By Henia Karmel, Ilona Karmel

Buchenwald survivors Ilona and Henia Karmel have been seventeen and 20 years previous once they entered the Nazi hard work camps from the Krak?w ghetto. those awesome poems have been written in the course of that point. The sisters wrote the poems on worksheets stolen from the factories the place they labored through day and concealed them of their garments. in the course of what she suggestion have been the final days of her lifestyles, Henia entrusted the poems to a cousin who occurred to move her within the pressured march on the finish of the conflict. The cousin gave them to Henia's husband in Krak?w, who wouldn't find and reunite together with his spouse for one more six months. this can be the 1st English booklet of those remarkable poems. Fanny Howe's deft diversifications protect their freshness and innocence whereas making them solely compelling. they're provided with a biographical advent that conveys the robust tale of the sisters' survival from trap to freedom in 1946.

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Extra resources for A Wall of Two: Poems of Resistance and Suffering from Krakow to Buchenwald and Beyond (S. Mark Taper Foundation Books in Jewish Studies)

Sample text

Written into the blue walls were elves, water nymphs, slender and skittish, hampers, baskets, naughty gnomes, and spirits that hid in the corners of the room. Every day, my God, was too rich to fathom. Brimming with miracles. Mother’s room, pale lilac, held enchantments deep in large drawers among ribbons, blouses and veils, yellow lace (écru) scented The Poems 4 with the rolling press. Violets decorated the broken fan, and peacock feathers. Yes, silk and taffeta and satin— too lovely to be described!

The Poems 18 Oh faraway country, still a fantasy to me, I will live for you and die on command If you will first forgive me for my race And let me call you home . . wherever you are. iloⁿa Karmel aG The Poems 19 The Day Will Come German factories—one of these days— will be engulfed by sirens— that awful animal yell—and the workshops will empty, machines go still and hours will pass and no one will come. Even the detonation plant will stop work. Motors, engines, car parts, rubber tires and all such utilitarian objects owned by the German Reich!

That was the biggest disappointment. An absence of glory. Just ugly bleats and whines announcing the arrival of a shiny limousine—doom. White rifles, white sun. Quiet streets and inert crowds looking on and children with ancient faces were helpless. The first cadaver flopped in mud. The first shots were muffled. ) Then it wasn’t quiet anymore. A trumpet blasted horribly. A shot rang out—a scream— Friend, you heard that scream and went on walking. The Poems 16 This was a famous day. It became Everyday for Jews but you didn’t pause.

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