Thursday, April 28, 2011

Holocaust Poem of the Day: Rachmones II

“Behind it a round red-brick chimney rose up into the sky.” – Filip Müller

The handle sizzled in
his snow chapped palm.

As he pulled the furnace door
he could hear the air caress
the ashen body within.

He paused. The bitter taste
of parched flesh
seized his muscles.

The guard turned and began
a slow walk in Filip’s direction.
In his eyes, sinister delight
glowed brighter as he inched
toward ‘his’ inmate.

His neck bulged as his arm
rose and his fist clenched.
Filip pulled the iron door open
but he could not avoid the assault.

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.

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