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[Page 190]

My sister Nechome

By Merel Kuper (Portnoy–Kuperstokh)

Translated by Nathen Gabriel

Of you, my Nechome, I remember,
Those years for which I pine.
You never leave my thoughts
Your pale face, long braids.
You were left alone –
Driven by the storm of destruction.
No one to protect you
From the slaughter of the Nazis. My little sister, my caring one,
So fine of character,
From childhood on They did mistreat you.
Your flaw – a deformed eye
But light and lovely your bearing.
With downcast gaze,
You yet saw all.
Feeling the pain of others
Your days full of sorrow. But how bright was that day,
I remember as now,
From the doctor you came
Bright–eyed, with joy.
A new life was coming
How high were your hopes.
– but disaster was ready
And our parting was near. Who could have thought,
That a sword would slash
Sisters, young and old,
So cruelly, so cold!
Infants and young lives
Father and mother hopes, –
How could it happen
And how could God witness?
Hard to believe even now
Who could have sent the Nazi evil;
Who defended the brutal
When Jewish blood gushed forth?! I ask and I shudder,
Having been never too brave,
And where is the Watcher of Israel
One no longer asks in wonder.
When a lone sister
So pure of heart ––
Went with her People
A young sacrifice on the altar.
Nechome, your words at the railway station
Haunt my every step.
The song that you used to sing,
Never stops ringing in my ears.
Your words of parting so lovely – how could this have happened?!
Have you achieved a family, Nechome,
Who will avenge you? And yet I was always so certain
That I would see my sister again.
My heart bleeds
And all is black
Remembering night and day
That all were slain! Grief torments and burns me
At the mass–grave in the forest
Where brothers and sisters lie,
Of slaughtered Jewish lives;
Their blood cries out demanding;
Remember, Remember, Remind!
Let our People always remember
What the Nazi–enemy did to us.

 

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