V. They Called It THERESIENSTADT

-and-

everywhere were evidences of happiness
and gaiety
and cobbled streets were swept
and on buildings fresh and well-repaired
were colored awnings
and draperies
and people meandered freely
and enjoyed cakes
and afternoon coffees
and fears were cloaked
and masked

and children played and laughed
and kicked balls in the schoolyard
and practiced their lessons
and many missed friends from days
before the trains
but now were warm
and far from war
and sometimes there were even flowers in pots
and birds and bugs to look at
and soup and bread to eat
and they only sensed the fear

and there were guards about
friendly guards wearing smiles
and double lightning bolts on their sleeves
toting rifles
and it was ok because the world was at war
after all
and sometimes people died
and that happens everywhere
even back home
and if bullet holes and bruises are covered by dress or suit
they don’t exist
really

and the visitors were well-dressed too
and there were red cross armbands on their sleeves
and they walked around the cobbled streets
and took notes

and they were happy that rumors which
had summoned them were quite untrue
and they saw none of the evidences of hatred
and torture and extermination
rumored
and sometimes whispered
by gray ghosts
escaped
from
the

east

and two trains waited at the station
and one had silvery comfortable coaches
and the other didn’t
and the first train left early
and the visitors were satisfied to learn
shicklgruber
was not a monster after all
and all was well
in sudetenland

and the second train left later
after dark
and its human cargo bade farewell to comforts
and games and cakes and coffees
and said good-bye to
Theresienstadt
and they left in cattle cars
huddled
and awash in filth and excrement
enroute
to
the

east

to bear witness
the Final Solution

-and-

the fatal masquerade
had worked

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About frugalchariot

How Frugal is the Chariot That bears the Human soul. (Emily Dickinson)
This entry was posted in Emeralds and Ashes I: Europe. Bookmark the permalink.

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