« Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page »

[Page 378]

The Yellow Star

Five Years Ago

Written by: Imre Horvath

Translated by:†Susan Geroe

For five years now the fights did roar
and madness raged and fumed the war,
even good people stopped thinking rationally.
Perhaps not you, but reasoning slipped generally,
righteous men were mainly hanging from a rope:
the righteous way became a dangerous slope!

Disaster came upon distress - and now the last straw! -
I stared at the screaming poster,
which swaggered rattling, shouting orders,
and I was dumbfound to read the infernal document:
the cursed order passed by the government -
and witnessing the birth of the ghetto law.

I felt I was turning white and chalky.
I was thinking of them:† of Zsuzsiís family.
What was to happen?† What will come to her?
At noon, when I took my farewell and said good bye,
I pointed out to her a passer by:
- If theyíre like him, to hate my own kind I will learn!


2


“Zsu” quieted me: - You should not talk like that!
Please, donít drink!, she implored me instead.
We may greatly need you yet, perhaps…
(But I was yearning to drink at any price.)
A policeman pedaled by on a shiny bike,
four demonstrators followed a man of the Third Reich.

I sneaked back in the afternoon:† maybe…
and found them all there, that loyal family.
I watched them:† how well I knew each and everyone!…
and “Zsu” - to whom I took a short note from Otti -
out of gratitude and to cheer me up a bit,
even danced a few steps with me, she did.

Unceasingly I urged her:† “Please try to escape.”
The doorbell rang outside: a former maid came calling
to the house already enveloped in the dark.
But then she swiftly left in a raw silk dress, -
and I hated her as much as I hated me:
for poverty often negotiates compromise.

We reached our last light of day together.
At the gate, wearing dark glasses,
a dear face turned toward me slowly,
proving courage which can face disaster.
He too showed up, defying deathly danger:
It was “Izi”, - the defector.


3


I was hardly in, yet took my leave
(Let him truly speak at ease).
“Zsu” came toward us, encouraging me brightly:
-Try writing, work, happen whatever may!
This was her last friendly advice.
- Did you see deporting cattle cars?

She, who didnít harm a fly, was also taken.
…The seal from their house already torn,
but the jailerís solitude settled in there,
“Zsu”ís charm has long gone, but where?
Her harmonica stubbornly fell quiet-
why isnít there a marble plaque on her flat?

And why donít I die of shame in front of this house?
I hear the outcry of my “racially pure” timid blood,
what if - this is what makes me sick inside -† what if,
as an answer to the many deranged bandits
- who then were avid for all that stellar repertoire -,
WE also sewed on the yellow star? !


[Page 382]

Identifying the Murderers

Written by: Aliz W. Rosen

Translated by:†Susan Geroe

Souls are flying, floating to Berlin,
moving tanks on their tracks.
Souls are flying, floating to Berlin,
queuing on the corner of Unter-Linden.
Dead mothers with bodies petrified from pain
are marching in long files.
Mutilated men file in, rasping, rippling the oath:
“Our only right was to an anguished death,
and for our infants thrown in fire,
we're coming, butchers, to settle the debts!”

Souls are flying, floating to Berlin,
showing the way to the troops.
Naked bodies of women and boys
ignited in flames of petrol,
left in the snowy fields of the Ukraine,
in the bone freezing winter,
are screaming mutely onto the redden skies.
Passengers of trains and cars
fueled by cyanide and chlorine,
are crying in the wind:
“Our only right was to an anguished death,
for our dishonored murdered virgins,
we're coming, butchers, to settle the debts!”

Souls are flying, floating to Berlin,
a faster rhythm driving the motors;
galloping horses pulling train carts
they fly, powered by invisible wings.
Forests are trailing behind,
and on the trees of Vitebsk and Mostovo,
boys and girls are hanging in clusters,
their maimed, contorted bodies staring,
unrecognizable even to their mothers:
“Our only right was to an anguished death,
for our crushed beautiful young lives,
we're coming, butchers, to settle the debts!”

Souls are flying, floating to Berlin,
Their countless sighs tornados stirring;
revolutionaries, prisoners, scientists,
all lie in the furnaces of Lublin, Dachau,
Majdanek, Auschwitz, Birkenau,
in a ghostly world of rabid frantics;
but those tired furnaces burning with
four years of pyre, now start to march:
“Our only right was to an anguished death,
for the shaved off hair of murdered women,
we're coming, butchers, to settle the debts!”

Souls are flying, floating to Berlin,
looking down at the ravaged, extinct homes;
and upon the guilty city, curses rain
like windblown sand in a wasteland.
Among the droplets are my mother and sister,
friends, who have no resting place
between the sky and ground;
like sacrificial lambs they fell upon this land
and watered it with their blood.
“Our only right was to an anguished death,
but we're coming for
our grey-haired mothers' broken hearts,
we're coming, butchers, to settle the debts!”

Souls are flying, floating to Berlin,
future generations mortifying.
Those buried alive start marching:
the lime-pits, trenches, work battalions,
two thousand youths from Dombos,
with the warm smile of hope
on their handsome faces, arise.
Heroic rioters of the Warsaw Ghetto
are resounding trumpets of the judgment day:
“Our only right was to an anguished death,
in the name of justice and freedom,
we're coming, butchers, to settle the debts!”

Souls are flying, floating to Berlin,
where a big wheel overruns everything,
and nobody can stop anymore
history's fast flying train.
It is time to identify Cain,
and from every weapon, bone hands are aiming.
Wolves are lurking and howling,
but the dead know not forgiveness:
“Our only right was to an anguished death,
and now, butchers, we came to settle the debts
for a world you slaughtered and set afire!

Arad, 1945

« Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page »


This material is made available by JewishGen, Inc. and the Yizkor Book Project for the purpose of
fulfilling our mission of disseminating information about the Holocaust and destroyed Jewish communities.
This material may not be copied, sold or bartered without JewishGen, Inc.'s permission. Rights may be reserved by the copyright holder.


JewishGen, Inc. makes no representations regarding the accuracy of the translation. The reader may wish to refer to the original material for verification.
JewishGen is not responsible for inaccuracies or omissions in the original work and cannot rewrite or edit the text to correct inaccuracies and/or omissions.
Our mission is to produce a translation of the original work and we cannot verify the accuracy of statements or alter facts cited.

  Oradea, Romania     Yizkor Book Project     JewishGen Home Page


Yizkor Book Project Manager, Lance Ackerfeld
This web page created by Mike Kalt

Copyright ©1999-2014 by JewishGen, Inc.
Updated 8 Jul 2008 by LA