Dos Elnte Kind

The Lonely Child
דאָס עלנטע קינד

This song written in the Vilno ghetto by the poet Shmerke Kaczerginski (see note about author in Friling) was dedicated to the child of a teacher, Rachel Pupko-Krinski. The child was hidden and raised by Gentiles. Composer YankI Krimski, an active participant in dramatic circles before the war, died in a German camp in Estonia.

Illustration of musical notes from the books


Something unknown
Now runs after me.
My mother, dear mother,
Oh where can you be?
Your Sorele is calling,
Sorele, your child . . .
Whose moans cross the fields
As the wind howls so wild.

My father is gone,
Who knows of my loss?
Captured and caught by
A monstrous force.
The night dark and fearsome
When this deed took place,
Yet darker by far
Was my dear mother’s face.

Through wandering day,
Through journey of night,
Through her restless sleep
The child’s thoughts took flight:
The dear child imagines her father’s step near,
Her mother’s sweet lullaby,
Loving and dear.

If in the future
A mother you’ll be,
You must tell your children
Of the agony
Your father and mother
Received from the foe,
Remember the past – and
Forget not the woe!

“S’yogt mikh ver, s’yogt,
Un lotz nit tsu ru,
O mame, mayn mamele,
Vu bistu, vu!
Es zukht dikh dayn Sorele,
S’ruft dikh dayn kind”. . .
S’yomert un s’voyet
In feld um der vint.

“Der tate – nito.
Ver veys vu er iz?
Es hot im gefangen
A groyzamer riz.
Di nakht shvarts geven iz
Ven dos iz geshen.
Nokh shvartser dos ponim
Mayn mames geven. . . ”

In vogl fun tog,
In vander fun nakht,
In umru fun shlof
Ligt dos kind un es dakht:
“O kind mayns!” Zi hert shoyn
Fun tatn di trit.
Di mame farvigt ir
Un zingt ir dos lid:

‘”Az du vest a mol
A mamele zayn,
Zolstu dayne kinder
Dertseyln dem payn.
Vos tate un mame
Gehat hot fun faynd,
Farges nit dem nekhtn —
Dermon es zikh haynt!”

„ס׳יאָגט מיך װער, ס׳יאָגט,
און לאָזט ניט צו רו,
אָ מאַמע, מײַן מאַמעלע
װוּ ביסטו, װוּ?
עס זוכט דיך דײַן שׂרהלה
ס׳רופֿט דיך דײַן קינד“. . .
ס׳יאָמערט און ס׳װאָיעט
אין פֿעלד אום דער װינט.

„דער טאַטע — ניטאָ.
װער װײס װוּ ער איז?
עס האָט אים געפֿאַנגען
אַ גרױזאַמער ריז.
די נאַכט שװאַרץ געװען איז
װען דאָס איז געשען,
נאָך שװאַרצער דאָס פּנים
מײַן מאַמעס געװען. . .”

אין װאָגל פֿון טאָג,
אין װאַנדער פֿון נאַכט,
אין אומרו פֿון שלאָף
ליגט דאָס קינד און עס דאַכט:
„אָ קינד מײַנס“! זי הערט שױן
פֿון טאַטן די טריט,
די מאַמע פֿאַרװיגט איר
און זינגט איר דאָס ליד:

„אַז דו װעסט אַ מאָל
אַ מאַמעלע זײַן,
זאָלסטו דײַנע קינדער
דערצײלן דעם פּײַן,
װאָס טאַטע און מאַמע
געהאַט האָט פֿון פֿײַנד,
פֿאַרגעס ניט דעם נעכטן —
דערמאָן עס זיך הײַנט!“

Song Title: Dos Elnte Kid

Composer: YankI Krimski
Composer’s Yiddish Name: יאַנקל קרימסקי
Lyricist: Shmerke Kaczerginski
Lyricist’s Yiddish Name: שמערקע קאַטשערגינסקי
Time Period: Unspecified

This Song is Part of a Collection

We Are Here Book Cover with Illustrations of a red rising sun

We Are Here: Songs of the Holocaust

Compiled by sisters Malke Gottleib and Chana Mlotek, this collection of 40 songs, issued on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, reflects the suffering, despair, longing, as well as the strength, hope and courage that led the last remnant of enfeebled Jews to take up arms against the mammoth Nazi war-machine. Save for five songs, this compilation comprises songs that were actually written or sung in the ghettos and concentration camps. Four exceptions written after the war: “Babi Yar,” “Moyshelekh un Shloymelekh,” “Kadish,” and “Mayn mame hot gevolt zayn oyf mayn khasene” are often presented at commemorative gatherings and were therefore included. The fifth song “Am Yisroel Khay” was written in a D.P. camp and is an affirmation of the will of the survivors to build new lives for themselves, holding high their belief in the endurance of the Jewish people. To enable readers and singers not conversant with the Yiddish alphabet to utilize this collection, We Are Here! Songs of the Holocaust provides parallel transliterations and singable English translations by Roslyn Bresnick Perry.

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