The query: “At Auschwitz, tell me, where was God?”

And the answer: “Where was man?”
― William StyronSophie’s Choice


I have lived my life haunted by

The demons of the past, that dark sky

Of Auschwitz- those whistles at the crack of dawn

Mournful, menacing, trying to warn

Each one of us alive that we could be

The next ones to be bailed out of misery..

Since I was spared from the gas chamber

I have lived my life seething with anger

At all of you- perpetrators of those crimes

Where was your conscience at that time?


Were you not an ordinary human being like me?

What made you participate in such a monstrosity?

Oh I know you were supposed to be hypnotized

By your “charismatic” leader, but did you realize

Your role in the widespread carnage then-

There were massacred six million women and men..


I wonder how you wake up every day

And face yourself, how on earth do you pray

To your God- do you also see what I see

In my nightmares, albeit differently?

Do gas chamber for “G” and Zyklon for “Z”

Come to your mind automatically?

Have you contemplated your role 

In those crimes, all the innocent souls

Put to rest prematurely while you still live

I wonder if you have an apology to give..


I was quite certain I would not forgive

You, enemies of humanity, as long as I would live

But, as death knocks on my door, I am inclined

To drive away the anger from my mind-

Also with time the understanding has come to me

That while I wake up each day grateful to be

Alive- I know I bypassed death narrowly

You are denied that privilege obviously

A raging insomniac probably you are

Tormented by memories of the world war

And your being complicit in murders of masses

At the end of the day, we both have losses

In another world we both could have been

Ordinary, well-adjusted people, and never seen

Or participated in such heinous deeds

I have scars, but you have guilt indeed

I forgive you finally, no longer do I resent

You, your guilt is a punishment sufficient..


(I have been profoundly moved by the Holocaust and descriptions of the Auschwitz concentration camps. Therefore this poem about a Holocaust survivor who forgives the Nazis on her death-bed.)









Published by iheart11

A 30-something year old woman, physician by profession, fiercely passionate about work, family, travel and fashion..

2 thoughts on “Forgiveness

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