Boston Secession


Ruth Lomon’s Testimony of Witnesses movement X

Transport opens the second half of Testimony of Witnesses. It was recorded by Boston Secession for our second professional CD release, Surprised By Beauty: Minimalism in Choral Music

(a) Running, running, a whole city on its legs
Whispers, anxious questioning
A querulous complaint,
Snow and ice, wet tempest and hail.
On the skittery streets gaunt figures group.
In every mouth a single expression stays:

(b) Then they began marching us
through the streets toward the ramps.
The trains were there waiting, waiting.
We could see more coming, first,
as little puffs of smoke, then as great noises,
then huge closed cars.
Freight trains in the night
strike a mournful staccato
The pitch holds a tone of terror

Momma was gone
I looked everywhere
I looked and looked, for an hour,
I looked everywhere
You! Move! Here! In! In!
In, in! In, in! You, to the left
March! March!
I looked everywhere
I looked and looked
I looked everywhere
I looked and looked
for an hour, and hours

We were crammed so tightly, so tightly,
that we could not fall down. The gate clang shut
I didn’t feel anything, not even sorrow

I was completely numb.
The wheels of the train turned, the wheels of hunger spun,
The mind jammed playing the same scenes over and over

(c) It was Monday when our freight train arrived at the ramp of Birkenau.
We were on the train for twenty-six hours
without food or water.
Finally the doors opened with a loud noise.
A burst of fresh air hit us,
guards were shouting orders, dogs barking
We were on the train for twenty-six hours
without food or water.

(d) Oh God, Oh God, where were you when we were forced to come here where there is the flood
and no pigeon, no flower

(e) I write in pencil on this sealed freight car
Here in this carload
I, Eve, with my son, Abel
If you see my older boy, Cain,
The son of Adam
Tell him that I ...

(a) Else Dormitzer, Terezin survivor
(b) Susan Fromberg Schaeffer, author of "Anya"
(c) John R. Saunders, Auschwitz-Birkenau survivor
(0) Vera Weislitzova, Terezin survivor
(e) Dan Pagis, Ukraine work camp survivor

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