« Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page »

[Page 36]


World War

Invasion Calendar and War Songs

It is rare that people of different nations are as patriotic as were the citizens of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the time war was declared against Serbia on July 29, 1914.

Young and old were convinced about the “stroll” into Serbia, and on every corner even the children were singing songs of scorn and of victory, among them the newly created “Victory March.”

The Kaiser calls the people to arms! – against the tyrants
All followed the call immediately – to support the flag.

Refrain: Hurrah, with courage we go to war.
            Hit hard only with determination – ours is the victory.

Barely 14 days later, Russia declared war on Austria, and the first Russian attack followed on August 28, 1914, near Mahala and Bojan, where the Bessarabian regiments 47 and 48 were completely wiped out.

Just as everywhere else, here, too, in Sadagura at the Vatican, many friends and relatives parted from one another and promised hopefully to meet here again after the war. Here – in the Vatican, in this godly palace, which stood under the protection of the All High, All Powerful G-d.

The student, Justus, and the Schächter family were also discussing their future, and Justus advised them to flee to Bohemia as quickly as possible. War is a card game whose outcome no one can predict.

Justus had to join the army as a reserve officer, and so he left his manuscript in the care of “Preziosa,” the daughter of the old Schächter, asking her to keep in contact by mail so that he could send back his “literary work.” Like everyone else, he promised to meet here after the war. That was on August 28, 1914 – an embrace, a handshake, and Justus disappeared.

Hurrah, with courage we go to war.
Hit hard only with determination – ours is the victory.

Back at home, the Schächter family decided that, as soon as a wagon was available, they would go on into the unknown. Brother Max went to order a wagon. Father and mother prepared to take the most important things. Preziosa had nothing more important to do than to study the poems Justus had left behind

On the envelope was neatly written: “Dedicated to his muse, Preziosa, from her Justus.” She caressed every page, as if it were Justus himself, and devoured every verse and every rhyme as if they were delicacies.

And for Preziosa they really were delicacies. Never tiring, she read until late in the night. Preziosa tied Justus' writings neatly together and put them with her father's manuscripts, while her parents and brother, Max, packed their most important possessions and waited for the wagon they had ordered. The wagon would take them to Czernowitz for the time being where they would prepare for their further flight.

At the break of dawn on August 29, the wagon departed. Arriving in Czernowitz, they learned that they had escaped just in time because that very night, the Prut Bridge was to be blown up. Preziosa suggested they continue on immediately so as to get to Bohemia in good time. No sooner said than done.

At the railroad station, there was a terrible mob. Those who had money were able to flee into the interior. Too late, one realized that the disastrous “stroll” into Serbia was really a horrible war.

On August 31, in the burning heat of the sun, the panicked flight of the citizens began toward the mountains.

Most of the well-to-do residents of the city disappeared. Only the Metropolitan Archbishop, von Repta, the Jewish mayor, Dr. von Weisselberger, and the deputy mayor, Barleon, promised to remain with the people during this troubled time. In the event of occupation by the Russians, the people were to remain calm and cool-headed, to greet the enemy and quietly await events.

On September 1, Russian farmers attacked Sadagura; the city was plundered and everything was removed on wagons. Two farmers were shot by the citizens, and the rest escaped with their booty.

Austrian-Novosielitza burns

According to an extra edition of the “Volksfreund” (“The People's Friend”), Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey have declared war on Russia. Joyful crowds throng the streets in front of the Romanian and Turkish consulates and shout “hoch!” and “hurrah!”

The Gloom is Lifted

Already on September 2 the picture changes – at 10 in the morning, a Russian courier appears and demands that the mayor come to the sugar factory in Zuczka to negotiate with the Russians. At 11 a.m., the City Council goes there, and at 3 p.m., the city surrenders.

At 6 p.m., the Russian troops march into the city. At the head of the column, Cossacks on their little horses followed by artillery and then more Cossacks and then a sea of infantry. The city is transformed.

8:30 in the evening, the Russian flag is hoisted at the Magistrate and a Russian general makes a speech demanding a contribution of 650,000 kroner. After much pleading by the gentlemen, the Archbischop v. Repta and the mayor Dr. v. Weiselberger, the sum is reduced to 300,000 kroner which must be paid within 24 hours, because the Austrians did the same in Kamenetz-Podolsky.

And so that's what an invasion looks like.

On September 3rd, the weather was overcast. Endless columns of Russian troops. The mayor made a proclamation in which the population was asked to bring objects of gold and silver to the Magistrate in order to pay the “contribution.”

25 hostages, the most respected citizens of the city, were taken into custody, and in many streets, collection stations were set up to quickly gather the objects of value. Filled with fear in all the uncertainty, the citizens did their duty.

