The Hope Garden

We innocently believe ...

We innocently believe that we are complete,
until life's sun reveals to us,
so blindingly,
that no matter how glaring our will,
luminous our soul,
enlightened our mind, or
resplendent our personalities,
we are in veritable darkness
without the truth of love.

Anonymous
The Glasses
Jason McKinnon

Henry was frightened and had no idea what was happening.
It was only a few months ago,
He and his younger brother were running through the fields.
Only a few months ago,
His life was happy.
And now the Nazis were knocking at the door, demanding entry.

For the next seven days, Henry’s town was terrorized.
Then his family was taken onto trains.
They spent many days without food.
When the train stopped,
They were stripped of their clothes.
Including Henry’s glasses.
He could not see anything.
He didn’t understand what was happening.
Those were the last thoughts in Henry’s short life.
The Germans had lost their proper vision as well;
They did not really see what they were doing to the Jews.

The Ring
Eugenia Peluso

It wasn’t the beginning,  it was just the end
For my family I could not defend.
I was seventeen
With my family to feed
I looked at my ring
For I was engaged
But one day all of that changed.
Chaos happened all around us
While they tried to force us onto a bus.
I was angry, I was sad
Why did they have to make us feel so bad?
We were worthless and hopeless
Some just wanted to die
This was all a lie
A misunderstanding
But no,
They made us give up our lives.

Malcolm Sawyer
Caitlyn Shum

There once was a man by the name of Malcolm Sawyer. He was Jewish. Because of this, he was punished. He was also a rebel who wanted to liberate the concentration camps. He was a good man.

One day, when Malcolm woke up for work, he realized he had slept in his glasses. After whatever breakfast he could find, he set off for his lousy job as a newspaper folder. Now, if you were to take a look at Malcolm’s life, it would seem like a depressing Holocaust-inflicted life. But he was a secret rebel against the Nazis. He worked hard every day to plan attacks to liberate concentration camps.

On this one particular day, Malcolm felt like something was wrong. All the non-Jews at the office kept sharing nervous glances and shifty looks. Then all hell broke loose. Nazis broke in and arrested all the Jews, including Malcolm. He was abusively pushed and pulled to the train, which could only be headed to a killing station.

On the way to the train, Malcolm spotted a young boy being beaten by a soldier. Malcolm ran out the line to aid the boy, but he found him lifeless. He received a hard blow to the side of his head, sending his glasses a few feet away from him. The soldier squashed the glasses, breaking the lenses and the frame. Then he shot Malcolm.

The Glasses
Sean Gramlich

Who was the man who wore these glasses?
How did they end up beside a train track?
If he was on a train, where was he going?
These glasses are very old,
How old was he?
Did he have a family?
Was he poor or wealthy?
Were these reading glasses, or did he always need them?
How well could he see without them?
Did he lose them in the war?
Was he Jewish, was he going to a concentration camp?
I will never know,
But  I must ask these questions,
For in my mind,
He lives on.

Married to Death
Sam Ogden

My marriage was on a beautiful beach
It was taken from me like blood, by a leach
I would board to train to travel to work,
Now I board the train with death on the lurk.
I used to feel happy in the safety of my house,
Right now, all I’m missing is my spouse.
As I walk slowly toward the gas,
I know soon the pain will be in the past.
The pain has gone and so have I
So long to my loved ones, farewell, goodbye.

Glasses
Daniel Hedji

Holocaust, millions of Jews died, tens of thousands of disabled people died, and thousands of Gypsies died. Here is the story of one man, Joseph Goldstein.

I was pretty much walking on to the train to my death. I was wearing my tattered suit, my dirty leather shoes, and my tortoise and gold rimmed glasses. My deceased wife had given them to me for our third anniversary. I was boarded onto a train car with 60 other people. We all feared the worst. After three hours of waiting, we stopped, the doors opened, and we were lined up single file. We walked into the camp. I was with the third group of people to go in. The ones who resisted were beaten to death. I stepped in.  After thirty seconds the doors closed, the gas came in, and I was choking. I couldn’t breathe. My glasses hit the floor, and soon after, I did too. “Crunch,” was the last sound I heard before I died.

Holocaust Poem
Julia Falzon

My mama made me a sweater,
It couldn’t have been any better
It took her weeks to make it complete.
She worked until her fingers would bleed.
Finally it was done, I was no longer in need.
I wore it every day until the Nazis took us away.
Would I ever see the light of another day?
All I knew was that there was nothing I could do.
I walked into the chamber, my mother on her knee,
Silently thanking her for all she had done for me.

From the Perspective of a Jewish man’s glasses
Brea Christie

His world was one blurred
He couldn’t see a word
Until his world became clear
And he no longer had to fear.
And light surrounded him
Now he could finally see.
I changed that man’s life
He was caused so much strife
When one day he was taken away
By a Nazi
Who dragged him far away
He didn’t get his say.

2,999,999,999 shoes
Liam Mihalynuk

Who was the baby who owned this shoe?
When did he lose it, was it nineteen forty-two?
The day he lost it, how old was he? One, two, three?
What did he like to do? Did he crawl, walk, or climb trees?
On what day did he lose his beloved shoe?
Was he being packed onto a train to die at an evil camp?
What happened at the train’s destination?
Separated they were, sorted
But not all of them were killed,
His mother was picked to work
His father to make bullets
But he, he was worthless, he was to die.
He was cold and naked when he got into the room
He couldn’t see, he couldn’t breathe, he couldn’t cry.
Men came in with masks, and shoveled the bodies out a small door.
Not many people knew of this horror.
This story is not completely true – no one knows what happened to the boy and his other shoe.

My Favorite Shoe
Jarin James

It was a sunny day; the sky was blue.
All of a sudden it changed and the wind blew.
The leaves flew, the crows cooed
That was the last time I saw my favorite shoe.
First three soldiers came in, they were tall
They made me feel really small.
They took my ball, they took my doll.
They led me down a long hall.
Just in time for a train’s last call.
They threw me in
There was a lot of clatter and din.
I just felt that I didn’t fit in.
They took all our possessions, and threw them in a bin,
And that was the last time I saw my favorite shoe.

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