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By Liliana SharettWhen you were in Auschwitz, you felt its world
of smell, noise, silence, its language of despair.
Muted shouts, bleakly empty eyes were everywhere,
with images of death and anguish floating in the air.
You witnessed the loss of identity in its every form,
lost everything you ever thought to be your own,
from name to hair, from looks to the sense of taste,
it all went up in smoke like those burned in haste.
Untimely deaths from land to heavens reigned,
as grandparents, brothers, sisters, young and old
were being choked to death only a few meters away,
while the nerve-wracking music blared untamed.
Around you, shouts in Yiddish and Polish abounded.
They sounded like orders, but were they really that?
How could you tell, when you didn’t understand?
And they looked at you as if they owned the land.
In only two days, you felt brain dead and numbed.
Still, those days stayed with you always and forever,
assuring you never forgot what you’ve seen and felt
there yesterday, today, and tomorrow - wherever.
Can such a story be told in a vivid coherent way -
you ask of those who listen, then conclude:
It cannot be told to make one feel what it really was
to breathe that scorched air and taste those savage laws.
I’m sorry for what happened, your grief and all the pain,
the useless deaths of our loved ones, all in vain
at the whim of the most heinous, idiotic ideology,
the biggest crime ever committed in recorded history.
May we all live in peace from now onto ever.
May we all learn to love and tolerate each other.
May the memory of our dear ones be remembered
in love, and May you find peace within your heart.
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