Holocaust Memorial Day, 30 Jan 2010

These poems were written for the 2010 Holocaust Memorial Day and were chosen to be read out at the regional event in Exeter.

The Train Journey

By Connor Dalby

A long train journey far away,
No one knew where our future lay
Captured by Belligerent fools,
Fences, guns and weaponry tools
Liberty taken, dignity too,
There was nothing else we could do.

Beaten, abused, shamed and battered,
All our hopes and dreams shattered
Herded like cattle into the chambers,
Family, neighbours friends, strangers
The gas rises from below,
Death comes row by row.

Pain and suffering, so much to regret,
Our future lost, We cannot forget
One man, one vision,
Caused so much division
Who shall be blamed,
who shall be shamed.

Hope is our only chance to survive
Hope is our life line to stay alive
Hope will free us from our sorrow
Hope will see us through to tomorrow

The dictator our vater their minds cemented,
Disciples of evil never contented
Save us lord from hatred and wrath,
Lead us into the righteous path,
Where our faith and love for you will triumph at last.

By Hannah Tucker

They were given false hope.
They were victims.
They were herded away.
They were beaten with sticks.
They were stripped bare.
They were separated from family.
They were victims of false hope.

“How long o’ Lord, how long?”
Through the days and nights they would work not play,
And never were their troubles away.
“How long o’ Lord, how long?”
Murdered and cremated,
Their tragic life terminated.
“How long o’ Lord, how long?”
Though the few who survived
Kept the spirit of the Jews alive.

They are real true hope.
They are survivors.
They are broken not destroyed.
They are triumphant.
They are victors over suffering.
They are history makers.
They are the children of God.
They are the legacy of hope.

There is still a hope
By Jack Maddicks

Am I a human?
In their eyes I am not;
They think I’m not human
I am herded,
Into a carriage for cattle,
With my ‘species’

Do I have rights?
In their eyes I do not;
They think I’m not human

The fear in my eyes
Is only a mere fraction
Of the fear I feel

Do I have feelings?
In their eyes I do not;
They think I’m not human

I’m suffocating
I cannot see what’s in front of me;
Tears fill up my eyes

Do I deserve comfort?
In their eyes I do not;
They think I’m not human

We are thrown outside
I cannot find my parents
I can’t find my friends

Will I be happy again?
In their eyes I never was
They think I’m not human

Arbeite macht Frei
Our last hope is a lie
We’ll be here forever

Will I be clean again?
In their eyes I never was
They think I’m not human

I go to the shower
But we all know it’s not
We are all crammed in

Will I get respect?
In their eyes I shouldn’t
They think I’m not human

They’ll strip me of worth
Of shoes, clothes, valuables
They’ll add me to heaps

Will man ever learn?
I believe they never will
We repeat our mistakes

The Holocaust goes on:
Botswana, Yugoslavia
Iraq, Rwanda

Will man ever learn?
It’s up to us to teach them
There is still a hope

We are that hope.