Saturday, April 9, 2011

Holocaust Poem of the Day: Remorse

“My one consolation is to know that you have a nice home and are happy, healthy, and content. I have never had many material possessions, but I know how infinitely rich I am because I have you and your love—and you have my undying mother’s love.” – Hertha Feiner

In the morning,
Hertha could hear
passionate murmurs
of the Mourner’s Kaddish
from friends, neighbors,
and half-familiar faces.
It was the only conversation
they would have that morning.

The daily sorrow of life
knew no Saturday rest—
breaking Sabbath law
burdened her leaded steps.

Hertha wept whenever
she remembered the
stillness and silence
of her memory’s Shabbat.
The Holiness of the day
remained hidden
under gunfire and
moans of the dying.

About Hertha Feiner

Hertha Feiner was a divorced (from a gentile) mother of two daughters, Inge and Marion. She was a teacher in a Jewish day school in Berlin before the Nazi’s came to power and taught until she was forced to work elsewhere (she was later assigned by the SS to type the deportation lists). Feiner’s passion was teaching her students but her love was for her daughters whom she had sent to boarding school in Gland, Switzerland (Les Reyons) to save them from the Nazi’s inevitable atrocities. Hertha wrote to her daughters as frequently as she could – many of these letters were collected in the book Before Deportation: Letters from a Mother to Her Daughters: January 1939 – December 1942 (Northwestern University Press: Evanston (IL), 1999). Feiner committed suicide while on a train making its way to Auschwitz.

No comments:

Post a Comment