Words written on the first anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising in 1944 by poet partisan Shmerke Kaczerginski (see note about author in Friling). The music is by Leon Wajner (1898), pianist, composer, conductor and teacher. Wajner survived the war and settled in Buenos Aires, where he was active in Yiddish cultural life.

Illustration of musical notes from the books


The night does not end, the day does not dawn,
A bloodied world spins in momentum.
Jews flutter high as flags in a storm,
Flags in the valley of phantoms.

In ruins the ghetto — in slaughter the Jew,
He marches through flame and through fire,
Vengeance, yes, vengeance the night echoes too,
For children, for fathers, for mothers!

The snow falls and falls, yet the earth is not white,
The blood that it holds ever seething,
The snow and the ice call for vengeance to right
The torture of Jews and their bleeding.

There will be no day – calls the Jew – and no night,
The world never will be forgiven!
They who are lost, those who fell in the fight,
In us will forever be living!

We will remember the courage and pain,
Our souls filled forever with fervor,
And deep in our bloodstained heart chisel three words:
For vengeance! for vengeance! for vengeance!

S’farshvindt nit di nakht un der tog kumt nit on,
A blutike koyl vert di erd shoyn.
A yid flatert uf vi a shturmishe fon.
A fon inem tol fun di meysim.

In khurves dos geto, di yidn — in shlakht,
Der yid shprayzt durkh roykh un durkh flamen,
— Nekome! nekome! Es shturemt di nakht, —
Far kinder, far tates, far mames!

Der shney shit un shit un di erd vert nit vays
Es halt nokh dos blut in eyn zidn.
Es ruft nokh nekome af shneyikn ayz, —
Dos blut fun di heldishe yidn.

Keyn tog vet nit zayn, — ruft der yid — un keyn nakht.
Mir veln di velt nit fargebn!
Di velkhe zaynen gefaln in shlakht,
Eybik in undz veln lebn!

Mir veln gedenken dem vey un dem mut,
Es fibert in gli di neshome.
Krits oys zikh in hartsn dray verter fun blut:
Nekome! Nekome! Nekome!

ס׳פֿאַרשװינדט ניט די נאַכט און דער טאָג קומט ניט אָן,
אַ בלוטיקע קױל װערט די ערד שױן.
אַ ייִד פֿלאַטערט אױף װי אַ שטורמישע פֿאָן
אַ פֿאָן אינעם טאָל פֿון די מתים.

אין חורבֿות דאָס געטאָ, די ייִדן — אין שלאַכט,
דער ייִד שפּרײַזט דורך רױך און דורך פֿלאַמען,
— נקמה! נקמה! — עס שטורעמט די נאַכט, —
פֿאַר קינדער, פֿאַר טאַטעס, פֿאַר מאַמעס!

דער שנײ שיט און שיט און די ערד װערט ניט װײַס,
עס האַלט נאָך דאָס בלוט אין אײן זידן,
עס רופֿט נאָך נקמה אױף שנײיִקן אײַז, —
דאָס בלוט פֿון די העלדישע ייִדן.

קײן טאָג װעט ניט זײַן, — רופֿט דער ייִד — און קײן נאַכט,
מיר װעלן די װעלט ניט פֿאַרגעבן!
די װעלכע זײַנען געפֿאַלן אין שלאַכט,
אײביק אין אונדז װעלן לעבן!

מיר װעלן געדענקען דעם װײ און דעם מוט,
עס פֿיבערט אין גלי די נשמה,
קריץ אױס זיך אין האַרצן דרײַ װערטער פֿון בלוט;
נקמה! נקמה! נקמה!

Song Title: Varshe

Composer: Leon Wajner
Composer’s Yiddish Name: לעאָן װײַנער
Lyricist: S. Kaczerginski
Lyricist’s Yiddish Name: ש. 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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