But, it grew on us in foreign lands
			a female friend: the setting sun.
			Blessed by her tormenting light
			we are invited, to join her with our grief,
			walking alongside of us:
			A Psalm of the night.

			(in exile in Sweden 1942 - 44)
			Nelly Sachs (1891 – 1970) 
			(translated by U. F. 2019)

	  black palm leaves

			  When there will be peace

	    As long as people are killed in the name of the law
	    As long as ponderous jurors and honorable judges
	    Lock their disfranchised brothers behind iron bars –
			  There will be no peace

	    As long as estate imparts power without obligations
	    As long as friend betrays friend for dead property
	    As long as Holy Eros thrives as legitimate currency -
			  There will be no peace

	    As long as stereotyping thrones as highest idol
	    And stuporous obedience counts as first virtue
	    As long as hungry teachers train non-questioning -
			  There will be no peace

	    As long as murderers are found to butcher animals
	    As long as there are people, who without disgust
	    Feed themselves on the corpses of our mute friends -
			  There will be no peace

	    As long as a man is daring to order a man around
	    As long as a being with reason can be forced
	    For the conviction of another to go to his death -
			  There will be no peace

			(in exile in the US)
			Karl Vollmüller (1878 – 1948)
			(abbr. translated by U. F. 2019)

	  black palm leaves

			The Elders

			We live here in the territory of the hunted,
			Where fates, endeavours and beginnings
			Thicken into a formless gray of misery.
			We live in the world of the expelled.

			We almost saw ourselves at the finish,
			When we were called to be stirred up.
			We had to reenter back into a life,
			We didn’t want, we don’t understand.

			In grey dust our lamentations seep away,
			Separated from home and world by walls.
			As too light adjudged on the scales of fate,

			We serve imprisoned in this purgatory
			The bleak rests of our strung out days
			And duly pay this century our taxes.

			(in Theresienstadt 1943)
			Bruno König (1900 – 1944) 
			(translated by U. F. 2019)

 	  black palm leaves

		  O that the mute witness will cry out

		  Whom God gave an office and a voice
		  And to spell out the misery of the times,
		  May he freeze in this torturous dungeon? -
		  Has the world come down to a mass grave,
		  A monstrous whirlwind sucking under
		  Myriads of corpses – still a tower stands
		  Out of faith, hope and love constructed,
		  And the sound of a million heart beats
		  Tapers to the question of its whereabouts.
		  The answering, the long desired word
		  Lays ready as a whisper on distant lips
		  Of thousands. But all hells’ depths
		  Broke into uproar, grew to a wild pitch
		  And triumphant that the creator’s image,
		  Set up in the front yard of His heavens,
		  Hit by horror’s tinge of this death infected
		  World, is threatened to gradually fade away.
		  Fear and dismay, rage and doubt’s distress
		  Did not impel the question frozen mouth
		  To open, who’s piercing counter-pitch
		  Would break the noise out of hell’s throat
		  To stress, to stress, it is now enough!
		  Enough of death, of this horrible infamy,
	  	  Which let us forget the fields, left bare,
		  Where the wealth of humanity was sprouting . . .
		  But nobody spoke the word to absolve us,
		  That non-uttered, foreboding word,
		  The storm rages on, blows away all life,
		  Hope’s radiance and earthen happiness . . .
		  O that the mute witness will cry out.

		  (in internment camp in France 1943)
		  Leo Schmidl (1904 - ) 
		  (translated by U. F. 2019)

	 black palm leaves

			       The Chimney
			To my friend Hannah Ungar

			Daily behind the barracks	
			I see fire and smoke abound,
			Jews, stoop down your necks,
			You will be gassed and burned.
			Don't you see in the haze
			A torture torn face?
			Doesn't it call with derision:
			Five millions already devoured.
			Auschwitz is held in its vices -	
			Everything, everything is cinder.	

			Daily behind barbed wire
			The sun climbs up in purple.
			But its light pales and fades,
			Shoots up the flame in front.
			The warm light of life doesn’t
			Count in Auschwitz any more.
			Look over to the reddish flame,
			Its chimney engulfes all hues,
			Auschwitz is held in its vices -	
			Everything, everything is cinder.	

			(in Auschwitz 1944)
			Ruth Klüger (1931 - ) 
			(translated by U. F. 2019)

	  black palm leaves

			       The Belfry
			(following 'The Chimney')

			Daily behind lighted ads
			Silenced are exhorting voices
			Against torture and autocrats
			In whimpers and muted cries.
			They are being called to order
			To collapse by secret power.
			Docs, lawyers break for pause,
			A few drops for a good cause,
			Millions sent to their last refuge,
			Always, always the bells accuse.


			(2014 english version
			2019 german translation)
			Udo Frentzen 

	  black palm leaves

			In solitude
			Many miles from the next housing
			In the gleams of a beech wood fire,
			A plain, sharp mind absorbs His lines,
			Pursuing eyes of a spy mutilate the picture
			To issue, 'His quiet voice has never risen.'

			In desolation
			Secluded from recuperating sections
			In a muffled ward for the dying,
			A person's breath is softening, fainting,
			Toxic drugs freeze the face in agony
			To proof, 'His peace does not exist.'       

			(1990 english version
			2012 german translation)
			Udo Frentzen 


	  black palm leaves