What is Racism? by Michael Rosen

It’s a clockmender who left his country to get a better living
and all is fine
until things start changing
there’s an invasion
he and his wife run to another town
and the people who are supposed to keep law and order
decide to put him and his wife on a list
and then they decide that they will make them wear a special badge
marking them out as different
and then they decide that they will take all their money away from them
and the clockmender and his wife have nothing much more they can do
but sell old clothes in the market
where they must put a special badge on their stall marking them out
as different
and they send letters to America for help from their relatives
and they hear stories about how people like them are being shot
and transported to places where they never come back from]
so they run again
and they hear rumours of a place where they’ll be safe
and they get there somehow
and then someone from the army that invaded
arrives and he hates people like the clockmender
and his wife and he has lists
and with the help of the people
who are supposed to keep law and order
he gets hold of the clockmender and his wife
and he puts them on a train to a housing estate
which has been converted into a kind of prison
and from there they are shipped to a big station
and from there they are shipped out of the country
to a special place where people will work till they die
where people are tortured
where people starve to death
where people fall ill and have no means of being cured
where people are shot
where people are gassed to death
and the clockmender and his wife
are never seen again..

No one in their family knows what happened to them
for years and years
until one of the letters that the clockmender sent to America
turns up
and bit by bit one of the people in the family
finds the books that have the lists of the people
who like the clockmender were rounded up and shipped out
and bit by bit he puts the story together
he doesn’t fully know why he’s doing this
other than that he doesn’t want it to be
that no one knows
he doesn’t want it to be that people specialise
in saying that such things didn’t happen
so he finds out more and more about the clockmender and his wife
and the clockmender is called Oscar, known as Jeschie
and his wife is Rachel
and Oscar is Oscar Rosen who was my father’s uncle
and now you know
what I found out
now you know what I wanted you to know
and now I know
that this isn’t something that
no one knows.