Do not ask, by Avram Schaufeld

This poem was written by Avram Schaufeld, who survived Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps.

This poem has been published with the permission of Avram’s wife, Vera Schaufeld. Avram sadly passed away in 2017. 


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…