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[Page 71]

In Paradise Behind the Iron Curtain

On the ruins of the Jewish Vatican in Sadagura, which was abandoned by the almighty G-d, Jehovah, the power of the “god” Stalin now rules and makes half the world tremble.

The year is still 1944, and the jackals and hyenas sing songs of praise for the leaders who lead the disguised slaves to the chopping block. God Stalin doesn't stop the youth of the conquered territories from being taken and thrown into the world conflagration as “voluntary patriots.” “Sa Stalina i sa Rodina” is permitted every inhumanity.

And if you dare to complain, may G-d be with you! The dogs will be the executors of your will.

Write instead a clever “auto-biography” – try to pass yourself off as the son of a washerwoman or as a thief – get yourself documents that prove you are an old “jail bird” or that you have “sticky fingers,” and then you'll have a chance of living peacefully in paradise.

If you dare to have a fat belly or have “capitalist parents,” then you'll have to go for a “vacation” in Siberia to become a respectable Tovarisch [comrade].

Caution is the mother of the china cabinet.

Czernowitz, March 11, 1945

My dear son, Eli Rubinstein, in Kansk (Krasnojarski Krai), Siberia

Because of the censor, I will say that I am very happy to know that you have done your soldier's duty to the full satisfaction of your superiors – and I will try to answer your question, “why so many Jews emigrate from Czernowitz,” objectively with an article. In my capacity as Manager of the cooperative, “Wilna Pratzia,” I see everything without eyeglasses and hope that the censor will cut out less than half of this article.

From the Diary of Neczalnik Zech

The production quota for a single day, March 10, 1945 – 8 am – under the hen house – – –

Three skinny hens yawn in a careless way, lose track of time and don't hear the rooster crow – and will probably be taken before the chicken tribunal to be punished for neglecting chicken discipline.

Above in the Manager's room – – –

After a vigorous sounding of the pre-flood bell, there appears a pair of torn lady's shoes, covered with snow, squeaking from the adhering frost. In the shoes are the paper-wrapped feet of Comrade Rosa Bakal, normally the famous friseur [hairdresser], but today the representative of the honored Frau “Oborschitze” [Ragamuffin], Brettholz Simchonowna. She comes because she has to in order to get the key for Station 2. She yammers, for the love of G-d – last night a fresh deep snow fell – impossible to walk – where should she get wood for heating in Station 2?

Since the honored Frau Oborschitze has a toothache and it is freezing today, she, as deputy, must take care of everything – and she can't do it. Much discussion, with no resolution. In the entryway, she inconspicuously takes several pieces of wood and leaves. Adieu.

9 am in Station 2

The young supervisor, Johanna “Curly-Locks” Chochlowna, arranges her blond curls and yawns – not enough sleep – her husband, the lieutenant, had leave and gave her no rest. No surprise, young people, good appetite.

The Oborschitza – deputy – blows into the sheet metal oven, apparently to warm it. The one-legged Schwabe [south German], Josef Zeug, sharpens a razor and sings a song, pitifully. The Kassierscha [cashier], Perl Feige Davidovna, is not present and on the orphaned cashier's table, yesterday's blocks go begging – everything normal.

Only the grey-bearded Tepper Isakeseu is working and exceeds the norm – by two meters.

Then Neczalnik Zech [The Managing Secretary] appears. He checks the attendance book and notes that the cashier and Oborschitze are not there. Everything is dutifully recorded, the good and the bad – and basta [enough]!

Apparently, then, in another world, it will be decided who is most responsible for the disorder – the blond supervisor or Manager Zech.

The sly Kassierscha of Station 1, Rella Lenowna, wears new shoes, walks around majestically, and waits for Manager Zech so she can give him the quota figures from yesterday.

My goodness, the little Inkasso – that's the only way it can be, because Maruschka-Giza with the little mouse eyes has Wichodnoj and the old “Jeke,” Noger Brunno, worked for free in asylum – and the cleaver, Mechale Reinstein – you know – works only until 5 pm – afterwards he will absolutely not work for the state anymore.

Good, good dear Rella Leonowna, innocent lamb! But our Chief Bookkeeper, Towarisch Feiger (he is also worth his pay), has determined that our famous hero “Mechale” works diligently in the morning before 9 am as well as in the evening after 5 pm by the light of a thick candle, which his dear “Jettik” holds in her own hand.

