Liberation of Auschwitz-January 27 1945

On 27 January 1945, Auschwitz was liberated by the 322nd Rifle Division of the Red Army during the Vistula–Oder Offensive. Even though the majority of the prisoners had been forced onto a death march, about 7,000 had been left behind.

The Soviet soldiers were shocked by what they saw. The date is recognized as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Rather then going into the details of that day, because so much has already been written about it, I just want to offer just a few reflective words in a poem titled “We all say Amen”

We all say Amen.

We all have the same colour blood.

We all have the same organs.

We all wear the same clothes.

We all eat when we are hungry.

We all drink when we are thirsty.

We all cry when we are sad.

We all laugh when we hear a joke.

We all pray to the same God, although perhaps in a different way.

We all love in the same way, but maybe in another configuration.

We all say Amen.

Yet it is these few differences you chose to single us out.

We were Jews, Jehovah Witness, Gay, Roma, Disabled or just not in agreement with you.

We all say Amen

Instead of embracing these differences that make us unique, you chose indifference .

Instead of Love, you chose hate and ignorance.

Instead of joy, you chose bitterness and fear.

You wanted everyone to be the same. Have just one identity.

An identity only so relatively few could identify with.

Yet we all say Amen.