Will There Ever be Peace?

My Response to Erika Marquardt's Book

By: - Dec 14, 2015

Will There Ever be Peace?

Haunted for more than 70 years now

By War Atrocities and the Holocaust

While growing up in Germany

Erika, my dear friend and comrade,

Published recently, Memories of a War to Come:

A German Girl Growing Up in the 2nd World War.


Deep and dark poems on pages that are also

Splattered with images of her collages.

Paintings that are raw, filled with skeletons and sculls,

Or bodies floating to earth, still connected to parachutes.


Death is dancing every where……

Blackbirds, then white doves

Are not white or symbols of peace in these paintings.

Or poems, none longer than a page

So they say little and everything.


Some are titled: Liberation, The Little Princess, Raspberries,

My Father’s Friend, New Clothes, The Pill and Candy.

Don’t trust the benign titles --

Her truth and memories will hit you hard in your gut!

And the images drawn by a self-taught painter add impact,

And assault your senses. They assault mine.


A few years younger than Erika, I was born in 1944.

My childhood memories begin with American soldiers

Giving us kids chocolate and chewing gum.

And British Occupation soldiers in Hamburg

Invited us to a Christmas party.

I cried and wanted the beautiful doll, then took her home.


Erika’s and my families intersected during the war.

Perhaps not at the same day, yet at the same spot

At the Elbe River, way east of Hamburg.

She talks about it in “My Aunt Didi,”

“Soldiers Only,“ and “Leaving the Bridge.”


In Mecklenburg thousands of old men, women and children

Tried to cross the Elbe River from the Russian to the American side.

Except for one bridge, all had been bombed and destroyed

And American soldiers were guarding that bridge.


My mother, holding me tight with my unborn brother still inside her womb,

Convinced the Americans to let us pass in a truck,

So that she could deliver her baby on the other side at the hospital.

We made our way back to Hamburg and

Erika and family were not so lucky!


So our connection started at an early age

And war memories of Germany bind us as well.

Erika’s book: Memories of a War to Come

Should be seen and read by thousands everywhere

Of all walks of life, ranks and positions.

Memories of a War to Come - Oh, so prophetic!


Will there ever be PEACE ?!