When will you take this money away?

Rella Leonowna, the naοve innocent lamb, is never at a loss for an answer.

“What can I do about what happens when I'm not here?” asserts Mechale. If he works with his tools, it's none of the state's business. Besides, he has expenses – for material (and for bribes for the witnesses) – and finally, no one knows except Rella Lenonowna, the director – and all the employees of the cooperative.

“Good, good, Mutzika – (Katzerl) – but why didn't your people go to see the doctor? The white coats are not freshly washed, and the wash is not sorted.”

Rella Leonowna is never embarrassed. “Yes, yes, Tovarisch Manager, you are absolutely right, but the workers are asking me something completely different: “Why don't we have any ration cards in order to buy chicken at 6 rubles (instead of 60)? Why don't we get any wood and no sweetener? Why don't we get any more material for work? Why is an extra 15% being taken in addition to the 50% agreed on in the contract? And finally, why are we being paid so late that we can starve before we get the few pennies?”

Manager Zech shakes his head and doesn't answer – and quickly leaves. Rella laughs. 11 am – in the “Prawlenie” of the cooperative.

There the waves go high – – – The “Magazineur” Steinmetz, reclaims by “Zamestikel” Gόnsberg the missing bill. The female personnel search for the runaway, and the “chief book keeper,” who squints with one eye and ignores so much, doesn't find enough “words of censure” for the “beauty failings” of the office. Our “Chief Book” is the “best musician” among the bookkeepers – and, among the musicians, the best bookkeeper – but when he says something, he has his facts 100% correct.

Right, shmight – With Feiger and Gόensberg no one is right, except for Fieger's right-hand lady, the dark-eyed Fanerl Bernstein. But, but she accomplishes enough – for her part.

Then Manager Zech storms in and angrily calls for the director, Meschel!

In the “director's room,” he meets only the deputies, Feldman and Bleck. They listen to his complaints, agree with him, use all the lamps as witnesses, shrug their shoulders and refer him to the director who should return any minute.

Whether you want to or not, you must be patient and wait. Meanwhile, the quota figures from Stations 1 and 2 are taken to the cashier. Chief Bookkeeper Feiger criticizes the meager amount, threatens to close the stations because of “un-profitability” – threatens only, because how will he make up the losses? And so it goes and so it has to be.

Finally, at 12 o'clock the director appears and quickly brings order.

Manager Zech answers none of the questions that are thrown at him and demands solutions.

Director Meschel listens quietly, squints with his squinty eye, this way and that, laughs understandingly at the lamp, and makes a quick decision.

Send Anton Chowanetz as supervisor to Station 1 – he will straighten things out – and in Station 2, you will have to watch Johanna. We will discuss the rest at the end of the month – that's it.

1 pm in the cafeteria

My G-d, already all places are occupied! A mob of workers wait for chits. Without chits, you can't get any food. And the Kassierscha Mόk won't give out any chits as long as the Supervisor Singer isn't there.

Although you pay 200 rubles every month (voluntarily) as a subsidy for wood – and every day you fork out 5 rubles per head – you have to wait, even when you are swallowing your spit. Complaints to the director, Dr. Merdlinger, are in vain. “A kingdom for a horse!” Crowding, screaming, pushing, complaining – everyone wants to get a seat!

Meanwhile, you can pay the well-padded Mizi at the buffet 20 rubles for the so-called appetizer and side dish.

But do you understand the time? If so, then quickly come to an understanding with “top dog” Frau Roth – she knows which hour has struck. And you should know it, too, and then everything will go smoothly

By the way, Hitler is supposed to have eaten here for three weeks – with this silverware – but without hands!

Meanwhile, it is after 3 o'clock – and the beloved work begins again.

From 3 to 6 in the afternoon

File the documents – from the sanitation officials, the rent office, water tax, bills – general examination of the income and expenses of all stations – tracking of the tools, white coats, laundry, pharmacies, and the cards for doctor's visits – and blast! Wood, wood and again wood.

You see, after such a long period of spring weather and then all of a sudden, such waves and drifts of snow – like in Greenland now, two weeks before Easter! But, in the “Prawleine” you can complain to the walls. If you live that long, wood will arrive in May. Until then, sell your suit and buy wood – otherwise, close the shop!

