The Parting

(written inside Plashow concentration camp 1944)


Though our life together was so short, 

I must leave now. 

Sad and forlorn, I am going 

to a fate ordained by these desperate times, 

by a road unmarked by any signs, 

to a  mocking destiny, 

all set to welcome me.


I am going, but when the gate closes behind me and a momentary silence reigns, 

when time erodes my footprints, 

don’t think of me with sorrow 

because I leave behind so little of myself: 

the heart of a mad poet, 

a few letters, a few odes dedicated to you, 

a withered flower and the dreams we dreamt 

of our future together,

and plans that alas! could not  come true. 

Do you remember our dream house, 

That was not to be, 

your workroom and my workroom? 

Dear God, why can’t you be kind ?


But if things change, as I foretold, 

And if the memory lives on in your mind, 

think of me often, 

without the despair that is our lot now.

Our roads will yet meet again!

Then…but why are you crying?

Cry no more, don’t be sad…

Because, you see, I am holding back too…


Well, good-bye, I will see you again! 

Give me another kiss and a hug 

and take care of yourself, 

my dear and sacred love.

Joseph Bau

Joseph Bau was in the Plashow Concentration camp