Reflections – Harriet – 2010-12


Reflections on Anti-Semitism, Israel
and World War II Issues 2010-12

Reflections entitled “AGAIN” by Harriet Mohr September 27, 2012


The monstrous threat
A genocidal force erupting
once forcing Jews to escape
abuse, captivity and murder
by crossing the sea to Haiti
terrified by the known
they left behind – homicidal Nazis
scared of what was ahead
the unknown future

A haunting experience
for the surviving scared children
who now must stare
in horror and disbelief
at the eerie coincidence
70+ years later
of hearing those sounds again
damaging rage-filled rhetoric
hating and promising to eliminate
the Jewish people
stripping away any illusion of safety
they had or hoped for
forced to live
in fear
they asked themselves
what lessons were learned
what human price
must be paid
for conspiracy to commit
incomprehensible hostility
aggression and destruction
against innocents

The Next Tsunami?

Israel tries to strike
a balance everyday
between the haunting
horrific memories
the atrocities
of a not far distant past
and the frightening possibilities
of today and tomorrow
as a new mad dictator
threatens destruction
Israel has the collective power
to defend her people’s right
to exist, to be, to live
as never before
we are no longer helpless
for the forces of evil
to prey upon
we can push back
against the next tsunami
of anti-Semitism
as never before
and will


Ode to a Jew Hater
On the 72nd anniversary of Kristallnacht

What we know
we cannot know
the fear burdens
Oh unbearable
oppressive yoke
I am the one you hate
dear anti-Semite
I mean you no harm
you mean me all possibilities
of pain, degradation, suffering and destruction
we live in parallel worlds
separated by your hate
and will to perpetuate
heinous crimes
against me and my people
you see as your eyes claim
we are hardly more
than the dust on your shoes
that you hasten
to remove and discard
as you would any dirt.
Harriet Mohr
November 9, 2010



In the stillness
of an average night
innocent civilians
were targeted
for shock
brutal assaults
breaking them
and their lives apart
these masters of evil
took control
forced surrender
distorted identities
rights and laws
and all norms of behavior
as they tortured
increasingly terrified minds
desperate to survive
in a life forever altered
by evil and for evil’s
dark purposes


No More, No Less

Every Jewish person who struggled
to stay alive during the Holocaust
and those who were free
from boxcars, camps and slave labor
walked in mind with you Robert
as you were dragged to the gallows
in Auschwitz
and executed for being a Jewish person
no more, no less

today we remember you
as one of the innocent 6 million
who made the ultimate sacrifice
for being a Jew
no more, no less

it is immeasurably gratifying
to place this stone in your memory
in Yad Vashem in the Jewish homeland
we feel the circle of your life
is now finally complete

In memory of Bill’s uncle Robert Gerst who was murdered in Auschwitz October 1943, during which time his wife, Bill’s mother’s youngest sister Elsbeth, was also a prisoner but thankfully, she survived.



World War II: A Remembrance

physical and psychological torture

there is one critical thing
about us “they” do not understand
the Jewish soul is not flammable
the body may be harmed
maimed or vaporized
but the soul remains eternally present
this is the hidden secret of the Jews
we cannot and will never really die
the body and mind will pass away
from earthly view
but the awakened soul remains
alive in the here and now


Unshakable Faith

We are the people of the God
of hope and trust
It is our faith
That propels us forward
Through inconceivable Darkness,
Where the light of the Spirit
is as if banished from the Earth
We walk
Stumble and Fall
Until we Discover
An unfathomable
Bright light

Anti-Semitism 2010

Once we were Tortured
and Killed
By a Hatred
That defied God’s Presence
in us and in the world
Right now
at this very moment
We can act
Swiftly and Boldly
With moral courage and strength
to squash it
Once and for all


Anti-Semitism 2010 Continued

What do we have here…
sadists who derive pleasure
from inflicting pain and suffering on others
sociopaths who are devoid of a conscience
and choose to harm
and even kill
without the slightest feeling of guilt or remorse
psychopaths who cannot block
an overwhelming need
to destroy
the other or others
a collective mass psychotic eruption
killing 6 million Jews
and physically, psychologically and emotionally
harming millions more
an 800 pound gorilla
in the room
we are not recognizing
a centuries old
massive lie
by those who want to vilify
and annihilate us
a dirty secret
spread around the world
that is meant
to instigate verbal violence
and physical abuse
the shifting of blame
for committing crimes
to those
who are completely innocent
scare tactics
meant to arouse fear
by offering a false
and entirely absurd
accounting of Jewish identity
purpose and history
is it the sick and twisted
delusions of a mad mind
projected on
those who bare no resemblance
not then
not now
not ever
is it an example
of an immense
destructive power of evil
on the undeserving
is it a dark sinister force
with the capability and goal
of transforming human behavior
into inhumane acts
is it a constant
threat to the sanity
of all who experience it
both the perpetrators
of the victimization
and their Jewish victims

The realities of anti-Semitism
weigh heavily
on the shoulders
of every Jew
it is caused by a fracturing
and discombobulation
of the natural spiritual order
in the world
we must correct it for ourselves
and future generations
before THEY can strike again
this time
with a more devastating
and catastrophic blow



is a crucial element
in understanding
what it means
to be a Jew
to refuse to accept
this exceedingly painful
reoccurring reality
is to try to hide
from hard facts
during the Holocaust
anti-Semitism led
to concentration camps
and having our arms
with identification
today Israel
is up against
its most serious military threat
and she needs
each and everyone of us
to stand with her
as she addresses
the daunting challenge
of attempting to stop
the current tide
of anti-Semitism
from taking
an unspeakably tragic
and catastrophic turn
she desperately needs us
to help thwart the will
of those who seek
to do her massive harm
and we need Israel even more
because we are united
forever bonded
our true spiritual existence
depends on her presence
we are one people
whether we live within
her boundaries or not