It is that bad – just like that – not better. One has to think about it practically at home.

At home – 8 in the evening

Go over the events of the day – write up lists for the coming day – arrange money, blocks and quotas for the coming day – and, perhaps, have something to eat.

10 at night

Only the nobility have electric lights in their homes – we poor people cook with water and work by oil lamps. The oil runs out – in the darkness one can't write. My head buzzes – and the work comes to a halt.

Whoever concocted the idea of “Manager Zech” should himself become Manager Zech.

It can't go on like this – I retire (for the umpteenth time)!

Dear Comrade Censor: Be honest and put down the red pencil. The letter meets all the requirements. Write “Approved” – with greetings from the old Manager Zech.

Ben-Saar Rubinstein

 

[Page 78]

Driven out of Paradise

The worm doesn't want to leave the horseradish – to him, it seems the sweetest place. Man clings to the piece of earth which is his home, for him it is the world. Time and circumstances force both worm and man to leave their clump of earth.


In the war of the “gods” Hitler and Stalin, many millions of people had to die – half the world was destroyed – and the most important achievements of humanity had to be thrown to the “war god” as fodder.


In the “Land of Beech Trees,” the mood was dark. Just like in 1941, in 1946, all men between the ages of 18 and 50 were conscripted or sent away to work. Informers blossomed. The place was crawling with political favorites, cronies and deserving partisans. The homeland calls! To rebuild rapidly, young women and girls were rounded up like dogs and sent away for months of hard work, and they would come back sick and haggard, not even daring to complain. Righteousness is without defenders. The insecurity of the individual leads to sleepless nights. The fear of the N.K.W.D. paddy wagons which silently cruise in the night, seizing citizens and sending them away, is impossible to explain.

The rude, cocky heroes (Eroi's), thinking it's fun to urinate in public, boldly proclaim in their drunken state that Hitler didn't do his work well enough because there are still too many Jews alive, who will hopefully soon be sent to the “white bear.” All these endearing remarks create a constant psychology of fear and an urge to escape from this paradise as soon as possible. And many thousands of Jews ask for permission to emigrate to Romania – not to remain in the Cuzist filth, but to go from there to Israel.


On April 14, 1946, at five in the morning, it was cold enough to freeze your ears off – pressed together like herring on trucks paid for at exorbitant rates, thousands and thousands of Jews speed over the Romanian border and arrived in Siret at six in the evening.

It is very painful – to leave, like a refugee, the homeland which one had helped to build for an entire lifetime. But that was the will of the god Stalin, who was afraid of the sunlight of a free world and hid himself behind an “iron curtain.” Now we are free! He isn't, however, because the murderous hands of his friends are closer to him then he realizes.

 

[Page 80]

Literature

The last letter of Franz Schaika, May 18, 1950, without literary value


Franz Schaika is an obstinate philosopher, every one of his words brief, snappy and to the point. He doesn't scorn and despise anything so much as the group of writers which he calls “patriotispfestis” (patriotic liars). He makes an exception for the last Jewish troubadour, the Bukovinan “Schamscha-le Först,” whom he calls a clever fool, because he sacrifices the best years of his life for literature and ungrateful people, without helping them.

Although Franz Schaika in not a Jew, he understands the Jewish language and the Jewish soul perfectly. And after the withdrawal of the Russians in 1941, as the Romanian 14th Dorobanten entered Czernowitz and shot countless Jews, he was able to cry childlike tears over it because he was unable to help them.

Although for his part he helped and did enough, his honest soul was very saddened that such inhumanity could occur – and that there were writers who glorified these terrible deeds in the press. Thus his hatred for the writers' guilds.

But he didn't consider the songs of grief written by Schamscha-le Först as literature – but rather the scream of pain of one unjustly condemned against his unscrupulous judges.

And who are these judges? That very same guild the people persuaded to ennoble and improve the public, and teach them to defend human rights. Thus and therefore, the guild claimed first place in society – and played first fiddle in the concert of politics.

They want to prove that they have provided incalculable services – for slaves, Romans, Germanics, Indians [from India], Indians, Mongolians, Negroes, Christians, Jews, heathens, Semites, anti-Semites, Arabs, Moslems, Mohammedans, Socialists, Communists, Cuzists, Hitlerists and even Zionists.

