A sign displayed above the gate
Telling work will make you free,
A ruse before they met their fate,
By the tyrant’s cold decree.
Men and women, each little child,
They brought onto this place;
Through the lettered gate they filed
For deemed offence or race.
Families together, forced they came
In bewilderment with their peers;
Among the fit, the sick and lame,
Then a dawn of chilling fears.
Heaps of shoes here mark their passing,
Swept up like the autumn leaf;
Empty canisters from Zyklon gassing,
Residual symbols of their grief.
Suitcases stacked at their destination,
Owners gone, no chance to flee;
Names marked thereon in anticipation,
To be retrieved, but not to be.
From the furnace ashes that were spread,
Issues forth a cry for evermore;
To pause and contemplate the dead,
Then curse the evil; their power no more.
Monty Alexander 21.9.2013