Jim C. Wilson

Stolpersteine

Remembrance can be a small thing:
small as a square brass plaque
in a Berlin pavement
or an alleyway in Cologne –
or Poland, Belgium,
Netherlands, France.
And there, at your feet, is
Herbert Josef Rotschild,
murdered in Auschwitz
in March of 1945
(the Nazis kept neat records).
So now, on your way to work,
or kaffee und kuchen with a friend,
you could stumble on a name;
you might not remember
him or her or the children
never allowed to grow
but think how someone is only forgotten
when their name’s at last forgotten.

NOTE: Stolpersteine translates as stumbling blocks.
German artist Gunter Demnig has installed
thousands to commemorate Holocaust victims who
might otherwise have been forgotten. (The final two
lines are adapted from the Talmud.)

Jim C Wilson lives in East Lothian. His writing has been widely published for some 35 years. He has been a Royal Literary Fund Fellow and has been teaching his POETRY IN PRACTICE course at Edinburgh University since 1994. His first appearance in ACUMEN was in April 1988 (issue 7).

Jim C Wilson lives in East Lothian. His writing has been widely published for some 35 years. He has been a Royal Literary Fund Fellow and has been teaching his POETRY IN PRACTICE course at Edinburgh University since 1994.
His first appearance in ACUMEN was in April 1988 (issue 7).

Apologies to Jim C. Wilson.  In his poem,
‘Stolpersteine’, the person remembered is
‘Herbert Josef Rotschild’ and not Rothschild
as I printed it. This poem is poem of the
week for 29th January 2017.  Reading the
correct version you can see why it is essential
to have the correct spelling. Sincere apologies
to Jim.