On the sweat of their faces, they use so much paper one could wrap the world three times over in it – and so much ink that one could make an ink bath for the earth. – –

The people gladly pay the costs and are not stingy about it – naturally, because it is for noble literature that enlightens mankind and guarantees his freedom.

For these noble ideas, thousands work – writers, poets, philosophers, singers, preachers, speakers, phrase crafters, ministers, rhyme smiths, iambic writers, browsers, publishers, reporters, ink blotters, proof readers, word acrobats, lawyers, critics, story tellers, romantics, lyricists, satirists, humorists, journalists and other comedians who ride with the muse of Pegasus in order to celebrate the beautiful times on Olympus. Themes? One gets them from a spring that is inexhaustible. Depending on the time and the honorarium, one can exalt Greece, the Hellenes, Spartans, Zeus, Juno, Athens, Sparta, Troy, Paris, the beautiful Helen, Agamemnon, Odysseus, Achilles, Hector, Andromache, Homer and Xanthus. Or the Valhalla, Wotan, Friga, Tor, the Aesir, the Walkόre, the Nibelung; and when it suits them, they glorify Hitler, Goebbels, Goering, Schleicher and Streicher. In an emergency, Terech, Abraham, Sara, Hagar, Ismael (Itzchak), Isak, Loth, Rachel, Lea, Esau-Jakob, Dina, Moses-Jetro-Zipora and Mohammed will do.

This entire literature, sweated out over a thousand years, was unable to put an end to the production of weapons. East and West compete in the production of murder weapons – and brag about the fact that they are so far advanced that they are able to destroy the whole world including mankind and its literature.

Even the UN, the chaste daughter of the League of Nations – in the glass house which was created to protect mankind – is woefully inadequate because not the interests of mankind but those of the giants of east and west are represented there.

And the atomic bomb carries more weight than all the writers and literature of the world, who for thousands of years used work and capital, energy, paper and ink – in bulk quantities – for the freedom of man's spirit. Franz Schaika is a “revolutionary.” He hates the writer's guild as cowardly “pen pushers” who never, or at least not always, took their duty seriously.

Instead of making the weapon manufacturers harmless, in the interest of mankind, they churn out worthless word games, for example: “Pet Names and Insults in 30 Shades for Eva's Granddaughters,” by Justus Paskudniakus – call girls, amazons, paramours, ladies, dragons, whores, angels, misses, working girls, baby machines, geishas, hyenas, sorceresses, witches, coquettes, courtesans, muses, mistresses, matrons, nymphs, nuns, Norns, Nikes, priestesses, suffragettes, web weavers, manipulators, vixens, Valkyries and broads.

It could be that this wonderful literary work was written at that time by a certain sort of idle flatterer for the safety of mankind, but it certainly hasn't helped it.

Who among the masses of workers – upon whose shoulders rests the weight of the world – would flippantly assert that he agrees, at least in this little selection, with the bombast of the purveyors and their literature.

Who will guarantee with a peaceful conscience that the United Nations possesses the power to protect mankind from injustice? But that the literature from East and West is “iron and concrete” – of the weapons producers, the atomic bombs and diplomats – and d d digs the grave for the cosmos, the worker can grasp without literature.

In his last letter of May 18, 1950, Franz Schaika writes: “The Jewish Vatican in Sadagora is exactly like the Christian residences abandoned and forgotten by the old god. Red-tainted Hitlerists and brown-schooled Stalinists concern themselves with creating a new god. But the atomic bomb will bury them with their gods and their literature – as well as mankind – sooner than they believe.

Franz Schaika is a hidden philosopher! He hates the writers' guild with his entire soul, and he holds them responsible for the thousands of years of misused literature and the useless chants which guaranteed the world destroyers the possibility of ruling the world and obliterating it. Will it happen soon or in 100 years? For Franz Schaika, the literature has absolutely no value anymore.

For that reason, he loves the Jewish troubadour, Schamsch-le Först, and his bold songs, which say that, with the downfall of Israel, the whole work of culture will collapse. Let us wait 100 years in order to be persuaded whether Franz Schaika is an obstinate philosopher or a prophet.

