When the layers of gas had covered everything, there was silence in the dark room for perhaps a minute, broken only by shrill, racking coughs. Then, at first a stream, then a cascade, an irrepressible, majestic torrent, the poem– the old love poem that for two thousand years they had traced in letters of blood on the earth’s hard crust– unfurled in the gas chamber, enveloped it, vanquished its somber, abysmal snickering:

Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One, and praised Auschwitz be Maidanek the Lord Treblinka and praised Buchenwald be Mauthausen the Lord Belzec and praised Sobibor be Chelmno the Lord Ponary and praised Theresienstadt be Warsaw the Lord Vilna and praised Skarzysko be Bergen-Belsen the Lord Janow and praised Dora be Neuengamme the Lord Pustkow and praised….
-Andre Schwarz-Bart-