Posts Tagged ‘like cattle’

Railway To Freedom

The cattle were loaded and only could stand
While carried about through the dark hateful land
In trains that were crowded with all they could bear
And rolled on for hours, or days of despair.

In freezing or swelter, the cars were closed tight,
No caring if anguish or death was their plight.
No food (sometimes water), no news of ahead,
The cattle were counted as already dead.

If cortege was lengthy, an eighteen day trip,
The train stopped at nowhere and let corpses slip;
And sometimes the whole of a boxcar was thrown
Out onto the meadow, cold, hard as a stone.

We wonder that cattle, mere cattle, weren’t seen
As creatures that suffer; but hearts were so lean,
Humanity lacked in the handlers themselves,
The cattle more human than dark Santa’s elves.

Their lowing internal, the moan of despair,
Was halted by slowing; brakes’ screams filled the air.
And then there was silence, dead silence, dead pause,
And cattle all wondered what was this death’s cause.

A soldier (a Nazi) in charge of the train
Flung open the doors so he then could explain:
“Get out of the boxcars, for here ends your pains.
We’ll show you your chambers, much better than trains.

“The tracks and the train will go on by design;
For all of you Jews – it’s the end of the line.”
This stop is at Auschwitz; here, work makes you free,
The work that we Nazis will do carefully.


***The sign over the entrance to Auschwitz read,
….. “Work Makes You Free”.

***1.1 to 4.1 million people died there.


The photo, by Alex Bruda, is a photo of the railway
and the death camp.



© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2015.


Read Full Post »