Beth-Shaan 1956 The Village Uncle
Ben-Saar

 

[Page 83]

Thoughts of a Self-Taught Author

Powder smoke, cannon thunder – hate and brother-murder
Superstition and dumb jokes – now break records
Tremendous sacrifice, deceit and perfidy,
Lies and deception – megalomania – tear the world in pieces.
You can stay calm about it – don't give up hope
Atom bombs are ruling – a shame to bother your mind
Console yourself, it was always so – impact without regrets.
Times that honor harmony will never be.

My dear friends!
Concerning my modest lecture on May 11, 1956 in Tel-Aviv, I received several letters which pleasantly surprised me. The impertinence of calling me an academic sounds like the polite flattery of telling an old maid that she is a lassie. I would like to set this world-shattering error straight by saying that I am neither a poet nor an academic but a simple self-taught writer. My “universities” were the workshops of tailors, hair dressers, cabinet makers and the factory. My professors were: need, misery, anti-Semitism, Zionism, socialism, Hitlerism and partisanism. Every “ism” pushed me into the class war and taught me that you will always remain a figure being pushed around on a chess board, and until you gain this understanding, the death knell sounds and you are thrown to kingdom-come. When now and then I ride Pegasus and am in a good humor, it is only because I can put down the hiking staff and sleep peacefully. As a Jew who had to buy his citizenship four times from slave handlers left and right – and in spite of this was often forced like a hunted animal to make myself invisible in forests, hollows and camouflaged hiding places, in order to not die before my time – I learned the following:

The man in mankind becomes an animal, while evermore the animal in mankind strives to become a man. Meanwhile, I as a Jew have achieved my goal. Riches do not bring the greatest sense of happiness – there is a much greater one! Your own earth, your own land, your own weeds, your own roses. And when the “Jordim” [wandering Jews of the Diaspora] are struck by blindness and don't want to put down the hiking staff, they are to be pitied. If I am not an academic – and understand little from academic wisdom – there is one piece of wisdom that I do understand:

My land was desert – sand and stone,
through our industry – a flower garden
a jewel now – small but mine
may it be ours – eternally.

Ben-Saar (Rubinstein)

 

[Page 85]
Mordechai (Bubi) Rubinstein

 

  What the “old ones” had sung
twitter the young

Thanks to an act of providence I was successful in bringing my honored father, Herr Ben-Saar, out of the Diaspora to Eretz Israel.

Whether the Pegasus ride is useful for him or the world, it is all the same to me. Intellectual pursuit, in any case, is a noble profession.

Concerning the publication of the second volume, “Old Stories,” I am allowed to accompany my father a short way on his spiritual journey and to add several things from my work about our holy Medina.

With the agreement of the publisher, I would like to add to this book some contributions from members of our Landsmanschaft [association of immigrants from the same shtetl], Mrs. Emma Ausländer and Mr. Dr. Dagobert Zucker.


Beth-Shaan, 1956 Mordechai Rubinstein

 

[Page 86]

“Shir Hashirim”

The High Song – from Sand
Sand, sand, sand! – right and left – only sand -
No house, no tree, no green blade of grass – a sea of desert sand –
Early morning, the sun rises – over the cool land,
In the evening then, to bury itself – in the hot sand.

Many thousand years they searched – the Jews for land here,
pleaded – to G-d – for help – on the hot sand,
plodded with empty stomachs – through the fiery desert.
Above their heads the heavenly flags – below – hot sand.

But the heroes, despite everything – didn't give up
despite mosquitoes – lack of water – in the hot sand,
explored, valiantly – further – and with much understanding,
until they finally found water – in the desert sand.

Water! Water! Nectar from heaven! – coming from G-d's hand
and soon grew –Jewish villages –in the desert sand.
Trees, herbs, food – greened next to one another,
Jews suffer, Jews create – here – in their own land.

This made the Arabs angry – and also England
fell murderously upon the Jews – in the desert sand
Mufti, el Husseine (Haman) joined forces with Hitler,
stoked the war on earth – a world on fire.

Six million Jewish victims – also Christians of all kinds
devoured by the brown “Hitler beast,” the disgrace and shame of the world!
Then the G-d “Jehovah” – held up his right hand,
shattered Hussein – and the Nazis – destroyed the Hitler land.

