“You remember the sun of Auschwitz / and the green of the distant meadows, lightly / lifted to the clouds by birds, / no longer green in the clouds, / but seagreen white. Together / we stood looking into the distance and felt / the far away green of the meadows and the clouds’ / seagreen white within us, / as if the colour of the distant meadows / were our blood or the pulse / beating within us, as if the world / existed only through us and nothing changed / as long as we were there. I remember / your smile as elusive / as a shade of the colour of the wind, / a leaf trembling on the edge / of sun and shadow, fleeting / yet always there. So you are / for me today, in the seagreen / sky, the greenery and / the leaf-rustling wind. I feel you in every shadow, every movement, and you put the world around me / like your arms. I feel the world / as your body, you look into my eyes / and call me with the whole world.”

Tadeusz Borowsky (Translated by Tadeusz Pioro), from Holocaust Poetry, Compiled and Introduced by Hilda Schiff, (New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 1995), p. 119.

Tadeusz Borowsky was a Polish poet and prose writer (b. 1922) in Ukraine. He was imprisoned in Dachau and Auschwitz (1943-1945) but survived by helping, in a lowly capacity, to administer the death regimes in these institutions as did many other survivors. Having survived the war and given expression to his agonized view of the human condition, he committed suicide in 1951.