Magda Herzberger

Excerpts

The following excerpts from Magda Herzberger's books are available for your enjoyment. Magda Herzberger. All Rights Reserved.

Survival

"We were 'good enough' as we figured out later to be assigned to the gruesome task of dragging corpses of the innocent victims, to dig the death pits where the bodies were thrown in like garbage and incinerated, to erect pyramids of Jewish flesh and blood in order to burn the last remains of guiltless human beings, to be slave laborers in the nearby armament factories, to be selected for criminal medical experiments at the laboratories of Dr. Josef Mengele, and to be subjected to other various and humiliating purposes."(p. 114)

"Finally we arrived at the main camp of Auschwitz. I could see a huge camp surrounded by concrete pillars and barbed wire. The pillars stood four yards apart, were fifteen inches thick, and about ten to twelve feet high. They were connected with a system of double reinforced barbed-wire fence charged with high-intensity electrical current. An electric lamp was attached to the top of each pillar and projected its strong light inwards toward the inmates behind the fences, looking like a glowing eye watching the prisoners at all times.

I could also see the highly-erected watchtowers with guards inside them, equipped with machine guns.

I saw that inside the fence there were primitive wooden buildings and women dressed in pathetic, ragged clothing. Their hair was completely shaven and they were begging for food. To me, the place looked like a mental asylum. I couldn't imagine that shortly I would find myself among them."(p. 117)

"...gradually I became very depressed and asked myself whether my life had any meaning anymore. I also wondered how long I would be able to tolerate an existence of continuous emotional and physical suffering, living in an environment where love and caring don't exist, where hatred and violence ruled."(pp. 160-161)

"It is amazing how much strength we can evoke when our lives are threatened. The life force within us can uncover more strength and endurance that we ever imagined."(p. 189)

"...I chose life, I made a sacred promise to the Almighty, my Creator, that I would fight fiercely to stay alive and I asked God to give me strength and the courage to overcome my doubts and fears, to be strong enough to continue to bear my suffering and keep on fighting for my life. Strangely, after my resolve to choose life, a peaceful feeling descended upon me, and although my situation didn't change at that time, my faith in God gave me hope."(p. 207)

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The Waltz of the Shadows (Second Edition)

Requiem

My eyes shed drops of tears
into the pools of years
For those I loved and lost
And like a haunting ghost
My spirit roams around
Searching for their unknown
Burial ground --

They were the victims
Of their faith,
Sentenced to death
Without a sin,
For worshipping
The only God
They believed in --

They died without protest,
With no rebellion,
Together with the rest
Of six million
Innocent Jews
In the Nazi camps
Of Germany --

O, Lord, please help me
to keep alive their memory --
They died in vain,
I witnessed their agony
and pain,
I heard their cries,
O, Lord, our God
Open for them
The gates of Paradise --
Let their souls
Rest in peace -- --
Forgive mankind's atrocities -- --

Memorial

Death was lurking constantly
In the concentration camps
Of Germany.
So many times
I could have been selected
For the gas chambers
To meet the horrible fate
Of all the infants, the children,
The young, the old,
The sick, the disabled,
Who were executed
In the mysterious
"White House" of Auschwitz,
Whose naked bodies were thrown
To the furnaces
Of the huge crematoriums,
Whose ashes were used
On the fields and the gardens.
Day and night
The great flames
Of the ovens
Belched from the chimneys.
The air was filled
with the strange,
sickening, sweetish odor
of burning flesh.
I mourn you, innocent victims,
Members of my family,
My fellow prisoners,
Who were silenced forever
By the Nazis.
Your wailing cries
And your terrible contortions
Met deaf ears
And blind eyes.
I was destined to live,
To bear my misery.
God chose me to return,
To remind the world
Of your agony,
Erecting tombstones
In your memory --

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Devotional Poetry

Hymn of Gratitude

Wake up my friend,
Be thankful
That you are alive --
Respect the Creator's omnipotency --
Come, and pray with me
To be bestowed
With good health,
With luck and happiness --
Cherish and caress
Each precious moment
Given to you by God.
Inhale life's sweet fragrance --
Cling to the present
As long as you can --
Bow with humility
To the inevitable faith
Of man --

Psalm II

King of the Universe,
Blessed be Thy Name,
Time alters each day
Your creation,
But You always stay
The same,
O Lord, our Only God,
Who directs our fate,
Lift us from the mud.
Chase away Devil's delegate,
So we can pass
Through Heaven's gate.
Purify our souls
When death's bell tolls.
Sanctify our spirit
With the light of faith.
Forgive our sins and wrongs.
Let us be wise and strong.
Our hearts and the pulse of the world
To You Almighty
Forever belong.
Let us enter once more
The Garden of Paradise.
Let our eyes behold again
The haven of innocence.
Eternal Creator,
Have tolerance
For our pettiness
And selfish desires.
Have patience
For our ignorance.
Guide us and teach us
Humility, compassion,
Virtue, and love.
O Lord, hear our prayer
And send us a sign of approval
From above.

Midnight Musings

The Lakeside


When the silence is broken
By cheers and laughter,
The sunshine looks brighter,
The water seems softer.

Empty boats and canoes
Are swaying,
Waiting for sailing.

In a side corner,
Humble and shy,
Wrapped in yellow ruffles,
Covered with droplets of dew,
And surrounded by a few
Tall weeping willows,
A lonely lily slumbers
On soft green, round pillows
Under the blue sky.

While the warm breeze
Of summer
Is humming an old lullaby.

Surviving in Hard Times


Depression has its own course and symptoms. We didn't realize what depth it can reach. It comes on gradually and we are not aware of its great danger. It creates a powerful stress within us which in turn leads to a great disurbance in the normal functioning of our bodies. This manifests in a hormonal and mental imbalance which can result in actual physical pain and severe emotional suffering.

The process could also be described as follows:

A person is standing in one place unaware of the existence of a deep abyss stretched out behind him. The force of the stress he is under gradually pushes him backware, until he falls into the deep and dark abyss of no return.

It is important to be aware of the abyss of depression behind us so that we can take measures to prevent falling into it.

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