Monday, October 29, 2012

The Last Poet of Lodz

Stumbled upon this really touching essay at Tablet magazine. They usually have a bunch of interesting, cheeky, Jewish-themed articles throughout the site.

This essay on The Great Epic Poem of the Holocaust caught my eye. November is coming-remembrance is a big theme in November.

Here in Canada, the Remembrance Day poppies are usually on sale by now. I haven't seen a single veteran in the subway stations yet. In November, our local Jewish community also puts on a very extensive series of Holocaust education programs.

If you have never heard a Holocaust survivor speak, I would urge you to do so, before they are all gone.

If you have time, this essay is really worth a read. 

"Shayevitch’s wife Miriam had just given birth to a baby boy. His daughter, Blimele, had spent the previous day of the Sperre hidden in the wardrobe whose mirror her father had described in his farewell song to her. Her little brother, not yet named, was hidden in a drawer. Miriam was in bed, unable to get up. The Jewish police failed to search the room that day. So, the next morning Shayevitch hid his children in the same places."

"There was no food in the house. The Germans and their helpers had not yet arrived in the yard. Shayevitch heard from a neighbor that there would be a distribution of bread and potatoes at the nearest distribution outlet. So, he locked his family in the hut and ran out to join the queue for food. When he returned to the yard, he realized that the selection had already taken place. The door of his hut stood open. The room was empty. Miriam and the children were gone."

He later wrote: 

Ch’geher nisht keynem, keynem, keynem.
Bloyz ayer der goof, nor nisht di neshome.

I belong to no one, no one, no one.
Yours is only my body, but not my soul.