“I was like one hypnotized and obeyed each order implicitly. Fear of more blows, the ghastly sight of piled-up corpses, the biting smoke, the humming of fans and the flickering of flames, the whole infernal chaos had paralysed my sense of orientation as well as my ability to think.” – Filip Müller
The wooden doors slid to the right
and unnumbered inmates were
forced in to the mass of humanity.
The fire hose hissed as droplets
fell and froze to their lips.
They patiently shuffled their feet
across sheets of crystallized tears.
Their clothes stiff with icy sweat.
The able bodied were embroidered
with needled ink. Their numbers
stripped them of nearly everything,
leaving only that which damned them:
their blood and their faith.
Filip was chosen to live;
chosen to watch others die;
chosen to stay warm on
the coldest days as families,
towns, and villages were
reduced to smoke and ash.
His breath choked thick
with the tribes and lineage
of every Jew. This was a test
Job was never forced to endure.
About Filip Müller
Deported from Sered, Czechoslovakia, Filip Muller (#29236) worked for three years as a prisoner in the “Sonderkommando” in the gas chambers and crematoria of Auschwitz. Every day he saw the flames extinguished of many, now forgotten, candles. Frequently writing notes about his experiences, Müller spent years after his liberation trying to educate all those who would listen to his account but he did not compile and publish his testimony until 1970 under the title Eyewitness Auschwitz: Three Years in the Gas Chambers (Ivan R. Dee, Publishers: Chicago (IL), 1979). Müller has lived in Western Europe since 1969.