What Really Happened

They took a people
even though
it was not who we were
they took an innocent people
captured and rounded us up
jamming us into cattle cars
for deportation
to starvation
millions gone
millions left barely alive
with unbounded cruelty
they forced us to succumb
to their FINAL solution
brutalized and traumatized
they stood us
one by one
together and alone
at the edge of a giant pit
a hole
cut deep into the earth
to hold the dead
and dying
they set out
with unimaginable cruelty
to rip us apart
from each other
from our homes
and our countries
and tried to rip our souls
from the depths of our being
they forced us to flee
around the world
terrified of Hitler’s
well organized violent ideology
and barbarous acts
he ordered genocide
and they obeyed
mercilessly they attacked
innocent babies and children
innocent women and men
innocent elderly
with a merciless
and evil power
such as the world
has not seen before
or since


Victimization for Simply Being Jewish

Searing memories
roll in and out
seen excruciatingly
by the inner mind’s eye
many searing burning balls
in the shape of tumbleweed
breaking and opening”
revealing vivid
and too exacting
haunting images
of the looting
and horrific
in astounding numbers
of our people

Outside of the camps
I see with the inner mind’s eye
the stealing of our art – furniture –
silver and gold
any belongings representing
Jewish identity
Jewish ownership
a Jew’s pleasure
they grabbed whatever served
purposes of satisfying
their devilish greed
it did not matter
if we helplessly watched
or were already
in another location
or country
or concentration camp

Inside the camps
I see harrowing memories
of evil’s unparalleled
systematic victimization
of our people

I see the cutting off
of our hair
and the using of our skin
for commodification
I see them
utilizing our bodies
for supposedly
scientific experimentation
I see them utilizing
those of us
who still had some strength left
who were not too weak to stand
or move
to become slave laborers
in unbearably harsh conditions

I see them act
striking us
deriving pleasure from hurting
and murdering
I see them watching
as extermination
turned us into smoke and ashes

I see it all
and recognize
they were devoid
of the human qualities
of conscience remorse or guilt

I see them feverishly ignore
and break
for far too long
all known laws of order
the rule of law
God’s laws
universal moral laws
criminal laws

Anguish overflows
as I see the world’s
unjustifiable denial
their refusal to recognize
their responsibility
to protect us
and even when
the world thought
maybe – possibly –
it could unthinkably
be true
their were callously indifferent
did nothing or not enough
for far too long

The repetitious pattern
of silence

in the face
of this horrific evil
went on for far too long

The leaders worldwide
did not act courageously
and take the personal risk
of defending – protecting –
and saving Jewish lives
for far too long

Now it is up to us
to act boldly
in the name
of those who paid
the ultimate price
for simply being Jewish

We must act
to insure that no individual Jew
or Jewish population
anywhere in the world
will ever again
be forced to suffer
body – mind – spirit
from the yoke of anti-Semitism
or worse
be tortured or murdered
for simply being Jewish
through our growing awareness
and action
this part of our history
can come to an end
it is up to us
to make it happen

Jews Under Siege

Despite the great danger
daring heroines and heroes
came forward
out of the grave bleakness
and horrors of the Warsaw Ghetto
and said NO

They strongly felt
righteous outrage and indignation
and transcended
their fears and heartbrokenness
to face the Nazis head on
in an attempt to stop – interrupt –block
the alarming crisis
the unfolding violence
of a reign of terror
caused by the Nazi’s stranglehold
on our powerless people

They confronted their unmatchable
horrendous force on the basis
of moral clarity and a moral imperative
and an evenness with the spirit within
they knew in the deepest sense
who they were
what they were made of
and were called to do
against the heinous crimes
being perpetrated on our people
by the Nazi’s Jew-hating machine


A Hero for Our Children

Our children were crammed
into nightmarish
subhuman conditions
in the Warsaw ghetto
where they became
Hitler’s children

In this hideous world
a hero emerged
who twisted the facts
and gory details
present and to come
by designing a way
to divert their attention
to distract and hide
their awareness
of the monstrous
homicidal drives
surrounding them
coming closer and closer
everyday to their little
defenseless bodies
a concentration of evil
that still make us tremble inside
where no one can see it

A book written about the hero Janusz Korczak shows how he comforted the children in the Warsaw Ghetto and as they made their way to the death camps. It is a remarkable story written for children but with a very deep message for adults as well. (A Hero and the Holocaust by David A. Adler, Holiday House 2002)

His life and action plan
offer a sobering
and inspiring account
what one person’s caring
can accomplish
for the good of others
even in the most horrific
of all conditions


A current statement like the following makes Gloria Greenfield’s new documentary, “Unmasked: Judeophobia,” all the more relevant and critically timed.

Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, Israel was a “cancerous tumor that should be cut and will be cut,”
(Arutz Sheva, 2/3/12)

I am immensely grateful to Gloria and all those who shared their thoughts on the worldwide troubling indicators and challenges before us. The deep truths her film reveals are frightening, cautionary and hopeful because we can be empowered today, to respond in ways our Jewish ancestors never imagined possible. In the 21st century, we can shift from waffling, psychic numbness and willful blindness to activism. We can fight for our rights not to be victimized or assaulted verbally, physically and emotionally. Individually and collectively, we can be a powerful force against anti-Semitism and work effectively to slow it down or block it.

Those who seek and plan to harm Israel and thereby Jews around the world, should know we refuse to accept their latest false projections, insulting incriminations and scapegoating and we do it all in memory of those who survived and those who lost their lives in the “first” Holocaust.



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