Three poems by S.E.Ingraham

I am not a silent poet

IF I COULD CHOOSE TO BE ANYONE,
I’D BE GERMAINE TILLION


An anthropologist,
she lived through
high drama.
Arrested by the Gestapo
for her role in the formation
of the French Resistance
Charges included could have
led to death
at Ravensbrueck
..
Designated to disappear
under Hitler’s famous
Nacht and Nebel
(night and fog) decree,
she survived.
..
Her mother, picked up
for hiding
a British airman,
died in a gas chamber
in 1945—
selected for death
for having white hair.
..
After the war, Tillion,
—an important
public intellectual
in the 1950s and 60s—
when thinkers like
Aron and Sartre
passionately debated,
she argued
French responsibility
to Algerians.
..
She delved into the past
to recall spectres of the Gestapo
becoming one of the first,
loudest voices
to protest French torture
of Algerian prisoners.
Tillion, who did not marry,
nor have children—
wrote an operetta—
A Camp Worker…

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