DER YIDDISH-VINKL December 2, 2005

On the 60th yahrzeit of his death, Kazriel Broydo was featured in the columns of the Forverts devoted to Pearls of Yiddish Poetry. Broydo was the embodiment of the spirit of Vilna. He assembled and performed every song in the ghetto. His compositions spread from Vilna to virtually all the other ghettos in Eastern Europe. While he was refining one of his last poems, the Nazis seized him and threw him into the sea.

What follows are two of his songs, transliterated into the Roman alphabet by Goldie Gold and translated into English by Gus Tyler.


Geto! Dikh fargesn, vel ikh keyn mol nit!

Eykhe — iz dayn hartsike, dayn troyerike lid

Kh’ze do dayne trern, dayn umet un dayn payn

Kh’her do dayn gebet — vos vet zayn, vos vet zayn

In dayne geto-geslekh is mir eng, dos harts azoy batribt

Un khotsh kh’farshtey s’tut vey — dokh is mir azoy lib

Geto! Dikh fargesn vel ikh keyn mol nit!


To forget you, Ghetto I cannot, cannot

Lamentation is your sorry lot

I see your tears, your anguish and your pain

I hear your prayers for fear you’ll go insane

I feel so lonely in your crowded streets

I understand, yet I do feel the pain

Moyshe Halt Zikh

Moyshe, halt zikh, Moyshe halt zikh

Ze nit tsefal zikh, halt zikh. Moyshe, fester.

Moyshe, halt oys, glitsh zikh nit oys

Un gedenk — men darf aroys.

Vayl epes hert men, epes filt men.

Halt zikh, Moyshe.

Halt zikh, Moyshe.

Es kumt di tsayt

Es shlogt shoyn bald

Di sho di groyse

Moyshe, halt oys,

Glitsh zikh nit oys

Un gedenk — men vet aroys.

Moyshe Is Really the Jewish People

Moyshe, bear up, though the load is a ton

And don’t quit the fight till our purpose is won

Make sure no chances ever are lost

Stand firm, stand firm, no matter the cost

Keep eyes and ears in touch with life

The times will soon be ripe and rife

Yes, oh, yes, the time shall be

When Moyshe shouts, “At last I’m free.”

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DER YIDDISH-VINKL December 2, 2005

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