Paul Hartal


Auschwitz Souvenirs


I once saw
a World War II photo
of Hungarian Jews
who just arrived on a train
in Auschwitz.

In the crowd
thronging the station platform
I recognized my father.

Or did I?
was it really him?
I am not completely sure
that the sturdy low-built man
in the picture
was indeed my father.

In any case, he was lucky.
He survived the horrors
of Auschwitz and Birkenau.

Oh,
he did not need
photo souvenirs
of the death camps.

He had
a tattooed number
on his arm
and was haunted
by horrible nightmares
for the rest of his life.

Submitted: Monday, April 28, 2014
Edited: Tuesday, April 29, 2014
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