History is not historical beyond the last instance 
Life is happening
History is just outside your reach
the Nazis didn’t happen and then end
in history some nationalist Nazis were defeated in WWII
But Nazis- they didn’t stop happening
They were still Nazis
Dormant virus 

As a jewish boy the hum of the vow to “NEVER FORGET”
was constant
it was in the breeze
the music
the synagogue
in the way we locked our doors.

fades to lower case
then even more 

as if a thousand holocaust films would remind us
any more than a grecian urn 
NEVER FORGET what exactly?

That there is such a thing as a Nazi?
That people are capable of such atrocity? 
That it will happen right before your eyes while you are driving thru Starbucks?

– what would you tell us to do RIGHT NOW?

I was around 10 years old when all of the students at my reformed synagogue gathered in the auditorium for a screening.  It was the first time someone told me what the hum was about. The first time I saw a gas chamber. An oven. A mass grave.  The yellow stars.  Striped pajamas. Piles of starved bodies of my people. The film ended and we were dismissed. There was no discussion. Our parents were waiting outside the auditorium.  This is where the discussion was intended to continue.  I don’t remember much about that drive home, except that now I knew, and now I was never to forget.   

r.s. greene
© December 2022


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4 responses to “Nazi”

  1. You’re one of my favorite humans

    1. Russell Greene

      and you mine kb. and you mine.

  2. Sue Lion

    Yes, never forget… the raw destruction of our earth, the degradation of our mothers, the violence toward our neighbors of different colors. Yes, lest we forget. Thank you, Russ – what a poignant reminder.

    1. Russell Greene

      thank you my friend. grateful for your visit.

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