Old records, black as

filth. Songs sung into

a horn as big as a giant’s

dunce cap. Then

microphones the size

of a bully’s fist.


The boxcars smelled

of fear and feces, inducing

small steps. And for the

guards, a fist full of





Author’s Note: These poems are about the reaction of the German classical music establishment, supreme during the Weimar period, to the coming of Hitler. And of course they are about twentieth century Jewish history.




Stephen Kaplan: I was born in 1936. I will be eighty next March (2016). I have worked as a painter and poet since my late teens. In 2000 I was awarded a Pollack-Krasner Foundation grant in painting. My paintings can be seen on their web site pkf.org, scroll to grantees and then my name, Stan Kaplan. When I publish poetry I use Stephen Kaplan. I was nine when the war ended and for the first time I saw survivors who came to visit us at our Brooklyn apartment. Then came the photographs and newsreels. As a working artist, I was interested in the life and work of the artists I admired, in particular those of the twentieth century, and their reaction to the horrendous events they lived through, consequently these poems. My poems have been published in a number of journals, the most relevant being Midstream, and two New York City themed anthologies, Tokens and Bridges.