Why did they save the hair?


When I woke up this morning and realized it was 70 years ago today since Auschwitz was opened. And with hair as prompt at dVerse today, I could not really avoid bringing up how hair had been collected from the Jews. There are still a few survivors who can tell, but ten years from now, there are likely to be non alive to tell.

Arriving to be processed
from families to numbers.
To cut the hair from girls
an act of dehumanization
no smiles in Birkenau
when long dark tresses fell
from scissors close to scalps.
Sorted into Zyklon-B or work.

But why was all their hair
so carefully collected?

From Wikimedia Commons

From Wikimedia Commons



January 27, 2015

27 responses to “Why did they save the hair?

  1. i knew of the anniversary…even if we could call it that…it sounds too festive for such an occassion you know….ugh…walking the museum …tore me up…

  2. oh heck björn – that is not an easy one to digest – just saw a little reportage about auschwitz on tv as well… it’s hard to imagine that human beings can be so cruel to other human beings

  3. A good reminder of what happens when good people avert their eyes and turn their backs….We had neighbors who were part of the Polish Diaspora and a local rabbi who survived Auschwitz. I grew up with horror stories told by both groups. and to think, there are people who believe this was a made up event…devastating piece, but excellent.

  4. I saw some footage and was reminded of this tragedy & horror ~ Its good to be reminded so we will learn never to let this happen again ~

  5. …as a sick prize. I visited the Holocaust museum twice in Washington DC and I will never forget it. Stacks of shoes – walls of portraits and walking through the “cattle cars”. I’m glad you wrote this poem – we must not forget.

  6. And yes i couldn’t help but to picture HIS mustache too…
    The devil comes in many forms with hair or not..
    and this date must always be remembered for those with hair
    of truth..or not….

  7. You have written well of a dark time in history. It’s very good question – what dreadful sick minds the Nazis had.

  8. I will never understand how such horrific acts took place, so terribly sad to see just how inhuman some people can be. Your poem is full of emotion and brought tears to my eyes. Wonderfully penned!

  9. From what I’ve read in the past, Bjorn, the Nazis collected and put everything into categories. They were fanatics about it. They even kept things like eyeglasses, artificial limbs, false teeth, etc. It’s sickening. — Suzanne

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