The UN saw the writing on the wall – quickly decided -
the “mountain of sand” – where the Jews lived – was their own land.
Guarantied by all powers – without resistance
No one can – disturb the Jews – in their own land.

But the seven Arab powers – lost their minds
declared war with sword and fire – against the Jewish land
and the millions of souls – that Hitler had burned
came to help – their brothers – in the hot sand.

Battered the Hussein bands – one after another,
until the cowards pleaded for peace – to the people in the sand.
Now Israel has become free – fields of flowers in the land.
Ships bring “free brothers” to build our land.

Water, oil, salt and iron – come out of the sand
Jewish hands – plant forests – in the Jewish land.
In the harbors – ships bring – all sorts of treasures,
A world of friends come – build – our land.

Enemies gnash their teeth – their hope, scorn and shame
And the Jewish armies –courageously protect – our land
And the high Song of Songs – that the world has recognized
Jews suffer – Jews create – from the sand – a wonderland.

Beth Shaan, 1956

Mordechai (Bubi) Rubinstein

 

[Page 88]

Murder and the World's Conscience?

The Jew – spilled his blood – for many people,
And today you stand there, you all are silent,
One murders more of our sons, daughters,
I accuse – and ask you – why?
Was it not enough – the sacrifice? – Millions!
Through Nazi propaganda – coarse and stupid,
which you, too – didn't want to take care of,
You poor humanity, tell me – why?

Now, G-d has given us – a new land,
That we have plowed with blood – around,
Let us finally – work and live,
How does that bother you? – Why? Why?

Don't let the powder barrel – go up in flames
In the last hour, I warn you – turn around!
And if you fan – the fire of hell on earth,
it will burn you with it – And do you not ask why?

M. Rubinstein, Beth-Shaan

 

[Page 89]

Little Tree of Israel!

Let the Bäumchen [little tree] – just become a tree
Wicked men – here on earth.
Pluck not – of the tender leaves
have patience – and wait.

Bäumchen will not despoil the region
with time – it will provide shade
and it will grow large – and larger still
an adornment – here upon the earth.

And when it becomes a tree – all will use it
above all – to shelter from the heat
then will it certainly – bear fruit,
but let it first – set its roots.

Oh, let the Bäumchen – become a tree
get used to – treasuring it
then will you – at its sight
feel true joy – and delight.

A strong tree – with firm bark
resists the rain – and the wind,
rich in branches – laden with fruit
will do no harm – to the world.

G-d “Jehovah” – will uplift
this tree – to a free life.
An adornment – here on the earth –
Let the Bäumchen – just become a tree.

 

[Page 90]

Don't forget!

“Dialog”

1) The Expatriot!

I want to forget – want to forget, all the bad that happened – what I saw,
I want to forget – want to forget, what I heard, what I saw –
To begin a new life now – there abroad – only not here,
I want to forget, want to forget – what I heard – what I saw.

Can I not live in freedom? Must I be eternally tormented here?
Always to hover in danger? We have suffered enough!
Can I not want to forget all the evil that happened?
I want to forget, want to forget – what here I heard and saw.

2) Reason!

Don't forget, don't forget! – resounds to you in an echo
Don't forget, don't forget – who has destroyed your happiness.
Don't forget the Diaspora lands – all, all around
which saw the murder of the Jews – did nothing and were silent –

Don't forget the death camps – don't forget the pain and torment
the branded camp numbers, the yellow star of Cain's time,
Don't forget the “Jewish soap” – made from Jewish fat –
Offered for sale at the markets – and the world? it laughed.

Don't forget the millions – brother Jews – who were gassed
In the death chambers – think of your own that you have there
Let float before your eyes – all that happened to us,
Take hold of reason – dear brother – reflect – and remain there.

Stay in our free land – begin a new life,
Break the walking stick in pieces – remain a free, strong man.
Let go of the foreign gods – let go of wandering evermore,
Don't forget, don't forget – Israel – is our home!

