This poem was written by Avram Schaufeld, who survived Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps. This poem has been published with the permission of his wife, Vera Schaufeld. Avram sadly passed away in 2017. 


Do not ask

Do not ask

How did you survive?

Because this is a question that causes me pain

and brings back memories…

I know that you mean well and are sympathetic

and would like me to talk to your youth group

or your son who is writing a paper on the Holocaust

and I could help him with the subject which is part of his exams.

You add with a smile, that no amount of reading is the same

as talking to a survivor.

From your eager expression I can guess

what you expect me to tell him.

About our bravery and how our faith in God

helped us to survive.

I lie and say I am too busy

that I have other commitments

and quickly take my leave and turn away

So that you cannot see the hurt in my eyes

Do not ask me why…


By Avram Schaufeld