“I Cannot Forget”, two poems by Alexander Kimel


I   C  A  N  N  O  T   F  O  R  G  E  T

The Creed of a Holocaust Survivor

Alexander Kimel Holocaust Poem

by Alexander Kimel- Holocaust Survivor.

Do I want to remember?
The peaceful ghetto, before the raid:
Children shaking like leaves in the wind.
Mothers searching for a piece of bread.
Shadows, on swollen legs, moving with fear.
No, I don’t want to remember, but how can I forget?
Do I want to remember, the creation of hell?
The shouts of the Raiders, enjoying the hunt.
Cries of the wounded, begging for life.
Faces of mothers carved with pain.
Hiding Children, dripping with fear.
No, I don’t want to remember, but how can I forget?
Do I want to remember, my fearful return?
Families vanished in the midst of the day.
The mass grave steaming with vapor of blood.
Mothers searching for children in vain.
The pain of the ghetto, cuts like a knife.
No, I don’t want to remember, but how can I forget?
Do I want to remember, the wailing of the night?
The doors kicked ajar, ripped feathers floating the air.
The night scented with snow-melting blood.
While the compassionate moon, is showing the way.
For the faceless shadows, searching for kin.
No, I don’t want to remember, but I cannot forget.
Do I want to remember this world upside down?
Where the departed are blessed with an instant death.
While the living condemned to a short wretched life,
And a long tortuous journey into unnamed place,
Converting Living Souls, into ashes and gas.
No. I Have to Remember and Never Let You Forget.


by Alexander Kimel


I do believe, with all my heart,
In the natural Goodness of Man.
Despite the blood and destruction,
Brought by one man, trying to be God,
In the Goodness of Man, I do believe.
I do believe, with all my heart,
That God gave man the blessing and the curse.
Man can select the curse of envy, hatred and prejudices,
Or the blessing of love, harmony and beauty.
Despite the painful curses of the past,
In the blessing of the Creator, I do believe.
I do believe, with all my heart,
That God created a beautiful world,
The sun and the trees, the flowers and the bees.
And the best way to serve God, is
To enjoy the fruits of His labor of love.
Despite the painful memories from the past,
In the joyful celebration of life, I do believe.
I do believe with all my heart,
That God has created man in image of His own.
And killing of man, is like killing of God.
Despite the massacres in Rwanda, the cleansing in Bosnia,
The folly of Muslim fanatics, and the cruelty of Pot Pol.
In the love and compassion of the Creator, I do believe.
I believe with all my heart,
That the Messiah and the Kingdom of Heaven will come;
When man will conquer his destructive urge,
And learn how to live in harmony with nature and himself.
When all the preachers of hate will be silenced,
And man will become his brother’s keeper.
When man will stop killing man, in the name of God,
And nation will not lift weapons against nation.
When it will be, I do not know, but
Despite all the signs to the contrary.
In the dawn of a Better World, I do believe.

Best Regards:

Alexander Kimel – Holocaust Survivor


Alexander Kimel was born in Podhaje, Galiza, in the late 1920s. In 1940 Kimel’s family moved to the ghetto of Rohatyn, to avoid the Red Army, who where advancing.

Ghetto life was draining, with Kimel being forced to do hard labour everyday. Between 1941-1943, 9,900 out of 10,000 Jews were killed in the ghetto. There were also extreme sanitation issues, resulting in the death of Kimel’s mother and hundreds more.

In May 1943, Kimel ran away, just one month before the ghetto and everyone in it was destroyed. Kimel lived in surrounding villages and forest before coming to America.

He attended the 70-year anniversary of the Holocaust service at the New Synagogue of Fort Lee (2010). When asked what he learnt through the Holocaust, he replied,

“We have to be tolerant. I don’t care if you’re Catholic, Muslim or something else, as long as you’re a decent human being. That’s really what it is.

 Alexander Kimel: Notes on his Life

Source: Legacy.com 

Alexander Kimel died Jan. 24, 2018 of complications from pneumonia. He was 91.

Mr. Kimel was born in Podhajce, Poland. As a boy, Mr. Kimel survived the Holocaust, mostly in the Rohatyn Ghetto, where his mother perished. After the war, he moved with his father and sister to Denmark briefly. He returned to Poland alone to study in Wroclaw’s Polytechnic Institute, where he earned a bachelor’s and masters degree in electrical engineering. While studying in Wroclaw, he met his future wife, Ewa (Eva) Najnudel.

After marrying in 1956, he and Mrs. Kimel emigrated from Poland to Israel. After two years in Israel, Mr. and Mrs. Kimel emigrated to the U.S. in 1959, where they lived in the Bronx. In 1960, their son Martin was born, followed in 1963 by their daughter Pamela. In 1965, the family moved to Teaneck, N.J. Mr. Kimel founded his own successful, consulting-engineering firm, Kimel Associates, which he ran until his retirement.

Mr. Kimel was known for his vitality, energy and intellect. Speaking eight languages, he read widely, and frequently surprised people with his breadth of knowledge. He wrote about his wartime experiences on his award-winning website, sharing his insights about genocide and anti-Semitism. His poems about the Holocaust have been widely reprinted and cited, and even read aloud by strangers in Youtube postings.