Dur­ing this past week’s cer­e­mo­ny at Auschwitz to mark the 70th anniver­sary of its lib­er­a­tion, Men­achem Z. Rosen­saft penned a poem to com­mem­o­rate the memo­r­i­al, which he shares with JBC read­ers below. 

Auschwitz-Birke­nau, Jan­u­ary 272015

no longer vis­i­ble flames
still burn
will always burn
have burned my broth­er’s tiny body
for sev­en­ty-one years
five months, twen­ty-three days
since he became only a mem­o­ry
my, our moth­er’s mem­o­ry
now my inher­i­tance
in a huge tent we sit
three thou­sand of us
warm­ly dressed
and I see where
my moth­er was unable to kiss
her child
one last time
I can­not feel him shiv­er
I can­not hear him cry
I can­not smell the gas
per­haps I am breath­ing
his ash­es

Men­achem Z. Rosen­saft is the edi­tor of the recent­ly pub­lished book God, Faith & Iden­ti­ty from the Ash­es: Reflec­tions of Chil­dren and Grand­chil­dren of Holo­caust Sur­vivors (Jew­ish Lights Publishing).

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