1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 On the Friday, in A Level History,
We watched some grainy archive footage of Adolf Hitler
In stunned and mournful silence;
This wasn’t “merely academic”,
This was History with open hearted compassion.
And when we saw the death trains rolling through central Europe,
Full of Jews and Gypsies and Slavs,
And when we saw the weeping soldiers liberating the death-camps,
You could have heard a pen drop.
On the Saturday, in the Literary Festival,
I performed at Cheltenham Station and on the GWR steam line;
I rattled through a beautiful English landscape,
Where fruit from the orchards kept a country station going,
Back in those Betjeman days of 1938,
When Czechoslovakia was carved up at Munich,
And the English football team gave the Nazi salute in Berlin,
And Neville Chamberlain waved his piece of paper.
In the evening, I went to the pub,
And watched the English football team in Bratislava,
And saw the fighting in the stands,
And heard the racist abuse of Cole and Heskey;
It’s enough to make those soldiers crying back in ’45 cry again –
They didn’t fight Fascism to see this happen.
Football Unites,
Tolerance Binds,
Empathy Heals,
Racism Divides,
Fascism Destroys.

Source: https://footballpoets.org/poems/fascism/