A proclamation by the Russian city commandant declared that: traffic is only allowed in the streets until 8 p.m.; the gathering of crowds in the street is forbidden and punishable by death; weapons of all types must be surrendered immediately. Everyone obeyed the orders.

September 6. – Mayor v. Weisselberger posted a sign stating that the Russians have decided not to collect the contribution, since the Austrians did the same thing upon leaving Kamenetz-Podolsky; and we wish to take this opportunity to thank the population for their readiness to sacrifice as well as their remaining calm.

September 8. – The new commandant, General Nawrotzki, made an appeal to the Poles and the Ukrainians promising them crown privileges (self-governing countries within the Russian “empire”) if they fought for Russia; otherwise, they were threatened with death. – Fatal situation. – Many employers dismiss their employees without notice. During the night, 60 people from the local militia are arrested, as they are suspected of being Russian soldiers who remained behind.

September 14. – The arrested militia members are released. The mayor advised the Jews in confidence not to pray in the prayer houses on the High Holidays for fear of a pogrom.

September 17. – The present governor, General Jewreinow, creates order! Yesterday MayorWeisselberger and several prominent citizens were arrested and taken to an unknown location. Dr. Bocancea, a Romanian, was designated mayor today. Mr. Erzbischof von Repta pulls all strings to get Dr. Weisselberger released.

September 26. – The mood is somber. Men from 18 to 42 years of age are afraid to go in the streets, because General Jewreinow wants to imprison the men of this age group. Many young people slip through to Wiznitz in order to enlist with the Austrians.

Six artillery pieces, together with their crews, disappear from Cecinaberg. The Swabians [from SW Germany] who live there are in agony to solve the riddle – but in vain.

October 20. – Great excitement! The Russians withdraw. All the stores close as if on command. From the balcony of the state government building, Governor General Jewreinow speaks to the population. He forbids the yelling of hoch or pfui as the Russians leave to prevent their taking revenge on the hostages.

The Russians leave according to plan, and with them go many of the Ruthenians who served the Russians as informers. Mayor Bocancea also leaves, taking approximately 100,000 kroner of the city's money with him.

The Russian flags disappear, and in their place Austro-Hungarian and German flags are hoisted.

November 16. – Clearly the first Russian invasion is over and life returns to normal, but since the 8th of November the Russians have again been making great efforts to occupy Czernowitz. The city was well fortified.

In the area near the Zuczka sugar factory, attacking Cossacks are mowed down like hay but come back again as if they grew from the ground.

Many Russian artillery pieces are placed on the Ritter estate, and “our boys” have only four pieces in the city which are continually moved from place to place to give the impression that we have many more weapons.

November 20. – It is terribly cold. In spite of a week-long, massive bombardment of the city by the Russians, and the appearance that an invasion is imminent, the recruitment is going smoothly. Many report voluntarily because they are hungry, and great trains of these recruits depart.

Outside the city, ferocious artillery and infantry duels take place, but within the city, the activity follows its normal, quiet routine.

November 23. – It is very cold. All men of military age are rapidly mustered and the same night, loaded in wagons and transported away.

Hurray, with courage we go to war.
Hit hard, only with determination – ours is the victory.

Three months later ---

In Leitmeritz, German Bohemia, the refugees didn't exactly sleep on beds of roses, but they were protected from the Russians who at that time were causing trouble in the Bukovina and thus in Sadagora, as well.

Preziosa and her family were worried about their possessions, which they had had to leave in Sadagora. But were happy they had followed the wise advice of Justus and were able to keep up a correspondence with him. In the meantime, their brother, Max, had also joined the military.

A short letter from Justus had just arrived in which he revealed that he was a reserve lieutenant in the 36th Infantry and his mood was very optimistic. Since he was neither a card player nor a drinker, he always had part of his pay left over; he therefore asked for permission to send his savings to Preziosa so she could hold them for him until peacetime came.

And father was very proud of his pupil whose good character traits didn't disappoint him.

Every month, a letter arrived as well as a sum of money, which over time grew to a respectable amount, but the longed for peace still didn't come. Good news was also received from Max.

The “stroll” to Serbia which was supposed to have taken 14 days became a world war – and the days became years, which the killing could not master.

On May 1, 1918, a small package arrived with manuscripts and a letter. Justus wrote:

Roveretto - Italy – April 3, 1918

My Dear Ones!
Not everything can or should one write. On March 7, I was in Auschwitz, Galicia, and I took my brother, Leon, to Czernowitz. I am convinced that the Russians are no longer there. Sadagura and the Vatican were destroyed. G-d did not protect this holy place. Many refugees have already returned and it is high time for you to return home and give up the refugee life, as well. High time! I have rented an apartment for you in Czernowitz. Here is the lease, just in case, and if I am not mistaken and we have luck, we will celebrate our reunion at home yet this year. My manuscript is enclosed. Stay well.

