World War II

My visit to Auschwitz

  Sliding Doors So, it was a simple twist of fate: Rivers near Auschwitz, railways at Auschwitz, Junctions at Auschwitz, Trains from Berlin, Warsaw, Prague and Vienna, So that’s why it was there. I mean, here. But Art imitates Life – or is it Death? The buses ferrying people into the concentration camp, People idly fagging it, sending wreathes of smoke into the air, Some have scrawled felt tip penned graffiti on to the red brick walls; Others firmly inhabit the 21st century, They memorialize the day with confectionery and souvenirs from the gift shop, Industrial Death and Industrial Tourism, People have worked hard for their day out, “Arbeit Macht Frei”. Photography makes you free too, The iconography of death, Electric fences, execution spots, The corpses of prisoners, The Orchestra, Music while you work, ‘Keep in step while we count you’, The alphabet and abacus of death, There’s block 24D, The soulless logic of number and letter, The bureaucracy of extermination, The relentless productivity of extermination, The understated tone of our guide, “The Final Solution of the Jewish Question, Now we go into Block Number 4”, The lamps outside the blocks, Redolent of Dixon of Dock Green, A blue lamp for more than blue murder, The No Smoking sign outside the block, Inside, George Santanya: “The One Who Does Not Remember History is Bound To Repeat It”; The understated monotone continues, “It was easier for the Nazis to transport the Jews here.” We had a loo stop, we didn’t have to pay, We just had to say the word, “London”, (“This is the BBC and this is Alvar Liddell reading...
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Football Time

Football Time 

I was never
 that close to my Dad, He’d had a bad war in the Chindits, And 
fighting behind Japanese lines Gave him
 twenty years of 
mood swings And irrational
 bursts of unpredictable
 temper, But one Sunday 
afternoon
 after the pub, Out the...

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Porrojmos: the Great Devouring

“Porrojmos” Is what the Roma call the Holocaust – And it came as no surprise To experienced Roma eyes, This “Great Devouring” – For Nazi racial ideology With its delusory biology, Had already said the only way In the bright new day, Where...

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