Beth-Shaan, 1956 Rubinstein Mordechai

 

[Page 92]

Short Table – Murder of Jews and Forced Baptism in the Countries of Europe

The Jordim in Table Form [Jews living in the Diaspora]

Year Country Ruler Event
1056-1106 German lands Heinrich IV Crusades: 100,000 Jews murdered
1228 German lands Friedrich II Crusades: 12,000 Jews murdered
1349 Germany Karl IV Ritual murders, burning of Jews
1171-1191 France Filip August Blood libel, burning of Jews
1275 England Edward I Forced baptism, Jews murdered
1360-1526 Hungary Ludwig the Great Conversion of Jews, expulsion of Jews
1481 Spain Ferdinand and Isabella Inquisition, 300,000 Morranos [Spanish Jews] murdered
1498 Portugal Manuel Inquisition, forced baptism
1648-1658 Poland Jahann Kazimir Cossack chief Chmelnitzky murdered half a million.
1681-1686 Ottoman Empire Mohamed IV Murder of Jews in oven by German princes
1740-1780 Austria Maria Theresa Expulsion from Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia
1774-1789 Turkey Abdul Hammid I Massacre of Jews
1903-1906 Russia Alexander II Pogrom: Kiev, Odessa, Kischenew – 40,000 dead
1939-1944 Italy Emanuel Deportations by Hitler and Mussolini
1941-1944 Romania Mihai I Death camps, Transnistria at Hitler's orders
1939-1945 German III Reich Corporal Hitler 6 million Jews dehumanized, murdered and gassed

 

[Page 93]

Emma Ausländer

The Yellow Star

On the left breast, we wore the yellow star,
the Star of David in the prescribed size
and yellow color. As demanded by hate:
so one can recognize the Jew from afar….

This was ordered to shame us,
as a sign that we were defenseless – and vulnerable.
As of today, even the smallest child
can vent his racial hatred upon us.

To sew the star securely is a brazen law;
so firmly that the police, or any man
with rough hands, can tug at it,
and if you don't do it – then the first trouble starts.

Then suddenly, the crackdown begins,
on all sides lurk wild vultures.
Are you looking for a hiding place? How will it help you?
You are struck by a club, a blow, a shove…

Have you ever experienced a crackdown?
Has the blood frozen in your veins?
Have you seen how they herd together
defenseless men – guarded only by hate?

Like hardened criminals, they are gathered
in large groups. What will happen then?
In their eyes, you can see the fear
which makes their throats constrict.

They know exactly what fate awaits them;
they are not the first and not the last
that the law breaks with the power of hate,
leaving them to disappear, buried in the night.

Fear exhausts them and they slink along –
for despair bends the boldest head –
hopelessness saps the courage
for they are driven by wild hoards!

On the left breast, we wear the yellow star.
We wear it out of fear, at all times.
But we hope, when the load becomes too great,
that G-d's kind help is no longer far.

Then they run, the ones who drive us,
and we look! The courage reawakens,
because they drink our blood with joy
and heavy are our teardrops.

Then the yellow star becomes like our symbol,
pressed on our breasts for a thousand years,
so that we, enchanted by foreign lands,
shall not forget the suffering of the ghetto.

Innocent victims, nameless pain:
deported, gassed, made into soap, burned!
One who recognizes this in his soul
wherever he lives, will be an Eretz-child:

That every tree felled by enemy hands
and every house are quickly restored,
that Israel's sun never sets,
its rays bathing an entire world…

 

[Page 95]

We Are the Anvil

We are the anvil – we've been hammered upon
By everyone for 2000 years,
And glowing iron scorches us.
We are constantly threatened by danger.

We are bound with brazen chains
And terrible scars adorn us:
We allow it for we are the anvil.

They hammer by day and hammer by night
With powerful blows upon us.
We must bow before raw power
And carry with us the mark of Cain,
And evermore sounds the clank clank.
It rings so merrily, but we are sick
And groan, for we are the anvil.

We once had a country in the East.
Like the Garden of Eden,
Jehovah protected with a mighty hand
The leaders around whom we gathered.
Now we must endure shame and scorn –
We are outcast and left by G–d;
They strike us for we are the anvil.

Demons, are your hearts of stone?
Has not a mother given you birth?
Our torment and pain brings you joy.
You have selected us as victims.

And we coil ourselves in pain and need.
Then you scatter into the dawn.
Woe to us, for we are the anvil.

Now listen! I want to sing a song for you –
Tremble before your servants!
Soon will come the salvation: the great blacksmith.
He will deal with you murderers.
He strikes with the hammer the chains in two –
The bonds fall and we are free:
Then are we no longer the anvil.
Tyrants, at the sound of the trumpets must you
In trembling masses stand before
The terrible avenging tribunal –
Then give up all hope.
Retribution is approaching – look on high.
To heaven cries the spilled blood:
Then will you be not hammer but anvil.

