Category Archives: Concentration Camps

Dog & Elephant, With Long Country Nights

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Dog and Elephant, with long country nights,
Counted the stars as they wandered away
Into the meadows, into the fields,
Searching for the stardust that comets yield.
 
 
 
 
 
 

“Oh, my friend,”said Dog, “look to the sky,
Another wonderful comet is passing us by;
It’s tail all a glitter, the rays it does glow,
Let’s follow it together, where ever it goes.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Elephant counted up to eleven
Speeding comets diving through the heavens
She wondered at their leavings
Thinking “Did any have misgivings?”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

One came around it’s speeding course
And in a fit of complete remorse
Dog turned to Elephant, and did disclaim
“When comets go, nothing is the same.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
But then a brilliant flash of light
Colored the sky; lit up the night!
A comet had turned itself around
And all it’s details were seen by those on the ground.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The comet burst apart in an astounding array
Taking the breaths of Dog and Elephant away!
The blue burst, the pinprick of light
Filled the night skies; filled their sight.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
And settling then, their minds all ablaze
They knew they would talk about this beauty for days.
All night long they’d sit and gaze about
Searching for comets and stardust..until, tired, they gave out.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dog and Elephant, with long country nights,
Slept in the meadow, and dreamt of the sights
Of the comet dance for the two in the field
The stardust and happiness, for them it did yield.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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So…my second attempt at a Children’s book/picture book. Again, this is for the Bluebell Books Short Story Slam. We were given the task to write a short story or poem..and the rest is here for your enjoyment. I hope you like it.
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Only God Knows

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The train ride to the camp.

Imagine: it is winter and we’ve been left with very little. No Food. No Water. The clothes on our backs.  We are shoved into an unheated cattle car; its side’s are not solid but open slats, so the wind whistles through, and the only warmth we get comes from the bodies pressed against us. We are shoved in with enough people so that we can barely breathe, let alone sit or move.

We have no food or water on the first day. Maybe one loaf of bread or two is tossed into the car on the second day; and still no water. If we are shoved against one of the walls it is a good thing, because we can at least scoop some of the falling snow. As it melts in the mouth it keeps us alive while others around us die. The Nazi guards yell to those alive to toss out the bodies, the few times the train stops.

With less and less people in the car…you can finally sit or you can lie down and we are sad and glad and numb all at the same time. The fear is ever present and if it seems like hell is here then yes, you are right. It is.

Finally, the train ride stops…for the last time. Everyone is herded off the car. Everyone is relieved of whatever possessions they have left. Everyone is sectioned off, split into three groups: the women, the men, and then the third group which comprised the elderly, the infirmed and the children. They went in, to die. Whether they knew this or not, I can not say. The only thing I know is that my father wound up on the line of men that didn’t.

They were led to where their clothing was taken away. They were hosed down and deloused, all bodily hair shaved off.

Dehumanized.

Thus began their nightmare of existence in Auschwitz.

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The above is a section from my play “everywhere I look…” I posted the song that I wrote that started the whole ten year journey of writing here. This part, the train ride, is a re-imagined, but true, story that my father told me. So, yes, whatever horror might be in your mind is from reality by way of some artistic license. The details, sad to say, are real.

My father was in Auschwitz and had the tattoo to prove it. What most people don’t know is that tattooing of the prisoners was specific to Auschwitz, not all the concentration camps. My dad was in Auschwitz II (Auschwitz-Birkenau). He was there for THREE YEARS. I only know some of what went on during that time period.

He escaped on the Death March, with the man who essentially saved his life.   That is a story unto itself and is a part of my play, as is the song and the train piece.

The pic to the right is of my dad, after the American Liberation. We don’t know how much longer, but it had to be substantial in that his hair was back and he looks healthy and well fed in this photo. He worked, at this point, as a translator and driver for an American general. Due to the three years in the camps, he spoke six or seven languages.

Why did this all happen?

Only God knows.

If you’re interested in bookings, or can pass this onto a location (College; High School; Theater; etc),  please contact me at stuart.nager@gmail.com.