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by Ines M. Weber
It was a place of pure, sheer horror,
The place all people have to see
"How was it possible" they ask.
Those times went down in infamy.
One day I too mustered some courage,
I had to find out for myself
Wanted to hear, to smell, to feel
Beneath the sign "Arbeit macht frei"
I had to kneel.
I could hear voices, different tongues,
So many people were around
And all the while I could not tell
Am I here now, or was I…then?
The wind, the ashes, all the pain
The sounds of Kaddish in the air
And then I saw some Hebrew writing
Among displays of long, dead hair.
Three men, behind me in the line
Were speaking a familiar tongue
What, German, in a place like that?
I turned around...
They saw me and their whisper stopped.
Then they ran quickly in the crowd.
My heart was breaking, bleeding tears
For Goethe, Schiller, and my peers.
They have no fault, nor do we
The realization hit me hard
That we are all forever bound
By just twelve years
Of German history.