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

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