vesta_aurelia: Fangirl your Armor (bujold -- choose to be)
[personal profile] vesta_aurelia
I wrote this a number of years ago, posted to rec.music.filk way back then and then forgotten about it.
But I saw the notes on Holocaust Remembrance Day and I remembered it again.

Bergen-Belsen
@me, 1998

We met in the cattle car in the spring of '43
Three young girls, frightened and alone.
Crushed into a corner, we vowed to stick together:
Hannah and Athena and Simone.

Simone was a Roma, Athena was a stranger,
And Hannah, that was me, I was the Jew.
We all had lost our families in the Kristallnacht:
The stranger and the Gypsy and the Jew.

CHORUS:  I didn't know what to call her,
                  My Yiddish had no words
                  And the *goyish* words I had would never do
                  We met in Bergen-Belsen when the Nazis sent us there:
                  The stranger and the Gypsy and the Jew.

The Nazis took our jewelry, the Nazis took our clothing
Even pulled the fillings from our jaws
But Athena wore a silver star only we could see
A blindness for which there was never cause.

The Nazis called us Juden, they sent us to the showers
But never noticed that we weren't there
Athena's eyes were closed as she held us to our corner
Murmuring unknown words of prayer.

CHORUS

She used the star to bribe a guard in April '45
And our barracks wasn't gassed that day
Athena died that evening, we heard her final promise
And watched her shining silver eyes go grey.

The sunrise brought the Allies, the British in their tanks
The prison guards shot themselves in fear
Simone found the guardsman, retrieved the silver star
Weeping where she thought I could not hear.

CHORUS

Now Simone and I in Tel Aviv have come to plant the tree
Which honors those who save a Jewish life
We have both had children and they have all had children
And my granddaughter is Simone's grandson's wife.

And they have brought their daughter, a charming child of five
And from long ago, a distant mem'ry jars
And we both recall a promise that we all would meet again
In a child's eyes that shine like silver stars.

CHORUS 2:  What would my rabbi call her? Our Hebrew has no words
                     And the English words we have would never do
                     We met in Bergen-Belsen when the Nazis sent us there:
                     The stranger and the Gypsy and the Jew.
                     The stranger and the Gypsy and the Jew.

Date: 2013-01-28 12:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sjusts.livejournal.com
That is one moving piece of music. It reminds me of Irene and Sam Kraskoff I know how to pronounce their last name but the spelling is very suspect.

Sam was a Russian soldier and Irene came from a Polish concentration camp. Sam had the believe that if he told the young maybe another Holocaust would not happen at least in our life time. I was 5 or 6 when he told me, not where they met, not the name of the concentration camp, but of what Hitler caused to happen to numerous races and people who were deemed 'not of the perfect race'. Irene showed me the number that was permanently marked on her forearm.

Do I remember the exact words no, but I remember the point of what Sam said, 'Don't let this atrocity happen again' Yes I remember the point of what Sam said. I am very thankful that so far I have not been called upon to see that another Holocaust is starting to happen.

It is a wonderful piece of music, that reminds us all about those black times. I think there are a lot of people who did not have a Sam in their lives to tell them just how bad those times were.

Thanks for the reminder of some very dear people who are gone but never forgotten.

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