Thursday, May 5, 2011

Holocaust Poem of the Day: The Prayers of a Mussulman

“Now, when I watched my fellow countrymen walk into the gas chamber, brave, proud and determined, I asked myself what sort of life it would be for me in the unlikely event of my getting out of the camp alive. What would await me if I returned to my native town?” – Filip Müller

In the haze of July smoke
the screams seemed silent
as voices strained to swim
through the humidity.

The words of stained dialect
remained clear in the ears
of Filip’s head as he lay
recovering from slumber.

His own words pierced the echoes,
“G-d, why have you allowed me
to wake? Why am I to work
another day? Why do you allow
your people to die and burn?

Why do I have to be the last
to look into their clouded eyes
as I carry their pink dyed bodies
to the ovens? Why all this?

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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