Holocaust Survivors Reflect on September 11th
Irving Roth, a survivor from East Slovakia, was transported to Auschwitz and then Buchenwald where he was liberated. Through poetry, Roth expresses his reaction to the terrorist attacks.
||Holocaust Survivors Reflect on September 11th
My name is Irving Roth. On my tenth birthday, the Nazi German Army marched under my bedroom window in Eastern Slovakia en route to attack and occupy Poland.
And then... restrictions... deportation... Auschwitz... Buchenwald... for I am a Jew.
April 11, 1945
"American Army Liberates Buchenwald"
I am Free
February 11, 1947
"Welcome to America"
The Lady in the Harbor
"Give me your tired, your poor
Your huddled masses yearning to be free
The wretched refuse of your teaming shore,
Send these, the homelss, tempest tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door"
"Security" a dream becomes a reality — I am an American
September 11, 2001.
My dream is shattered like the Towers.
Evil has been resurrected.
Airwaves filled with threats.
By self-appointed guardians of God's absolute truth.
Murderers, barbarians, butchers.
You have awakened the gentle giant.
He cannot and will not rest until my security and freedom is restored.
My dream must become a reality again."
1. Discuss the language in Irving Roth's piece, for example, "self-appointed guardians of God's absolute truth."
Also discuss the literary devices such as alliteration, irony, etc.
2. Why does Irving feel his life was shattered like the towers by the events of September 11th?
3. Which dream must become a reality?
4. Have you felt that your security as an American has been shaken by the terrorist attacks? What similar issues are raised by Ozhan Akman?
5. A year later, has your sense of security and freedom been restored?
Create a visual or a story to accompany Irving Roth's poem.