THE BOMBING OF THE BERLIN ZOO


PRELUDE

1948


Lion tails cartwheel through the smoke.

Landing softly on the Screaming Platz.

Zebras.

Black White.

Red.

The earth vomits its crust and

Yes.

There are secrets to be kept so open wide.

Such Beauty.

Eyes clouded glass like watered milk.

When it was over the sky wiped its chin.


Everyone Loves The Zoo

A Poem by Mila Roth

Survivor and Witness of

The Bombing of the Berlin Zoo



BERLIN ZOOLOGISCHER GARTEN

November 22, 1943


Father Ernst Mueller

Mitte Borough, Berlin

Sunday Morning

The 22nd

**********

See them kneeling.

Kneeling before The Altar.

Kneeling like those they have shot.

They take their Christ on crackers.

Their Wehrmacht lips opening as one and

I can see Hell in their mouths.

Bless you my Child.

I say.


Let us Prey.



Joram Fuhrmann

A Jewish Boy of Nine

The Tiergarten

Sunday Afternoon

***************


Halten. Don’t move.

They will not see you.

You will not see them.

Slapping and screaming.

Lightning and Skulls.

Mama.

Papa.

We will love you forever the Zoo Joram the Zoo.

Run run soil your pants.

The sky is full of veins.

Rank with animal fear.

Joram falls to his knees and cries.

Cries for the life he knew.

God delivered the Torah.

And went back to a world of sleep.



Mila Roth and Anna Berg

Animal Attendants

Berlin Zoologischer Garten

Sunday Afternoon

***************


Hunger.

The Great Beast.

Meat.

Only squirrels.

Mila: “Adept with the stone we have killed them all!”

Anna: “No. They have gone to the East. They will return when it is over.”



Cameroon

Male Black Leopard

Cage 159

Berlin Zoologischer Garten

Sunday Afternoon

***************


The concrete is cold.

Unyielding.

Gone the touch of earth.

Propelling him across the Savanna.

He had killed at will.

Carcasses.

Mapping his journey of pain.

Thirty steps to the left.

I am Iron.

Thirty steps to the right.

I am Death.

I will break free.

I will kill everything in my path.



Father Ernst Mueller

The Blessing of the Animals

Sunday Evening

*************


All the pets have been eaten.

Fat Goering.

Full of Spaniel.

Only the Zoo makes sense.

Holy Water for Hippos.

Wafers for Wolves.

Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow.

A Droning of Bees.

High in the Sky.

Praise Him all Creatures Here Below.

Flesh.

Grays and Reds.

Claws.

Hooves and Heads.



Joram Fuhrmann

Sunday Evening

*************


Shock.

Screaming Metal.

Earth Rock Iron Wood.

Joram.

You have blood in your ears.

Your legs.

Bone and gristle.

Something is wrong.

Deep in the chest.

Close your sweet eyes.

It’s just a brief rest.

I shall go to the East and will return.

When it is over.



Mila Roth and Anna Berg

Sunday Evening

*************


Shock.

Screaming metal.

A troop of monkeys fall shredded.

The bombs no interest in Who.

Anna staggers to the nearest cage.

Flames.

Coils of smoke.

Feeling her way she opens the gate.

And now it’s Too Late.

Now it’s Too Late.

Cameroon.

Leaping to freedom.

Pausing to rip out her throat.


Such Beauty.

Eyes.

Clouded glass.

Like watered milk.



The Living and the Dead

********************


Shock.

Screaming metal.

The earth buckles.

Vomiting her crust white hot.

A cage blows open sucking Mila inside.

A pair of dead Zebras.

Breaking her fall.

Black White.

Red.



The ground is littered with animal dead.

Mila.

Peering through the bars.

One of the bodies is moving.

She sees the Collar white as his face and she cries.

Pray for us Father.

Now and at the Hour of our Death.

The Priest lifts his head.

His eyes are huge and see nothing.



The Jackals are first.

Blue meat in their jaws.

Mila.

Hearing the tearing of flesh.

Knowing it’s part of the deal.

The Priest at the end of the meal.


Everyone loves the Zoo.

That will never change.


First Published by Synchronized Chaos

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