András Mezei (1930-2008) was a major Jewish-Hungarian poet who left behind a retrospective exploration of the Holocaust for our time. There are many voices speaking to us of terror, folly, greed, cruelty and absurdity, but Mezei’s poetry makes them sound like our own voices. His testimony has been published in England, in my translation, as “Christmas in Auschwitz” (Smokestack Press, 2010).
Miklós Radnóti (1909–1944) was arguably the greatest poet of the Holocaust. He stands out among the other great figures of the Holocaust literature of his generation because he dedicated his life — his talent, discipline, loves and learning, and even his fate in the Holocaust — to the craft of writing poetry.