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  • Print publication year: 2014
  • Online publication date: March 2018

Rupko Godec, Slovenia, biography

from Part IV - The Years after 1945

Summary

Rupko Godec was born in 1925 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Godec was initially interned in Perugia and then afterwards deported to Dachau on October 11, 1943 (prisoner number 56,271). Here he became co-editor of the Dachau camp paper “Dawn,” secretly conceived for the Slovenian youth. This paper, in spite of all dangers connected with publishing it, appeared twice.

The following poem was written in 1946 and finally finished on October 18, 1947, and is dedicated to the fellow prisoners who tragically perished in Dachau. The typewritten original manuscript is still in the possession of the author.

Krik v noči

Krik brezizrazen

zažrl se v prostor je prazen

in zdramil me sredi je spanja.

Tovariš kraj mene se vzpel je v vročici.

Kakor da sanja

strašne stvari,

so njegove oči

zastrmele se v mene.

S strahom sem gledal njegove oči,

ki tako brez moči

so v mene strmele.

Vse dolge noči

so suhe njegove oči:

v njih solz več ni.

V mene strmela so lica upadla

in suhe kosti,

prekrite s prosojno le kožo.

Vse dolge noči

so suhe njegove kosti:

življenja v njih ni.

Tedaj je iztegnil roko v temino

in hripav je glas napolnil praznino:

“Ne v krematorij!

Ne … ne …

Joj,

v glavi mi žge

prokleti ta plamen.

Pustite me!

Nisem žival ne kamen,

človek sem, kakor ste vi …”

Zamrle so v ustih besede

in ugasnile motne oči.

In zopet bo jutri eden sežgan,

po njivah pepel bo njegov razmetan.

Tako je šlo iz dneva v dan

in ljudi bilo je še mnogo.

Pomislil sem

in vztrepetalo je moje srce:

Kdaj pride vrsta na me?

A Scream at Night

An expressionless scream

cuts into the empty space

and jolts me awake.

My bunkmate sits up in a fever.

As though he were dreaming

horrible things,

his eyes fix on me.

Frightened, I look at his eyes

as they stare at me

powerlessly.

Night after long night

his eyes remain dry:

they have no more tears.

The sunken cheeks,

the matchstick limbs,

translucent skin stretched taut.

Night after long night

these matchstick limbs:

there is no life in them.