Today we remember the lives of all those murdered by the Nazi regime during the years of 'The Holocaust'. May we - people of faith and no faith - commit to rooting out prejudice and discrimination within the context of our own community and society, and highlight injustice and the persecution of minority groups in all their pernicious forms.
Here is a poem that remembers the final days of Edith Stein (St.Teresa Benedicta of the Cross) born a Jew and who became a Carmelite nun. She died in Auschwitz along with her sister Rosa and an estimated 1.1 million people.
'When The Kindly Light Is Enough'
They were the thinnest shafts of light
Which crept in
Dreamy dazzling sensations of some kindness
Their silent anonymous patterns
The damp wooden
That rattled from side to side
Like densely packed boxes of frail matchsticks
Along tracks laid beyond the wide expanse
Towards Man's 'Final Solution'
You, poets of Elfis, of Jude, of Jehovah
Steeped in the benign
The silent and sacred ways of pen and breath, of comb and light
Who still see and still smell it
You, who hate Man still now
For his repeated repeatings
On the subject of hatred
Each of us under orders to be
In pressing times
Searching for the narrow shafts of light
Which might creep in
And send us elsewhere
Lies and falsehoods
The naysayers boisterous within
Before our broadest vision of Love
Anything to derail
This train of anguish, foreboding pain
To spin it
Before an impending ruin again
Oh poets! To sit with the biting tune of our collusion
That only sets it back on course
Along the wider expanse
Towards the fires and Man's 'Hell'
And yet, why should we poets hate and fear still?
An evil bolstered by a frailty, a fragility of goodwill
When we too know that a shaft of 'kindly light'
Was once all it took
For Edith Stein to look
Into the eyes of the child
'The Jewish Question'
And amidst the damp wooden
Raise a comb
There to softly smooth the threads of the girl's dark shiny hair
And so release the daughter of Zion into the pale and sorry arms of God
'...nothing is commonplace, we do not live in these things, we go beyond them'