For Victoria Fermon,

                                                                                                      the only remaining Jew in the city of Hania, Crete

                                                                                                      after the German roundup on May 19th 1944.

                                                                                                      The entire community died on their way to Auschwitz.


When you come home,

late again, way after midnight,

you expect

to find your father waiting for you at the kitchen table.

And you know you are in trouble

when you can tell

by the look in his eyes

that he already knows about the young peasant Goy in your parea.



when you come home even later,

the next morning at dawn,

come home from that very village,

you expect

to be kept in the house for a week maybe, or ten days.

You expect

to hear about the eternal disgrace

to the family, to the community, to the city.

You expect

to hear, again, about your sister

who always..., who never...

You fear, no, you know

they will never let you see him again.


And on your way home

you picture yourself:

running to your room

locking the door –

and you hope, you just hope

nobody will be there when you come home:

you will enter the house all alone,

secretly recalling the memory of his skin.


What you don't expect

is to find all doors wide open,

you don't expect

the gaping windows

of the whole neighborhood to be staring at you

for weeks

for months:

slamming shutters at night,

hollow, empty streets all day,

until other people move in

from other neighborhoods,

other parts of the city.


For one night,

one single night of pleasure,

you don't expect

to be sentenced

to almost forty shameful years

of lonely fading survival.


Konstantin Fischer, 2013