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  • Writer's pictureVivi Steels

Against Humanity ~ Vivien Steels

Ceaseless sea

womb of the world

weeps for those

spiked by swastikas –


Queues of blood-tied

cry for their kind;

showered by gas,

dusted by fire.

The beater, the gas man,

starver, death planner,

march like ghosts –

always at night –

up mountains of silken hair,

over spectacles of barbed wire,

down suitcases of names

stacked like tombstones

against my heaving heart.

Auschwitz – fifty years ago –

I have never left that hell.

I am still there.


I pray for dawn

in purgatory –

this blitzkrieg

circling humanity –

as some* bring

cattle-trucks of crime

into the glare

of our time.

* Poem dedicated to Simon Wiesenthal, writer, survivor of the Holocaust (Mauthausen) & Nazi-Hunter

Published in CPR International 4 - October 2000, Write-Away – Spring 2002 & The World at War (anthology Forward Press Poetry) – Sept 2013

It is with shock and pain that we are viewing what is happening in Ukraine by the invasion of an independent country by Russia. The people of the United Kingdom stand with the people of Ukraine. I am posting this poem called 'Against Humanity', which I wrote in 1995 about WWII, but which is a very echo of what is happening today. One man interviewed, who was ferrying people to the Polish border in his van, could hardly speak for tears as the events of recent days reminded him of Auschwitz all those years ago... Again we are talking of war crimes and Putin, and those he controls, being brought to justice for his unpardonable actions of war against innocent men, women and children.

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