Thursday, March 04, 2010

Poem: "Babi Yar"

Today remains Thursday, 4 March 2010.

I think this poem has appeared in this space afore. This is a new polish.


On 29-30 September, 1941, elements of Einsatzgruppen C (“Special Duties Unit C”) of the Nazi S.S. shot some 34,000 Jews and dumped their bodies in a ravine, named Babi Yar, near the city of Kiev, in the Ukraine, USSR. Eventually, at least 75,000 other Jews would join those victims.

(Homage to Yevtushenko)

In this ravine,
Beneath my feet,
In every inch of earth upon which one might stand,
Beneath the common dirt of earth
From which all issue and to which all return,
Sojourn 100,000 Jewish humans.

Our sisters and brothers,
Murdered by Nazis
To whom they were vermin.

And, as all vermin,
Should be and were exterminated
As rats and lice.

In your names, sisters and brothers,
To you,
In the name of all that is decent and human and humane,
I pledge:
I shall never grant the Nazis victory:
I shall never judge even a Nazi as vermin,
Nor exterminate them.

Refusing to be a Nazi,
Even toward Nazis,
Is my monument to you.

Almost, perhaps, your victory.


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