Arbeit macht frei

Arbeit macht frei: Work will set you free.

Arbeit macht frei

Arbeit macht frei – work will set you free!

A birdless sky of sullen grey,
hangs o’er these fields of death today.
Where history tells of hurt and pain,
atrocities that bore no shame.

Rows of dank and dirty shacks,
drenched with nightmares from the past.
Cries from shadows echo still,
to cast the soul an icy chill.

Back in nineteen-thirty-nine,
a problem filled the Nazi mind.
The “problem” of the Jewish race.
Proposals to eradicate.

Tightly packed in cattle trains,
way beyond the inhumane,
where Auschwitz was their destiny,
to face the worst brutality.

Deceit had spun this place to be,
a labour camp for families.
Propaganda spreading lies.
Metallic letters, Arbeit macht frei.

But here no work would set them free,
nor let them keep their dignity.
For thousands were to lose their lives;
women, children, husbands, wives.

Today, a mound of rubble lies -
a legacy of darker times -
where once the devil’s chamber stood,
to steal as many lives it could.

And in the centre stands a wall,
eight feet wide by six feet tall.
Riddled with a thousand holes,
where needless bullets took their toll.

Descriptive words are hard to write,
for crimes inflicted by the Reich.
When rape and murder were the norm.
When prisoners’ wished they’d not been born.

Though many years have passed us by,
there still remains the question, why?
What evoked the evil you?
‘Cause, “I followed orders” just won’t do.

The “full” truth might not ever out,
of how this treachery came about.
But we will NOT forget those lost,
as victims of the holocaust.

So let us bond as fellow man,
and stand up strong the best we can.
For if one common strength persists,
Another “Auschwitz” won’t exist.

P. A. Davies 2022

#holocaust #horror #auschwitz #nazi #persecution #lies #deceipt #rememberance #poem #strength #Arbeitmachtfrei #labourcamp #padavies #author #poet #storyteller #jewish

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