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The Shoah

And The Darkness Of Mankind

By Kelli Sheckler-AmsdenPublished about a year ago Updated about a year ago 3 min read
Top Story - February 2023
The Shoah
Photo by J. Amill Santiago on Unsplash

If walls could talk:

We would have screamed for mercy. Begged, cried and pleaded for release. Provided help and aid. We would have sent out warnings, to stand up and fight, or run. We would have guarded, as a refuge of protection. Crumbled in protest.

Instead, we could only do what we were designed and intended to do. Stand.

If we could speak, we would attest, and bear witness to the atrocities enacted in the name of hate. By a race, believed to be superior.

If I could talk and tell you what I have seen, what I have heard, what I was constructed for, you would beg me to stop.

By Lāsma Artmane on Unsplash

I was designed for destruction. Built with the sole purpose to entrap, contain and keep hidden, the filthy secret of pure evil, by the darkest of mankind.

Humans/Humankind: a human being, especially a person as distinguished from an animal. Highly social, living in complex social structures composed of many cooperating and competing groups, from families and kinship networks to political states. As such, social interactions between humans have established a wide variety of values, social norms, language, and rituals, each of which bolster human society.

But throughout history there are those that have behaved far worse than animals. Showing the oxymoron in the title; humankind. Kindness plays no part.

For years I was privy to the prayers and promises, hopes and horrors, faith and fears - rising to my ceilings, awaiting a salvation that for many, never came. My rooms were filled with, and witness to ultimate loss, betrayal, strength and survival.

If I could talk, I would have thrown off my rafters, crying and screaming for help. I would tell you of a powerful purpose that could not be broken, although I witnessed the undeniable effort, in trying to break it.

Humanity sprawled its worst on us, and we stood, motionless, helpless. Palettes and canvases displaying unspeakable horrors, and we were silent.

We watched as the people in place to protect, lied and cowered as they gave in to greed and social pressures. Ugliness prevailed. Countless soldiers, policemen, civil servants, lawyers, judges, businessmen, engineers, and doctors and nurses chose to implement the regime’s policies.

Ordinary people also participated in the Holocaust in a variety of ways. Some Germans cheered as Jews were beaten or humiliated. Others denounced them for disobeying racist laws and regulations. Many Germans bought, took, or looted their Jewish neighbors' belongings and property. These Germans’ participation in the Holocaust was motivated by enthusiasm, careerism, fear, greed, self-interest, antisemitism, and political ideals, among other factors.

We thought we had seen the worst of it, and for over 6 years we watched silently, as humans behaved at the magnitude of their cruelty.

By Tingfeng Xia on Unsplash

There were some who fought against it. Providing help and escape. Tens of thousands risked their lives to rescue Jews from the Nazis’ clutches. Undeterred by threats, they took Jewish children into their homes, concealed and provided for entire families, and established underground passage for children to neutral countries. Many were executed for these noble deeds. And we watched.

As bombs and bullets marred our surfaces and fractured our foundations, we stood as a reminder. A visible image of the carnage hidden within our structures. If we could talk, there would be no end to the tales we could tell of the lives we watched, marking, carving, etching the proof that they existed on our skin.

Crimes now recognized by the world as genocide.

Even today, as many come to walk my halls, reuniting to remember and pay tribute to the lives lost, and survived. If I could talk, I would fill in the missing pieces, the answers to the questions, why and how?

I would say, because mankind remained quiet, docile, ignorant to the truth. For some it was easier to pretend it wasn't true. I stood there for 6 years, absorbing the blood, sweat and tears of the ones forgotten. If I could talk, that is the hard truth I would speak.

Although I have been repaired, painted and covered with the pictures and the names of the loved ones who dwelled on my surface.

By Eelco Böhtlingk on Unsplash

I still bear the scars.

Once you have heard what I would say, if I could talk. So should you.

"Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it."

