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15 October 2014
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by BBC Southern Counties Radio

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
BBC Southern Counties Radio
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
03 August 2005

A raindrop falls, hits the ground, disintegrates and is no more.
As I walk through the gates at Auschwitz, seeing the ghostly remains of the camp,
The memorial to all who died there, just a single burning lamp.
The blown up site of the gas ovens, and the creaking hinge of a door,
You imagine the past eerie voices that chill you to the core.
Why pick on nations especially the Jew?
From all walks of life, the Romany too.
Doctors, lawyers, nurses, brilliant students, young and old.
Not one to be excluded, leave no-one behind they are told
No chance to gather belongings, manhandled from where they are found,
Prodded and marched to the station, beaten for uttering _a sound.
Then crammed into trucks ever so tight,
Children in tears, white with fright.
The train's destination is Auschwitz, SS men open the door.
"Out, out, out," they.shouted, and forced them to the floor.
A jackbooted officer stood at the head of the line,
With a wave of his thumb to gesture a sign.
Ayes to the left, noes to the right,
Splitting mothers and some children holding on tight.

The ayes were marched to a building, "Strip off for a shower," they said.
Sadly no water cascaded, deadly gas poured in instead.
Frantic crying of the frightened children, screaming babies oh so young,
Slowly the sound decreases, then silence, the job was done.
The older ones gasping for breath and fear in their eyes,
Collapsing, as their life, so painfully dies.
Then cutting off the hair of young and old,
Checking their teeth to take out the gold.
Wedding rings, diamond ones, bracelet and necklace too,
No feeling for these people, just smoke from a burning flue.
The bodies dragged and pulled by the head,
Thrown in a furnace, hoping they are dead.
Two thousand people daily are murdered in this way,
As the trains come in loaded at the same time every day.
The hatred of the prisoners, no mercy to be found,
Just like a little raindrop, to be trodden in the ground.

The noes were taken to buildings, with deep shelves against the wall.
This was their new home, in there they had to crawl.
Watery soup was all they were fed,
No sanitation, boards for a bed.
Working in a factory fifteen hours a day,
A lash of the whip was all their pay.
Their captors fed on meat, and plenty of ale,
And laughed at the prisoners who fought for a snail,
To reduce them to vermin, so no work could be done,
Then off to the chamber or put to the gun.
When soldiers came to their rescue to end this horrid trial,
The prisoners so ragged and dejected just could not raise a smile.
At peace,
Their souls now in heaven, united as families once more,
With no longer fear of the chamber, or that final slam of the door.
Do they utter the words of Jesus when they know it was all true,
Please forgive them Father, for they know not what they do?
So when you see a raindrop, however big or small,
Just think of those two million in Auschwitz who had no life at all.

This poem was submitted to the People’s War website by a volunteer on behalf of David Noakes. David fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.

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