Tuesday, 2 April 2013

(Day 2) Forgotten Voices of the Holocaust

Forgotten Voices of the Holocaust

Nothing can shut out that memory
Even the early morning mist
leaving Cathy’s to go to work
Or twist those words around
Whether in April
Or September cloaked
Grey in a dizzying light.

Nothing across running across
Platform 4 of Victoria station
Picking up my mobile phone
Which I had reported as stolen
Just before Easter
But turns out by magic
Much to my surprise.

Nothing going past Waterstones
then onto to King Street
On the way to get the bus to work
With the memory of last night’s
Report in the Evening News
Of 9 in 30 shops closed
Fresh in my thoughts.

Nothing including Ian Duncan Smith’s
empty boast on some workman’s radio
Of how he could live on £53 a week
When I know my mate is on less
And on the point of eviction
After deductions leave him unable to pay
His rent top up.

Nothing but nothing
Of the way you would have
struggled down the street
near where you lived
just before Germany exploded
With your pants half ripped down
past your legs.

Nothing but nothing
Of the blood dripping
Down from your mouth
Or your  black tie
Which had been used to choke you
Only shortly before
But now doubling up as chains.

Nothing but nothing
Of the way you kept a blanket
Wrapped round your face
When they eventually got
Bored of you like a pet
Leaving you look like the Elephant Man
Until your wife got home,

Shielding your children
From the vicious assilt
You had just suffered
And the way they had hit you
And shaved your hair

And dragged you round town
Saying ‘I am a Jew,
I will not complain
To the Nazis again’

Something we can all learn from.

(This incident I read about recently in a book called ‘Forgotten Voices of the Holocaust’ where in one case in the book talks Munich lawyer Dr. Michael Siegel who had sought police help in March 1933 is instead forced by Nazis to walk through the streets barefooted and with a shaved head - carrying a sign saying "I will not complain to the police anymore."

More details can be seen here

The reference to King Street came from a report in the Manchester Evening News which said 9 out of 30 shops on this main shopping street in the centre of Manchester had shut within the past 2 years and weren’t re-opening with different people.

The reference to Ian Duncan Smith, the current Work and pensions secretary for the government came from a quote said by him over the past few days when he claimed he could live on £53 a week (See http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/apr/01/iain-duncan-smith-live-benefits)

Thanks to Cathy for lending the book here over Easter Weekend which has harrowing reading but something I guess we all must learn from and never, ever forget.

Napwino this day asked us to write a poem containing all lies. After reading this book and reading the article in the Guardian about Ian Duncan Smith on the way to work who has made out of the most stupid statements I have read in recent English polictial history under the current government considering the way people are struggling at the moment in the United Kingdom on benefits, sadly there was no chance of that although I have touched on it with the reference to it)

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