by Ruth Deborah Rey

If it is true that only
five hundred thousand
people died in the camps
and that the others,
the other Jews, that is,
moved away to Israel,
the States, or to the East,
I do not understand why
not even one of them
sent a change of address
to those they left behind;
the ones that still, even
today, weep over the
loss of them and the horror
they were subjected to
that – supposedly – is not true.
I wonder why, if she was one
of those who simply moved
to the East and did not die,
my Mother … why my Mother
never even sent me a pretty
postcard from where she
is living now.

(“Change of Address” was originally published in Raving Dove. This poem is reprinted here today with permission from the poet.)

Ruth Deborah Rey, born in Amsterdam in 1938, has from the time she was a little girl worked in radio, (later) television, publicity and the theatre, as an actress, broadcaster, entertainer, scriptwriter, translator and editor in the Netherlands, Canada, and the USA. Today, retired, she finally has the time to be a full-time writer and editor. She lives at the French Atlantic coast with her husband, two dogs, and five cats. Rey is recognized by the Dutch Foundation 1940-1945 as a participant in the Resistance during the German occupation.

Editor’s Note: When I asked Ms. Rey’s permission to publish today’s poem she said she was glad to let me publish it, “even though the poem is one of the saddest I ever wrote.” I think this response says a lot about the kind of person, and poet, that Ms. Rey is. Living a life touched by the Holocaust, some might succumb to darkness, and their poetry might be reflective of such. But Ms. Rey lives a life of light, and her writing outshines any darkness that has touched her. She is quoted as saying “I speak my soul. I write.” I am inspired by Ms. Rey’s optimism, her shining light, and the adept way in which she speaks her soul.

Want to read more by and about Ruth Deborah Rey?
The Blue Blog
Raving Dove
Author’s Den


  1. ” … why my Mother never even sent me a pretty postcard from where she is living now.”

    What a line! What an inspirational woman! Thank you Ruth Deborah Rey and Ms. B-R.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s