Anorak News | Memorial Day: A Song For The End of The World

Memorial Day: A Song For The End of The World

by | 27th, January 2019


On Memorial Day we think of the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. We think of the murdered, the deniers who make liars of the victims, the brave, the saviours, the survivors, the banality of evil, the complicit, the lost, the never-to-be-forgotten, the silence, and the enduring spirit of humanity, encapsulated in the wonderful Lydia Lova’s pompoms.

We should never forget. But we are. We do. One in 20 UK adults deny the Holocaust took place, a survey a survey of more than 2,000 people by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) found. One in 12 thinks its scale has been exaggerated. Around 64% either could not say how many Jews were murdered or “grossly” under-estimated the number. Jew haters never vanished. They were simply beaten down.

“A Song on the End of the World” by Czeslaw Milosz
Written in 1944.
Translated by Anthony Milosz:

On the day the world ends
A bee circles a clover,
A fisherman mends a glimmering net.
Happy porpoises jump in the sea,
By the rainspout young sparrows are playing
And the snake is gold-skinned as it should always be.
On the day the world ends
Women walk through the fields under their umbrellas,
A drunkard grows sleepy at the edge of a lawn,
Vegetable peddlers shout in the street
And a yellow-sailed boat comes nearer the island,
The voice of a violin lasts in the air
And leads into a starry night.
And those who expected lightning and thunder
Are disappointed.
And those who expected signs and archangels’ trumps
Do not believe it is happening now.
As long as the sun and the moon are above,
As long as the bumblebee visits a rose,
As long as rosy infants are born
No one believes it is happening now.
Only a white-haired old man, who would be a prophet
Yet is not a prophet, for he’s much too busy,
Repeats while he binds his tomatoes:
There will be no other end of the world,
There will be no other end of the world.
—Warsaw, 1944

Photo: This is a prisoner identity photo provided by the Auschwitz Museum, taken by Wilhelm Brasse while working in the photography department at Auschwitz, the Nazi-run death camp where some 1.5 million people, most of them Jewish, died during World War II. The Nazis sent Brasse to the camp as a Polish political prisoner in 1940, where he estimates that he took some 40,000 to 50,000 such identity pictures for the Nazis.

Posted: 27th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts Comment | TrackBack | Permalink