Sunday, May 2, 2010

In Memory of the Tiny

There was not much blood. Small bodies have little blood anyway, but small, starved bodies have less. Or perhaps it just clots quicker.

The tiny lifeless corpse hung on the barbed wire and fried in the sun, with the tiny pool of blood under it congealing like soup. Human soup. And it smelt. And that was perhaps the worst part of it. Because the body, almost inhuman in its tortured form, could be glossed over by the heart but the smell invaded the heart and tore it into a thousand pieces. The smell of death. Young death.

In general, the children were taken and destroyed first, but somehow this one had survived. Perhaps it had been hidden well. Perhaps some incredulous pity had turned the eye of the butchers. It was hard to tell. But it had escaped the furnaces, with its parent. Parent, because gender had died along with compassion when they had entered the camp. The dead have no gender.

But then the mother was taken and the child had tried to follow, tangling itself on the barbed wire. The wire cut and through blood and tears the child had fought, not to free itself, but simply to be with its mother.

And the guards had laughed. Then shot it.

And then they ate their lunch.

And the tiny body hung. And stank. And all those who waited for their own death knew that the end of the world was come. And they named it Auschwitz.