As true and relevant today (maybe more)
Seventy years since the survivors’ of Auschwitz were liberated, I was watching a tv documentary where six of them recounted their stories of survival and the terrible aftermath they’ve endured, of nightmares and tragedies. One Polish man, Dr Tadeusz Smreczynski, who became a doctor and practiced general medicine within ten minutes of the camp gates, has been forever haunted, not just by the memories but by his own physical proximity to the camps. One other thing that horrifies him, is an aria from Puccini’s opera, Tosca, itself a tale told against a backdrop of tyranny and oppression. He heard an inmate singing the aria. He said it was strange to hear such a thing in the surroundings of the camp. An S.S. guard heard it, too and ran to find its source. Our survivor asked someone, what happened? The singer was killed. His story moved me to write this poem.
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