Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Holocaust Poem of the Day: Nazi Gold Rush

“One evening towards the end of October I went on night duty as one of a team of 100 prisoners. Together with another few experienced prisoners I was picked for this team by Kapo Kaminsky and instructed to organize valuables, if possible.” – Filip Müller

No one objected to contributing
to the Nazi gold rush.

The metal table remained unscrubbed –
thousands of stains the same crimson color.

Every body was mined – some held
nothing while others held fillings of gold.
These precious metals were
pried from behind limp lips.

Once all extractions were made,
the nuggets were sent
to be melted in a crucible
while the flesh was retrieved
to be burned in the furnace.

Filip lifted the countless bodies
from the table. The cold blood,
now more purple than red,
dripped from his stained fingers
and rolled slowly down the drain
in the center of the slab.

Disgraced in death and abused in life –
Filip slowly and meticulously
repeated Kaddish for these people –
these people who had no evidence
of torture during their lives or after death.

The only proof of their existence
was the effect they had on others
and the testimony of those
who witnessed their life… and death.

Their body and blood was
property to their murderers but
their faith and dedication was
a gift to G-d and every other Jew.
Yes, they did exist.

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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