A black GI stood by the door
(I never saw a black before)
He’ll set me free before I die,
I thought, he must be the Messiah.
A black Messiah came for me . . .
He stared with eyes that didn’t see,
He never heard a single word
Which hung absurd upon my tongue.
And then he simply froze in place
The shock, the horror on his face,
He didn’t weep, he didn’t cry
But deep within his gentle eyes
. . . A flood of devastating pain,
his innocence forever slain.
For me, with yet another dawn
I found my black Messiah gone
And on we went our separate ways
For many years without a trace.
But there’s a special bond we share
Which has grown strong because we dare
To live, to hope, to smile…and yet
We vow not ever to forget.
— Sonia Weitz
Holocaust survivor Sonia Schreiber Weitz was eleven years old when Germany invaded Poland. In 1941, her family was forced into the Kraków ghetto. From the ghetto, Sonia’s mother was sent to the Bełżec extermination camp, where she was murdered. In 1943, Sonia, her sister Blanca, and her father were sent to the Plaszów forced labor camp. Sonia and Blanca were then sent to Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, Venusberg, and finally to the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp. Sonia was 16 years old when U.S. troops liberated her and Blanca, together with 85,000 other prisoners, from Mauthausen in May 1945. Sonia and Blanca spent three years in a displaced-persons camp after the war, waiting for relatives to claim them, but no other family members survived.
[Research note: Sonia Weitz, 81; Holocaust survivor kept history alive]