Football and the Holocaust


In the old days of my youth,
When I used to lie back in the dentist’s chair
Ater a medicinal whiff of gas,
With the drill resonating in my head,
And all manner of contrivances stuck in my mouth,
My mind sometimes used to drift away,
As I tried to escape the pain,
And I used to see all manner of things,
Although I never saw Eddie Hamel
Standing there beside me.
A tall good-looking gentleman
Was Eddie, with sleek black hair
And a number 7 on his back;
A New York Jewish gentleman,
Who just happened to play football,
Patrolling the Ajax right wing,
And sending in his accurate crosses,
In those happy flapper days of the Twenties,
Before the Second World War.
But because Eddie was Jewish,
He went on a sealed train to Birkenau;
Where he shared a bunk with Leon Greenman,
And that’s where they rubbed their backs together,
Sharing warmth on those cold winter nights,
Trying to stay alive for the Final Solution’s selection.
Eddie had been an Ajax first team regular,
A right regular agile winger,
Who could drop his shoulders, feint to the left
And then swerve with his body to the right,
That’s why he was selected,
He was intelligent, elusive, accurate and strong.
But on this nightmare selection day,
Eddie had an abscess in his mouth,
And the SS thought a swollen face
Meant an unfit, incapable worker,
So while Leon went to the right,
Eddie, right behind him,
Was ordered to the left,
And this gentle man,
Described by Leon as “terrifically nice”,
Was despatched to the gas chambers
And the Final Solution.
But we’ll remember you, Eddie,
Especially when any Feyenoord fans abuse the past,
Chanting their holocaust songs
And “We’re going on a Jew hunt”,
Then mimicking the hissing sound of escaping gas
When their team plays Ajax.
Don’t you just love The Beautiful Game?

It’s so easy to forget us,
When remembering the Holocaust,
The wearers of the pink triangle;
But analysed from any angle,
We are the one in ten,
The women and the men,
Who find true love and trust
Within the confines of their own sex.
But we were gassed en masse,
So as to leave no trace
For the master race,
And its fascist bellicosity,
And heterosexuality.
But I held his hand,
And he held mine,
And strange as it might seem,
We recollected our football team,
As we rumbled on to Auschwitz,
Whistling tunes from Lizst,
Until the chamber’s hiss
Took him from me,
But not from my memory.
For he lives on again and then again,
For are we not still, a resilient one in ten?

Is what the Gypsies call the Holocaust,
And it came as no surprise
To experienced Gypsy eyes,
“ The Great Devouring”,
For Nazi racial ideology
With its delusory biology,
Had already said the only way
In the bright new day
Where “Tomorrow belongs to me”
In a thousand year Reich,
Where Might is Right
For ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer,
Was to stop Gypsies, as they put it,
For re-creation and miscegenation
Was misleading,
To a society based upon racial purity
And doctrinal probity.
So this meant concentration camps
And sterilisation, with the lamp
Of fascist academia acting as a beacon,
For eugenics was the guiding reason,
And the way to get on,
Until petrol replaced the needle,
And the spade, the scalpel,
And gypsies were burned alive,
Like our strong man number five,
A centre half who made no errors,
But now burning in screaming terror;
But Zykon gas is so much cheaper,
Than petrol ditches dug ever deeper,
And so horror itself was soon surpassed,
With 250 Gypsy children gassed –
Buchenwald guinea pigs in 1940,
Another beacon for the Holocaust story.
And while the winter rains
And the chambers’ drains
Choked on the smell of gas,
The death trains danced
To the tune of the Final Solution’s

“We’ll use the wheelchairs to make new tanks”
They laughed, “And the callipers
Will make nice new machine guns,
And your skulls will make fine footballs,
And we’ll melt you morons down
For tallow for candles,
That’s the only way you’ll spread any light
From your Untermenschen lives.”
My eye lids closed as tightly
As the gas chamber doors,
And a solitary tear dropped down my cheek,
Catching the last rays of the sun,
As it dropped behind the high barbed wire.
There’s no place in the master race
For those who can’t run fast
Or who move in a different direction.,

Source: http://footballpoets.org/news/2005/01/23/football-and-the-holocaust/