Arbeit Macht Frei

This is the arch that set us free.
Those years ago, its open gates
Admitted enemies that would
have brought us to our knees.

Now we are here in thanks for all
their suffering. Such sacrifice of innocence
our own made here for ours. Gave up
their chance of iron at the throat,

Of making an heroic end, to
make the toughest choice of all:
To make the living from the dead.
We knew their minds. And home they came

To us. In sleep they called. They saw
and took those lives. Such brutal ends
were just, but tested men whose hearts
were better brazed by war. And such souls

They were, to even sometimes see beneath,
a common breath and need to live.
Such brave humanity. It’s just: they’re gone:
we come to this their final shrine

For now our continent is clean
We stand here on the monument
Our Fatherland decreed should mark
The paying of that debt to Christ

The final victory of our purer blood
over all those outcast tribes that spelled,
conspired and sought with slavs to bring
us down. So stand in years of peace

That brought, and look about a landscape
That is now filth free. And name them
not, that is the leader’s last decree.
But stand here on the ramp such ends

were wrought with cleansing gas and fire.
See where their ugly history perished
from the earth, and gave to us release –
And think what work it was that made us free.

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