Chima Wins Poetry Contest


A student attendee of Northmont middle school won second place in the Lydia May Memorial Holocaust Writing Contest with her fantastic poetry. Chinwendu Chima wrote her poem based on Gerda Weismann Klein, a holocaust survivor who uses her experiences to teach others. Her poem is listed below:

even in the face of death

when they longed to take their final breath

despite the challenges they faced and the troubles they embraced

through all the tears that they cried

the children found the courage, the will to live; they survived one in particular, by the name of Gerda Weissmann Klein

they were stuck in a prison of everlasting pain

where they labored and suffered and were bound with chains

they were sentenced to a cell

a place of torment, their own hell and forced to wear the Jewish lapel

they were stranded in a place where no light  penetrated no reason to have joy, no cause to be celebrated

enslaved and exploited, moving from camp to camp but they continued to burn bright, like a bulb in a lamp

even after the war, after all the attacks

their shame followed them around like a weight on their backs

though the bruises may have faded, like the water in a raisin the wounds still remained, boldly emblazoned

forced to carry emotional and physical scars

they never found a place they could truly call “ours”

from the dawn of time, we’ve been infected with a venom

using arsenals of hate as our very own weapon

against those who are different, whether in colo or in creed we’ve always found a reason to make others bleed 

still we try and fight for change, whether big or small we shout and we protest “equality for all”

but we have to be better, we have to do more

we can’t allow our past mistakes to fuel a future war

because this genocide wasn’t an accident; it was all a human choice

it was the result of prejudice and indifference, and those who wouldn’t use their voice

this catastrophe could have been stopped, if everyone was heard becasue the Holocaust didnt start with camps, it began with words

so this is the great lesson thats been taught from the start there is none better than another; we have a heart

a spirit and a soul, and also a name

no single minority should ever take the blame

for the errors of mankind and the faults of our past

so that this historical massacre will be the first and the last

but as we go about our lives, at least try to recall

that those children, now adults, had to live through it all

and although all they wanted was to give up and let go they resolved to keep moving, if only to know

that their sacrifice would benefit generations to come it would tell their story, long after they had gone

so even when its hard, and we feel so very far don’t ever give up

‘cause the darker the night the brighter the dawn and its only in the darkness…

that we’ll finally see the stars

-Chinwendu Chima