Thursday, 12 February 2009

From "Holocaust"

By Charles Reznikoff.

Five Polish Jews got hold of a small wagon
and hired a Pole to drive them east
to get away from the S.S. men now in the city.
But, when they left the city behind,
suddenly they saw S.S. men
who had been lying in wait for Jews
trying to get away.

The S.S. men ordered the Jews off the wagon
and the five got off.
“Have you any money?” the S.S. men asked
and the five gave whatever they had.
The S.S. men searched them anyway
and then ordered them to take off their clothes
and lie down on the ground
and the S.S. men began to beat them,
changing those who did the beating
and laughing all the time.
Then they ordered the Jews to get on their knees
and sing Hebrew songs;
the Jews sang the Zionist anthem, Ha-tikvah.
And then had to crawl through a concrete pipe on the road
before the S.S. men left them.

The five were too weak after the beatings to go on
and, besides, had no money;
and so went back to the city –
straight to a Jewish hospital.

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