Somewhere on A1A...

Monday, April 28, 2003

The Last Jew In Stolin
by Sara Salzman

He holds the shovel with infinite patience

chink chink chink
as dry earth and tiny stones fall upon bones, bleached by time.

His body davens to the sound of Kaddish

chink chink
yisgadal v'yiskadash

They watch from the edge of the pit.
A ripple passes through the crowd,
each smooth naked body bends slightly at the waist
davens in time with the shovel.

Chink chink
Yisborach v'yishtabach v'yispo'ar v'yisromam v'yisnaseh v'yis-hador

Chink chink
one by one they fade from view
until no bones are seen no bodies stare from the edge
only grass and dirt and stone.

He bows. Turns.
Walks back to town.

Through the woods, slowly pacing his steps.


To the edge of the woods, the edge of town.


Past the wood framed houses.

Reb Ariyah
and the babies.

And in the town,
the wagons pass,
the peddlers cry.

A stone obelisk points to the sky.
Empty dates. No names.

Human feces at the base of the stone.
For More, please see: The Holocaust History Project:

NOTE: In 1942, the Jews of Stolin, Poland, were rounded up by the Nazis and forced, naked and shivering, to dig a pit 11 miles from town. They were then shot, their bodies buried by the Nazis in the pit. In 1945, Russian soldiers liberating Poland, dug up the bodies, searching for Jewish gold. The bodies were not reburied. Since then, the sole surviving Jew in Stolin, now in his 80s, walks every morning to the pit to cover up bones exposed by the elements, and walks back home. His journey lasts the entire day.


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