George Santayan


surreal poetry

About the Creator

Kelli Sheckler-Amsden

Telling stories my heart needs to tell <3 life is a journey, not a competition

If you like what you read, feel free to leave a tip, I would love some feedback

Find me on twitter @kelli7958958

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Comments (30)

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  • Dean F. Hardyabout a year ago

    Very well executed piece on a difficult challenge Prompt. Congrats Kelli.

  • Linda Rivenbarkabout a year ago

    Also, Congratulations on your Top Story!!!

  • Linda Rivenbarkabout a year ago

    Powerful!!! And a true story that needs to be repeated so future generations will know what not to do again! Amazing dialogue from the walls that could not speak.

  • Donna Reneeabout a year ago

    This was really powerful. Nice work !

  • Melissa Ingoldsbyabout a year ago

    Congratulations on this amazing top story!!

  • Paul Stewartabout a year ago

    Kelli! WELL DONE! Did someone say Top Story about this a few days ago?...okay...I am not going to rein on your absolute deserved parade. Well done and I am so glad this will get more eyes on it, because it is remarkable, powerful and yeah im mumbling the same mumblings I said before. But, oh well, it's worth it. I would find it hard to pick out a favourite of your prolific body of work, but this is up there somewhere. It was a hard read, and rightly so. I just love the fact that you pull no punches and spare not feelings. Love it!

  • Kendall Defoe about a year ago

    Okay, you got me with this one. A very vivid and powerful use of the prompt...

  • Vaz Bavabout a year ago

    https://vocal.media/authors/vaz-bav Hi, guys please check my page and leave your comments. Hope u love my content. Thanks

  • Sonia Heidi Unruhabout a year ago

    Thank you. Thank you.

  • 🥹🫶🏾Nice Job on Pulling Together a Story❤️😊Congratulations on Top Story‼️👏

  • Rachel M.Jabout a year ago

    Oh my gosh Kelli, "If I could talk and tell you what I have seen, what I have heard, what I was constructed for, you would beg me to stop." "Showing the oxymoron in the title; humankind. Kindness plays no part." Absolutely heart-wrenching, well done.

  • Oneg In The Arcticabout a year ago

    Thank you for writing this. Thank you for still talking about this.

  • Call Me Lesabout a year ago

    Well done Kelli! Congrats on the top story 💕

  • Congratulations on your Top Story ❤️

  • JBazabout a year ago

    Wonderful, and powerful

  • Cheryl E Prestonabout a year ago

    love this

  • Sandra Tena Coleabout a year ago

    Powerful!! Best of luck for the challenge, but even more, hope this reaches many, many eyes and ears x

  • Gina C.about a year ago

    Gorgeously done and so powerful. I’m in awe. This deserves so much! Best of luck in the challenge!! 😍😍

  • Heather Hublerabout a year ago

    Oh goodness, this brought me to tears. Not only because of the tragic, incomprehensible subject but the way you so beautifully and thoughtfully wrote this. A stunning piece that deserves to place in this challenge and be top story. More people need to remember...

  • Joe Pattersonabout a year ago

    Very well done.

  • Emily Marie Concannonabout a year ago

    Touching and powerful Keli! Lots of love

  • Vadim Kaganabout a year ago

    Very strong!

  • Cathy holmesabout a year ago

    Oh my, this is powerful. Incredibly well done, my friend.

  • Paul Stewartabout a year ago

    Why is this not Top Story? Kelli, you've really outdone yourself on this! So powerful, emotional and an important take on the challenge. I love the quote at the end and just...it all. I'm sorry I hadn't read it yet. This bit really stuck out "We would have screamed for mercy. Begged, cried and pleaded for release. Provided help and aid. We would have sent out warnings, to stand up and fight, or run. We would have guarded, as a refuge of protection. Crumbled in protest. Instead, we could only do what we were designed and intended to do. Stand." I really feel the despair in this part. Really incredible work, Kelli!

  • Ryan Smithabout a year ago

    Such a powerful exploration, beautifully done.

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