S T A L I N ' S E T H N I C C L E A N S I N G
Each trailing each, each trailing each,
In line without end
Like the hours of torment
Now left behind
To the Army…!
Then pressed against its whitened buildings –
A herd of timorous beasts.
Each twitchy as a trembling leaf …
Would these credit his need to join;
His resolve to battle – even with Beelzebub!
His obvious scurvy should count as nought
He’d face death’s call … were that the cost!!
But at that same moment drained lips
‘Sir, might you possibly have – a piece of bread;
It’s now three days since I last ate …’
A husky, ceaseless, wracking cough …
Then the sudden shout, ‘Look, our Troops!...’
Beyond the door a uniform slipped by,
The Crowd shuddered, forward rocked,
And all eyes covetously gleamed,
Lips no longer begged for bread…
A shaft of sunlight flared above their heads…!
In that deep hush a muffled whisper;
‘Dear God…let them take me.’
Feliks Konarski (Ref-Ren), Russia 1941