Rajzel Zychlinska was born in Gambin, Poland on July 27, 1910. With Warsaw in the grip of Hitler, Zychlinska was among those who saved their lives by fleeing east. She found shelter in the war-harrowed city of Kazan. Poland after liberation was unbearable for her: all she had loved were dead, and anti-Semitism raged against the few survivors who returned. A 1945 pogrom resulted in scores of Jewish dead. With husband and child, she moved to Lodz. She later moved to the United States.

 

The Silent Partner

Three meters wide
six meters deep
and fifteen meters long –
these are the measurements of one of the pits
in Poland
to which the Germans drove the Jews
shot them there
and buried them.
Three meters wide
six meters deep
and fifteen meters long –
the three dimensions.
And the fourth dimension,
the one in which all the slaughtered Jews
cannot die
and cannot live –
is now the silent partner
through all the days of my life.


Rajzel Zychlinska