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A Survivor from Warsaw (1947)

Arnold Schoenberg
(Text: Arnold Schoenberg)
I cannot remember evrything. I must have been unconscious most of the time. I remember only the grandiose
moment hen they all started to sing! as if "rearranged! the old "rayer they had neglected for so many years # the
forgotten creed$ %ut I have no recollection ho I got underground to live in the seers of &arsa for so long a time.
The day began as usual: 'eveille hen it still as dar(. )et out$ &hether you sle"t or hether orries (e"t you
aa(e the hole night. *ou had been se"arated from your children! from your ife! from your "arents+ you don,t (no
hat ha""ened to them # ho could you slee"-
The trum"ets again # )et out$ The sergeant ill be furious$ They came out+ some very sloly: the old ones! the
sic( ones+ some ith nervous agility. They fear the sergeant. They hurry as much as they can. In vain$ .uch too much
noise! much too much commotion # and not fast enough$ The Feldwebel shouts: "Achtung! Stilljestanden! Na wirds
mal? Oder soll ich mit dem Jewehrkolben nachhelfen - Na jutt wenn ihr!s durch"aus haben wollt!" (The sergeant shouts:
/Attention$ Silence$ Are you ready! then! or do you need the hel" of my rifle butt- All right! then! if you really ant it$/)
The sergeant and his sub#ordinates hit everyone: young or old! strong or sic(! guilty or innocent. It as "ainful
to hear them groaning and moaning. I heard it though I had been hit very hard! so hard that I could not hel" falling don.
&e all on the ground ho could not stand u" ere then beaten over the head.
I must have been unconscious. The next thing I heard as a soldier saying: "#he$ are all dead% hereu"on the
sergeant ordered to do aay ith us. There I lay aside # half#conscious. It had become very still # fear and "ain. Then I
heard the sergeant shouting: "Ab&ahlen!" (/0ount off$/)
They started sloly and irregularly: one! to! three! four #"Achtung!" the sergeant shouted again! "'ascher!
Nochmal (on (orn anfangen! ln einer )inute will ich wissen* wie(iele ich &ur +askammer abliefere! Ab&ahlen!"
(/Attention$/ the sergeant shouted again! /1aster$ Start over$ In a minute I ant to (no ho many of them I,m delivering
to the gas chamber$ 0ount off$/)
They began again! first sloly: one! to! three! four! became faster and faster! so fast that it finally sounded li(e
a stam"ede of ild horses! and all of a sudden! in the middle of it! they began singing the Shema ,isroel:
.A23 045'
Shem!a ,isroel Adono$ elohe$nu
Adono$ ehod
-eoha(to et Adono$ elohe$cho
bechol le(o(cho u(chol nafshecho
u(echol me!odecho
-eho$u hade(orim hoele
asher onochi metsa(echo ha$om
!al le(o(echo
-eshinontom le(one$cho
(edibarto bom beshi(techo be(e$techo
u(elechtecho baderech
u(shochbecho u(ekumecho.
64ear! 5 Israel: the 2ord our )od is one 2ord:
And thou shalt love the 2ord thy )od ith all thine heart! and ith all thy soul! and ith all thy might.
And these ords! hich I command thee this day! shall be in thine heart.
And though shalt teach them diligently unto thy children! and shalt tal( of them hen thou sittest in thine
house! and hen thou al(est by the ay! and hen thou liest don! and hen thou risest u".7