Saturday 18 April 2009

never to be forgotten

go through hell
its not hearsay
we’re all dying
look, I am 88 I have a pacemaker
I’ve had a stroke
the trains leading to Auschwitz
my parents
there are over 60 million who died
I have a duty to talk
there’s a lot of people who want to forget
but this is me for the rest of my life
this is me morning noon and night
the wounds are too great
this story
it’s not a story
not fiction

I come from Berlin
I won’t set foot on German soil
left on 16 April 1939
said goodbye to parents and family
never to see them again
went from Bahnhof Zoo
put on the train to Ostend

I was pulled out of the train
because I had a big J on my passport
at the border I was stripped and I thought
England or concentration camp?
I was taken by one of these nazi officers
and stripped
I was 18 years old
I was a very protected child

because of Kristallnacht
my father realised there was no future for Jewish people
he was pensioned off for being Jewish
it got worse
no radio
no telephone
you couldn’t go out
I was 18 years old
you couldn’t go out dancing

the first two or three years I thought in German
now I think in English

Susie Linton
6 November 2008

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