A Question I Had Never Heard

Mel Glenn (Brooklyn, NY)

My friend, a city worker,
college-educated, asked me over dinner,
“Was the Holocaust partially propaganda?”
“You serious?” I said, shocked.
“I am. I can’t believe all of that happened.”
“All of that did happen – and more.”
I felt hurt by his ignorance.
How could I not be appalled?
It will not fracture the friendship,
but it will cause it serious injury.
“Did you read ‘Night’?” I asked.
“What’s that”?
“A book about the Holocaust, non-fiction.”
“No.”
“I will get it for you.”
We left the diner; I was still upset.
My teacher response: I gave him homework?
What an inadequate reply.
I should have said and done a lot more,
but what?

The author of twelve books for young adults, Mel Glenn has lived nearly all his life in Brooklyn, NY, where he taught English at A. Lincoln High School for thirty-one years.  Lately, he’s been writing poetry, and you can find his most recent poems in the YA anthology, This Family Is Driving Me Crazy,  edited by M. Jerry Weiss.

If you’d like to learn more about his work, visit: http://www.melglenn.com/

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1 Comment

Filed under American Jewry, poetry

One response to “A Question I Had Never Heard

  1. Chaim

    You might have asked if it was true that black people were really slaves and horribly mistreated throughout history or if that was merely some kind of “propaganda”?
    I would have shared with him first-hand accounts of the dwindling supply of real, living, Shoah survivors.
    Like my mother in law, who recently passed away, may she rest in peace.
    No one should get a pass for ignorance about such massive genocide against the Jewish people.
    Especially not friends.

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