Garland - Three Holocaust Poems for Our Time

translated from the Hungarian & edited by Thomas Ország-Land (May 2011)

By Frigyes Karinthy (1887-1938): poet & satirist.

(According to Holocaust legends, this piece was read to a group of starved, naked and brutalized civilian captives -- orthodox Jews observing strict dietary rules -- to calm and comfort them before their mass murder in a gas chamber.)
Let’s face it, guys, we’ve been brought down
by every law and trick, that’s clear --
The jackals have picked up our scent.
Hungry crows are circling near.
T’was not the pack to prove the stronger,
far meaner beasts have brought us there --
Will feral dogs or humble sparrows
share the feast? I do not care.
We rarely raised our fists and always
halted halfway to the blow --
Was that for goodness, fear or weakness?
Or shyness? Pride? I do not know.
Perhaps disgust. I calm down. Amen.
I do not curse. I don’t condemn.
I’d rather be consumed by vermin
than I should ever feed on them.

By Eszter Forrai (b. 1938): poet & painter.
                                              In memoriam
                                              Janusz Korczak...*

You were a witness, an author,
a doctor seeking a salve,
a tender, meek protector
true to the end through danger
and even the gas –
and even the gas.
You wove a garland of petals
and flung it high in the sky
above the billowing ashen
smoke that withered
the human smile.
You rose with your petals,
rocking in slumber, draped
in a dreamlike blanket of fables.
You flew with the rows
of your dead, and the babes
became angels.

*... Jewish-Polish physician & author (1878/9-1942). He
declined an offer of sanctuary during the Holocaust in
order to discharge his duties as director of an orphanage
in the Warsaw Ghetto. He was murdered at Treblinka
together with the children and staff of the orphanage.



By Dán Dalmát (b. 1934): poet, journalist & librarian.
Trustworthy traveller, I urge you, tell my fellow Jews
that I’ve fulfilled the role allotted me by my age.
I was marched with frozen feet along the shores of the Don,
I was pounded by hails of rifle-butt blows in Serbia’s mountains.
My broken bones at last have merged with the sane mother earth.
A gust of wind alone reminds my folks of my ghost.
And my good name is lost. And only my guards survive.
And my killers remain in charge… even of my dust.


THOMAS ORSZÁG-LAND is a poet and award-winning foreign correspondent who writes from London and his native Budapest. His DEATHMARCH, Holocaust poetry translated from the Hungarian of Miklós Radnóti, has been published by The Penniless Press and Snakeskin in England.


To comment on these poems, please click here.

To help New English Review continue to publish beautiful and important poetry such as this, please click here.

If you enjoyed this article and want to read more by Thomas Ország-Land, please click here.



Pre-order at Amazon or Amazon UK today!

Order at Amazon or Amazon UK

Order on Amazon.or Amazon UK.

Amazon donates to World Encounter Institute Inc when you shop at #AmazonSmile #StartWithaSmile



Adam Selene (2) A.J. Caschetta (7) Ahnaf Kalam (2) Alexander Murinson (1) Andrew Harrod (4) Anne-Christine Hoff (1) Bat Ye'or (6) Bill Corden (1) Bradley Betters (1) Brex I Teer (9) Brian of London (32) Carol Sebastian (1) Christina McIntosh (864) Christopher DeGroot (2) Conrad Black (607) Daniel Mallock (5) David J. Baldovin (1) David P. Gontar (7) David Solway (78) David Wemyss (1) Dexter Van Zile (74) Dr. Michael Welner (3) E. B Samuel (1) Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff (1) Emmet Scott (1) Eric Rozenman (7) Esmerelda Weatherwax (9765) Fergus Downie (23) Fred Leder (1) Friedrich Hansen (7) G. Murphy Donovan (72) G. Tod Slone (1) Gary Fouse (161) Geert Wilders (13) Geoffrey Botkin (1) Geoffrey Clarfield (330) George Rojas (1) Hannah Rubenstein (3) Hesham Shehab and Anne-Christine Hoff (1) Hossein Khorram (2) Howard Rotberg (14) Hugh Fitzgerald (21186) Ibn Warraq (10) Ilana Freedman (2) James Como (24) James Robbins (1) James Stevens Curl (2) Janice Fiamengo (1) jeffrey burghauser (1) Jenna Wright (1) Jerry Gordon (2516) Jerry Gordon and Lt. Gen. Abakar M. Abdallah (3) Jesse Sandoval (1) John Constantine (122) John Hajjar (6) John M. Joyce (392) John Rossomando (1) Jonathan Ferguson (1) Jonathan Hausman (4) Jordan Cope (1) Joseph S. Spoerl (10) Kenneth Francis (2) Kenneth Hanson (1) Kenneth Lasson (1) Kenneth Timmerman (28) Lorna Salzman (9) Louis Rene Beres (37) Manda Zand Ervin (1) Marc Epstein (9) Mark Anthony Signorelli (11) Mark Durie (7) Mark Zaslav (1) Mary Jackson (5065) Matthew Hausman (44) Matthew Stewart (1) Michael Curtis (673) Michael Rechtenwald (24) Mordechai Nisan (2) Moshe Dann (1) NER (2590) New English Review Press (92) Nidra Poller (73) Nikos A. Salingaros (1) Nonie Darwish (10) Norman Berdichevsky (86) Paul Oakley (1) Paul Weston (5) Paula Boddington (1) Peter McGregor (1) Peter McLoughlin (1) Philip Blake (1) Phyllis Chesler (141) Rebecca Bynum (7197) Richard Butrick (24) Richard Kostelanetz (16) Richard L. Benkin (21) Richard L. Cravatts (7) Richard L. Rubenstein (44) Robert Harris (85) Sally Ross (36) Sam Bluefarb (1) Samuel Chamberlain (1) Sha’i ben-Tekoa (1) Springtime for Snowflakes (4) Stacey McKenna (1) Stephen Schecter (1) Steve Hecht (28) Ted Belman (8) The Law (90) Theodore Dalrymple (895) Thomas J. Scheff (6) Thomas Ország-Land (3) Tom Harb (4) Tyler Curtis (1) Walid Phares (32) Winfield Myers (1) z - all below inactive (7) z - Ares Demertzis (2) z - Andrew Bostom (74) z - Andy McCarthy (536) z - Artemis Gordon Glidden (881) z - DL Adams (21) z - John Derbyshire (1013) z - Marisol Seibold (26) z - Mark Butterworth (49) z- Robert Bove (1189) zz - Ali Sina (2)
Site Archive