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A Poem for Holocaust Memorial Day by Jennifer Brough

Jennifer Brough
Jennifer Brough was the Young Poet Laureate for Birmingham 2006-2007

As part of her role, Jennifer was asked to write a poem to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day.

Here is her powerful and moving response which she read out at a special ceremony on 28 January 2007. You can read about Jennifer's experiences at the event in her online diary.

Holocaust Memorial Day

 

No. 193945
"Final Solution of the Jewish Question"

Blue. Blonde. Racial checklist.
They didn't comply.
A possible solution for their type?
Stepped down to Sub Section Extermination down the narrow stairs,
A door marked with that symbol of theirs?

Roll up! Roll up! The inferior race
here for one day only in an Aryan place!
They won be staying for too long,
Because they just look wrong!
Hey lady, what's your problem? Too inhumane?
Heads up, don't go to the gas display down the lane!

Left, wrong, left, wrong, left!
Death march, c'mon! Keep in line!
"I'm just following orders"
'What's the toll Sarge?'
'Never you mind SS. Mutters 100,000'
All aboard the Freight Train! Strange, the ghosts are inside...
Destination: Auschwitz, Belzec, Chelmno...

Tattooed. Scared and scarred.
Here's my number but don't
call me up; you never know who may be listening
Careless Talk Costs Lives
Jews and Sneezes Spread Diseases

The ink will fade but it in your veins, blue and cold
All the stories told
will never compare
to what they went through when they were there
Barked at by dogs, children howling, religion turned savage,
Savages given reign over a twisted playground with nooses for skipping ropes
Better not trip!

Mr Hitler, a comment?
"Virtue lies in blood, leadership is primary,"
Religion will not divide my democracy.
 

Holocaust Memorial Day booklist
Birmingham Libraries has put together a list of books relating to the Holocaust. The selection includes personal testimonies and diaries as well as fictional accounts based on the events.


Poems by Jennifer Brough
More Poems by Jennifer Brough
Birmingham Young Poet Laureate - Jennifer's Diary 2006-7
About the Birmingham Young Poet Laureate
Birmingham Young Poet Laureate Shortlisted Candidates 2006
About the adult Birmingham Poet Laureate
Poetry Menu
What's in Libraries for Young People?