Requiem: Poems of the Terezin Ghetto


Requiem: Poems of the Terezin Ghetto was a long time coming. Like Worlds Afire, it is a collection of poems rooted in history. The setting for these poems in Terezin, a Nazi concentration camp that was little more than a way station for Prague’s artistic and creative Jews while they waited for their transport to the gas chambers. The poems give voice to the dignity and resilience of the inmates and honor their commitment to art and music in the face of great brutality.

The buzz...

Paul B. Janeczko has imagined his way into the lost souls of Terezin and disappeared within them, leaving them to speak with moving authenticity. These are voices from the edge of pathos, and it is from pathos that great poetry comes.
Ted Kooser, US Poet Laureate, 2004-2006
To read the poems in Paul B. Janeczko’s Requiem is to hear words spoken by both those who survived the Holocaust and those who did not, telling their individual stories of how they lost each other, over and over. The voices in these poems will stay with you, long after you close the book.
Nancy Willard, Newbery Award-winning author of A Visit to William Blake’s Inn
A harrowing poetic evocation of the infamous concentration camp . . . Janeczko returns to a dark historic moment where artists met unspeakable tragedy, not unlike his poetic exploration of the 1944 Hartford, Conn., circus fire that claimed over 150 lives (Worlds Afire, 2007) . . . Drawing on research and haunting illustrations from Terezín inmates, Janeczko effectively portrays the graphic horror of such twisted incarceration from the perspective of both captive and captor . . . Moving and brutal, a poetic remembrance of a tragedy too vast to forget.
The Kirkus Review
Requiem is a most important addition to literature about the Holocause. Paul B. Janeczko’s poetic presentation of life in the Terezin ghetto is poignant and thought provoking. How could anyone treat people this way? These sensitive and carefully researched poems should ensure that no one can forget, Beautiful and tearful.
M. Jerry Weiss, Distinguished Service Professor Emeritas, New Jersey City University
Paul B. Janeczko’s Requiem is absolutely heartbreaking and gripping. I found it so touching, and admire the wide range of voices and stories he includes in this book. It marks a new step in his already-impressive body of work.
Liz Rosenberg, IRA award-winning author for children and adults
Few words could possibly describe Requiem other than powerful. I shuddered, shook and felt goose bumps. You have created a poignant, important, heart-rending book.
Lee Bennett Hopkins, award-winning poet and anthologist