Father ran to the officials right away so as to speed up the transportation back. Mother developed a plan for packing their few possessions, and Preziosa went to work on the manuscripts, quickly reading them and putting them in order. Good news had also arrived from brother, who was also in the military, and Preziosa read the poems:


Haggard with tired eyes, groaning under their load,
Men, women, little children flee in wild haste
Away from their homeland, away from their loved ones, away into an unfamiliar world
All run, crying and moaning. And a cry goes up to heaven.
Is there no one in heaven, no one, who cares about our happiness?
A lonely bird sitting along the way twitters in scorn: “Now it is war.”

War Song

“Tell me,” the little boy asks of his mother, “Tell me what it means.
All children have fathers – where is mine?
Is he dead? Does he lie buried? Is he alive? Where is he?”
Why is the dear mother crying? Is it so hard to answer?

“No, my child, to tell it is not hard at all.
But that I myself do not know – that is what grieves me greatly.
When your father left, to defend the fatherland,
I carried you under my heart as a pledge.
Then child, my comfort in life,
When you came into the world,
The news of his death was given to me.
At that time, child, my last anchor,
I first knew that the world is dark and that men are bad.
But where he is buried? I do not know.
I only know that he has died – for the fatherland.”

Sadly, the child bows his little head, quietly asking himself,
“My father has died – and when will I?”

Krakow, the old fortress, March 11, 1916
Dedicated to my son, Max Rubinstein on his birth


The storm howls, the wind rushes.
It is now the haunting hour.
I alone go back and forth
Rapidly making my rounds.

I know not how it happened to me
And whether I saw it right.
It was probably nothing, but I saw
Two spirits standing before me.

Oh, have no fear, you worm
they whisper softly –
Only for a bet – with this storm
we sing – in our way

And then one of them began to sing,
Loudly, like a hurricane.
It was as if one clearly heard
The ringing of ten hundred bells.

He sang of powder and of lead
Of mines and grenades.
From murder unheard of
and soldiers courageous.

The “other” sang softly,
Very brief – and yet with fire,
Of my wife, of my child,
Who is to me so dear and precious.

And spellbound, I listened,
As he sang in his measured way,
And I swore no rest nor quiet for me
If I should forget my wife.

And I swore to behave “like a man”
And snore like an ape.
The wind soon increased to a hurricane
And woke me from sleep.

It really was already high time
To awaken myself, for then
My relief arrived. I was ready,
To turn over the duty.

The storm howls, the wind rushes.
I stretch my limbs
And think about my wife and child,
The dream Spirit, and the songs.

Novaledo, Field Post 223

Death and Destiny

When the people were unhappy, and the world became a frightening place,
Fate looked dismal. I said then very sadly,
“Work faster, Master Death. One must change men.
Mankind, that hates one another, one should teach to love.”

The Knight of Death came rapidly. The scythe glittered.
From the seat, out of the darkness, destiny called him.

Raging as if possessed, he runs, quickly doing his work,
Destroying, without mercy, young men and cultures.
Powder smoke fills the air – the earth becomes barren.
Suddenly, fate signals that order shall reign.

Quickly the news spreads – everywhere is joy.
Finally, one can live again – again shines the sun.
Choirs rejoice, tears of joy – greet the awakening –
“Ha, ha, ha” reverberates – in an echo –
Death and fate – laugh…

Since the God of War has become the master,
I am – as many others –
a plaything of his moods.
Cavalese Station 1917

Bukovina Homeland Song

Such a long time in the world now,
but nowhere does it please me.
To you, o homeland, I want to go
to that dear familiar place.

There, over the mountain heights,
where the thick beech forests stand,
in that region is a place,
to there, to there, I am drawn.

There, beyond the beech forests,
where the cannons thunder now,
where our army in the field
stands valiantly against the enemy.

There, where the waterfall foams,
the “Czermosch” flows into the Prut,
there is my dear mother.
She cries herself blind, she thinks of me.

But I hope it won't be long
until the terrible war ends –
then will I return, whole and hearty,
to the beloved land on the proud Prut.

Tirol, 1915


[Page 48]

Goods and Blood – for our Kaiser

(Melody: Sorenta)
Do you hear the cannons thunder?
Listen to the throat of fire moaning.
Enough blood has flowed now.
Hear the earth, it's droning.
Our most dear Kaiser calls the people to him,
To show the enemy our firm and true resolve.

All came deeply stirred – friends shook hands.
Goods and blood for our Kaiser,
Goods and blood for the fatherland.

Look, there a Bukovinian, standing on the watch alone,
firmly grasping his rifle – terribly dark is the night.
A bullet comes from “over there” – oh, how horribly painful.
It has struck into him – bleeding, he falls in the snow.

