For 23 months, Timothy Dyas, 90, of Ridgewood, NJ, was a prisoner-of-war of the Germans during World War II. He’s written poetry about his experience ““ and the following is from a book of his poems, “Barbed Words of War.”
An Exultant Reply
Rows of GI POWs, weak from hunger
Stood in lines before their captors
In a Nazi stalag in Pomerania
Under a cold August sun in 1943.
Already accustomed to the countless
Roll calls life in the stalag dictated
This apparently was to be just another.
But, then electricity galvanized
Us all for, as we stood there,
We heard the names of our
Buddies who were Jewish being
Called out and they were ordered
Into their own formation.
Instincts to act were blunted
By the fact it was our captors with the
As the stalag commander, through the
Asked the first GI in line, a bearded
His religion, striding forcefully forward
His reply echoed on the air, in our hearts,
And into history,
“I’m a Jew!” As the Germans, stunned,