'm still moved by the place and the memories of it...

posted on Jan, 1 2004 @ 04:23 PM
No offense man but for me personally I have heard all I ever want to hear about the Jewish Holocaust.

These days I am far more interested in other 'deserving tragedies' that have happened in history.

It would do you well to study some of them too.

I am sure there are people around here that would disagree with me.

posted on Jan, 1 2004 @ 04:36 PM

Originally posted by THENEOIt would do you well to study some of them too.

Thanx for the reply Neo - and no offence taken!!

Yes, I'd agree with what you say - indeed, whilst I was *in* Israel, I was reminded of the fact that in the *present* day, such tragedies go on, as I try to say in the last line of the poem I've published here. As an example, the contrast between what the Israeli's *themselves* were inflicting on the Palestinians, for example (burning out shops, occupying territories, etc) wasn't lost on me. Nor do the tragedies that continue to this day. Hence my question "WHY?" - haven't we learnt *enough* already??

Thanx again Neo!

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