Thursday, November 13, 2008

Post Fourty-Three.

"Why do you pray?" he asked me after a moment.
"I don't know why," I said, even more disturbed and ill at ease.
He closed his eyes, as though to escape time.
"I pray to the God within me that He will give me strength to ask Him the right questions."
The look in his eyes, as they stared into mine, has never left me.

In the air was the smell of burning flesh.
"Poor devils, you're going to the crematory."
"You're going to be burned. Frizzled away. Turned into ashes."
And I did not know that in that place, at that moment, I was parting from my mother and Tzipora forever.
Surely it was a dream.

Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed.
Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky.
The SS gave us a fine New Year's gift.
Babies were thrown into the air and the machine gunners used them as targets.
That night the soup tasted like corpses.
"Where is God? Where is He?"

The moment has come. I was face to face with the Angel of Death.
I repeated to myself: "Don't think. Don't stop. Run."
He lept on me, like a wild animal, hitting me in the chest, on the head, throwing me down and pulling me up again, his blows growing more and more violent, until I was covered in blood.
I did not weep, and it pained me that I could not weep. But I had no more tears.
Humanity is not concerned with us. Today anything is allowed.
"Where is God? Where is He?"

"You must never lose faith, even when the sword hangs over your head. That's the teaching of our sages...."
Praised be Thy Hold Name, Thou Who hast chosen us to be butchered on Thine altar?
Why, but why should I bless him? In every fiber I rebelled.
I no longer accepted God's silence.
"Where is God? Where is He?"

"Throw out all the dead! All corpses outside!"
They were the first faces of hell and death.
From the depths of the mirror, a corpse gazed back at me.
Hell is not for eternity.
Surely it was a dream.
"Where is God? Where is He?"