I took a journey today

By Fiona Murphy

I took a journey today, a journey back in time

To a place I hope I never have to go, nor you.

A home that many had to leave, though none went by choice

A journey far from all they knew to where, they knew not.

 

The place began the journey, towards a platform side.

Its name echoed in Kristallnacht which scared the young lad

Whose life story told of childhood safe, warm, well fed

Wrenched from family, friends and all he’d ever had.

 

Intolerance and racism, evil acts, blind fear,

Elitist views and lust for power, silence, crime too.

These underlay the train tracks that took the boy away

From hiding in a cupboard, just because he’s a Jew.

 

Is it any different from the cause of war today?

Would I give a refuge to someone who’d run away?

Would I have the courage to lay on Kindertransport?

Or would I remain silent and walk the other way?

 

The plea is to acknowledge all those who saved the lives

Of children who were able to flee the Fuhrer’s curse

That authorised the chambers of gas or starved them

In terrible conditions with lice or things much worse.

 

So God, may I remember to speak against the wrong

Of hating those whose lifestyle is not what I would choose?

And call for just, fair treatment to all of humankind

Compassion, hope and mercy, I pray I may not lose.

 

Fiona is a volunteer at the National Holocaust Centre.

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