Rajzel Zychlinska was born in Gambin, Poland on July 27, 1910. With Warsaw in the grip of Hitler, Zychlinska was among those who fled east to save their lives. She found shelter in the war-harrowed city of Kazan. But Poland after liberation was unbearable for Zychlinska: Nearly all of her loved ones were dead and anti-Semitism endangered the few survivors who returned. Indeed, a 1945 pogrom resulted in scores of Jewish dead. Thus, with husband and child, she moved to Lodz before finally emigrating to the United States.

 

Perhaps

 
Perhaps
today I see Dr. Mengele
drinking a glass of beer
in Tel Aviv
at the sea –
a pair of blue, sharp eyes
suddenly flash at me
a cold stare of knives.
A smile, manufactures and fake,
suddenly stirred the horror awake –
left, right, left, right,
left!
To the gas! –
Courteously he introduced himself
to those at the next table:
his ancestors were English, Scots,
and on his mother’s side
he is “Deutsch.”
I withdrew from the cool terrace
and walked a long time in the heat
at the sea
and heard the billows mockingly repeat:
“Deutsch, Deutsch, Deutsch”


 Rajzel Zychlinska