Along the Sola River outside Auschwitz,
at Solahutte, a recreation lodge, they
obliterate the sins of work, in the
wasteland of the Aryan psyche, and
taste the seductive pleasures of
SS female communication specialists,
smile at the omnipotent camera, as
they eat succulent blueberries. One
wears a mask of sham sadness
after finishing her share. Yet
all reveal frivolous joy, while
concealing the horrific reality
of the death camp.
It is a glorious day for the Nazis.
On this glittering summer day-
July 22, 1944, 150 new
prisoners, bereft of hope,
without a vestige of joy,
their faces buried in
sadness, arrive at
in cattle cars, leave
the ramp, and most
trudge to the gas
of their fate.
The original Auschwitz Album reveals
the horrors of the death camp where
prisoners were starved, tortured, and
methodically murdered in
unspeakable acts of
The new album of Nazi fun suggests
that they behaved like ordinary
people. But the appearance
of humans relaxing,
The albums are a jarring juxtaposition,
contrasting the agony of prisoners,
struggling to keep their vanishing
identities, with the carefree lives
of SS officers.
I see the dark, soul-cutting images of
despair and doom, the ghostly faces
of the victims; I see the smiling
faces of their tormentors too.
And I condemn the Nazis.
And I weep for the dead.