Dr. D. Zucker
Salame near Tel–Aviv

 

[Page 96]

Jewish Earth

Dedicated to my son, Eli Rubinstein

The sun wants to go to sleep – little birds sing evening songs –
I, enchanted, lie in the grass – kiss the earth – cry, tired –
I lie on my own ancestor's earth – and dream now a reality, a wonder story –
The muse bends over me, asking lovingly, “Do you want more?”
Is then, dear and kindly muse, ancestor's earth already a land?
Does not an abyss gape between tribes; Do we not lack care and understanding?
Truth is but the deceit of many – Diplomats large and small,
All around, lie to the people – and should I then be happy?
Teach the tribes, to be brothers – teach the brothers to be one,
My land will make me happy – illuminating like the sunshine.
Ben–Saar (Rubinstein)

 

[Page 98]

My Testament

February 4, 1956

Whether king or beggar, wise man or fool, we are merely microbes, miasma of G–d. Before the death which every creature carries with him from his birth, all are the same.

The discipline of Nature, which directs every comet, planet and individual in the world in its path and actions, is the order that no human comprehension can come to understand. Men, who think of themselves as G-d, and think of themselves so presumptuously that they can control Nature, are blockheads and as mortal as all the other creatures in the world.

One who thinks logically should always be prepared for death and should keep his balance sheet up to date – that is what one calls the last will and testament.


My entire life, up until the present day, February 4, 1956, I have worked either physically or intellectually, learned from wise men or fools, old and young, and have decided in the end that everything vain and worldly will decay.

I have lived life in all its variations to the fullest; serving, helping, been without means, debauched, been helpless, heroic, poor, rich, educated, illiterate, depending on place, time and circumstances. And from all this trumpery, one can take nothing into the nothingness. In all this time, my hands and my conscience have remained pure and clean. – That is my paradise! – Those who hoard earthly goods climb over corpses to their goal with besmirched hands and a heavy conscience, fear death, experience hell on earth, and they and their treasures are transitory.

About my treasures, I want to teach my descendents, if they can understand it, the following that will be useful to them. Only one who has learned much understands how little he understands – and one who has that much understanding rightly knows how to appreciate life. Understanding is the greatest treasure, which can never harm but can only help.

Learning and work give life substance and sanctity.


Fools consider themselves to be gods, their life a hustling and bustling, their hands and conscience soiled with filth, a hellish torment is their existence. Sensible people reap good and harvest nobility, their life is sown in blessedness.


Understanding people think as follows:
Avoid quarrels and strife; they rob the most beautiful time of a short life. Even gods fight with fools in vain. Let the fools win; then you have won much. Clever people don't quarrel; understanding unites them.


Be noble and good. If someone has sinned against you but as a pure penitent asks for your forgiveness, don't be more strict than G–d – forgiveness is more noble than revenge, which only leads to more sins.


A noble man does not curse – curses have no wings; they remain with the one who utters them and create filthy thoughts. Threats are the dull weapon of a furious weakling. Lies have short legs and are the companions of thieves and whores.


If you cannot give the beggar anything, a friendly word is also a gift, but to chastise him is a bad habit. If you kill a living thing that has not hurt you, even if it is a fly on the wall, it is a cowardly murder of a helpless creature, and its soul will dirty your conscience.


If you are a servant, be a loyal servant – don't misuse the trust that one has placed in you. He who is not capable of serving honestly will also not be capable of ruling.

If you are a ruler, then rule wisely, and don't forget that majesty is a responsibility. Do not misuse your power for greed and debauchery; remember the infallible rule: “The higher the climb, the greater the fall.” The toppled tyrant falls into a raging fire; the noble man on the other hand, falls into a feather bed held for him by his faithful ones.


Pour no water into your relative's wine; only pure wine will not become sour. Don't outsmart you siblings; protect them from harm, for it makes no difference which finger is sick, the whole hand will suffer, and if the hoop breaks, the barrel collapses – then the wine, the family and you yourself will flow into nothingness.


This is my last will and testament!

End of volume II

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