Benjamin Goluboff

On a Photograph by Emmy Andriesse
of the Ruins of St. Eusebius Church
Arnhem, 1944

Brief Moment by Dzeni

When elements of the 9th and 10th SS Panzer Divisions
stopped Allied airborne troops from advancing
across the Nederrijn at Arnhem, 
stalling Montgomery’s advance into Holland, 
the line of battle stabilized south of the river
for most of the winter of 1944. 

Arnhem was evacuated then, and as Allied artillery
shelled the city to harass the Nazi occupiers, 
whole districts of the city were levelled.

Andriesse came to Arnhem during the Christmas ceasefire,
carrying a satchel with a veiled aperture
fitted to the taking lens of her Rolleiflex, 
and took photographs of the ruins of St. Eusebius Church.
In one of these there is a confused play of light and shade
across the tumbled bricks in the foreground,
the west transept of the distant church 
is seen through an inverted U of –
is it plumbing, is it rebar? –
and the high vertical façade of Eusebius
still implausibly stands.


About the writer:
Benjamin Goluboff teaches English at Lake Forest College. In addition to some scholarly publications, he has placed imaginative work — poetry, fiction, and essays — in many small-press journals, recently Unbroken, Bird’s Thumb, and War Literature and the Arts. He is the author of Ho Chi Minh: A Speculative Life in Verse, and Other Poems (Urban Farmhouse Press, 2017).

Image: Brief Moment by Dzeni. No medium specified. No size specified. 2010. By free license. This image memorialises a tiny fraction of those who perished in Auschwitz in 1941. These names were found on the Yad Vashem Central Database of Shoah Victims.