Daniel Sammon recently graduated with a Master’s degree in Writing from NUIG. It was late in life when he discovered he had a latent talent or a hidden love of the written word. Not long after his first book was published he had another five written, including a book of poetry.
Apart from writing he is engaged full-time as a rental property manager and a limmo driver taking people on tours all over Ireland, especially Connemara, the Cliffs of Moher, Newgrange, Dublin and Killarney. He’s keenly interested in history, heritage and folklore; these together with meeting people from every corner of the globe keeps him well supplied with material for his writing pen.
By Daniel Sammon
Just as you enter, over the door
There’s a sign that you can see
Though it’s written in German
It means ‘Work Makes You Free’
When we were small kids
We were told all about hell
But the inmates of this place
Knew it only too well
The starvation and torture
That was carried on here
The hangings and shootings
And the beatings so severe
When you had to strip naked
There was absolutely no hope
Your hands tied behind your back
As you faced the hanging rope
After hanging for a while
You were then taken down
Hosed with freezing water
Till you thought you would drown
While you were still alive
You were put up against the wall
The Gestapo called the order
‘Shoot them dead, one and all’
After more than one and a half years
They couldn’t kill them fast enough
So they built some gas chambers
With the Zyklon B deadly stuff
No matter how hard they worked
Or how hard they tried
Only about four or five hundred!
Poor innocent people, everyday died
So they built more gas chambers
About six kilometers away
And then they were killing
Four to five thousand every day
The commander in charge
Was a man named Rudolf Hoss
When he finally got hanged
Himself, he was a small loss
Kommadant Rudolf Hoss (sometimes spelt Hoess) was a mild-mannered family man, married with 5 children (2 sons & 3 daughters). He lived with his wife and children within the confines of Auschwitz where he could see the crematoria chimney stacks from his bedroom window.
He was the greatest mass-murderer in human history, by his own irrefutable admissions, during his trial in April 1947.
He denied murdering 3 million people, but admitted killing only 2.5 million! and said the rest died of starvation.
Under his command Auschwitz had the capacity to exterminate 10,000 people each 24 hours!
He was hanged in Auschwitz on 16th April 1947 only a few short metres from where he lived with his family, while he was the architect of evil and madness all around, the likes of which mankind had never seen before.
Up to 12 people used to be hanged naked simultaneously on each iron gallows (like the goalposts in a soccer field) close to the entrance gates. The adjoining forest at the edge of Birkenau or Auschwitz 2, which is a much larger camp than Auschwitz 1 is inhabited by snakes but no birds are to be seen here, over this vast area, where millions died.
This poem is horrifying in its truth. I applaud the poet, Daniel Sammon, for telling this story with pure honesty.
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