Dying, he sighs hoarsely, grasping the rifle firmly,
Goods and blood for our Kaiser,
Goods and blood for the fatherland.

It becomes quiet in the village, somewhere, in Steyermark,
From the hospital there, a black coffin is taken.
In it rests a young soldier, decorated with the Iron Cross.
He was to be operated on, but the pain has overwhelmed him.

Before he died, he sang softly, his hand pressed on the Cross,
Goods and blood for our Kaiser,
Goods and blood for the fatherland.

There in a little room, somewhere deep in the cellar,
an old woman cries, reads a letter from her son.
Her son, whom she nourished, an enemy has shot.
Struck directly in his breast, sick and hopeless now he lies.

Sighing, his mother reads the letter he sent.
Goods and blood for our Kaiser,
Goods and blood for the fatherland.

Look, an old soldier, head and beard are already gray,
At home he has left six children and a wife.
Terrible was the parting hour as he had to take his leave.
His dear wife and children, he pressed silent to his breast.

Consoling, he says so softly,
Extending his hand once more in parting,
Goods and blood for our Kaiser,
Goods and blood for the fatherland.

To the heavens' mighty gate, where the holy Peter watches,
come many dead soldiers, the fallen ones in battle,
demanding “entrance into heaven,” where the dear angels are,
Peter opens swift the gate, and lets them all come quickly in.

There sing all now, huskily, friend and enemy together,
Goods and blood for our Kaiser,
Goods and blood for the fatherland.

Dosso del fine, Italy, 1917.


[Page 50]

Eternal Play

Song for a Lute
Listen, people. I want to sing you the latest songs.
You strings, ring out loudly.
Ring and echo afar.
Ring and echo to the greatest distance,
Reach to the mountains and heights.
Let the stars in heaven be dimmed
with your sounds of woe.

The world has the branded years,
one thousand nine hundred fourteen to today,
The most terrible that has amazed man,
the time brings “on the market.”
Blossoming cities and villages destroyed,
Misery and want everywhere,
Terrible, the ranks of men decimated.
The world becomes a vale of misery.

Nations, they have seized such time before,
raised a cry of wolf.
Murdering bands, with polished swords,
spitting with powder and lead,
wanting to destroy and make war on each other.
Call it New Culture.
Blindly, the nations all seek to conquer;
what will be the result of this?

The result is impossible to find.
A spirit laughs at me – in my face;
So as always, epochs connect;
Men understand it not.
Didn't they fight, already in ancient times,
nations for privilege and rank?
Yes, there always was bickering and conflict,
sorrow with songs of grief.

I listen. The spirit, he speaks still
and asks, and asks, so much.
Where are the ancient nations now?
Where their victories and goals?
Where are the people, the world reformers?
Where is the spilled blood?
Where are the great ones, the brave leaders?
Seek and think only good.

And again and again, the spirit tells me
what injustice there is in the world.
My heart, which amazes me even more, becomes heavy,
I scream at him such that it echoes.
If, really, you powerful one, try to force
the rulers to accomplish, abandon –
I can understand you, can only sing songs.
But help the world – I can not.

Vöste, Hungary, 1917

Ben Saar


[Page 51]

The Simple Grave

I sat, so lonesome, by myself,
looked into the past,
thought about acquaintances of mine,
and the “golden time of youth,”
   Thought of the sweet days,
   about the “sunshine of youth,”
   knew nothing of trouble, sorrow,
   lived for the day.
      Not far, in the neighbor's garden,
      where the old fir trees stand,
      birds sing, all sorts,
      sing, oh, so wonderfully:
Among them, too, was one,
who from the battlefield had returned.
He sighed songs, heart-rending,
sung from the last “Great War”

   Sang about a young soldier
   who was drawn into the war,
   He vowed “only as a victor”
   would he return back home.
      In soft whispers, in the heights
      and in the bright silver brook,
      unseen spirits sighed,
      for that young soldier.

And the sighing, and the singing,
and the whispering in the brook,
make the gloom to be brought down,
and I sing along with them.
   Now shed for him a tear!
   early, at the young sunrise.
   He fell for the land's honor,
   died a brave hero's death.
      Secluded, a small path
      between unfamiliar mountain heights;
      on the cliff of one of the mountains,
      can a “simple grave” be seen.

Without any signs of honor,
only a little flower grows;
Soft whispers in the branches,
like a sweet angelic choir,
   Rest in peace, young soldier.
   May the earth rest light upon you!
   Like the “returning hero”
   will your name be praised.
      Long into the future will it echo,
      Songs of praise, full of thanks.
      Peace for all the ones who fell,
      for the good of the fatherland!

Voste, 1917 Ben Saar


[Page 53]

Later Fairytales

I. Airships

What swooshes and puffs, almost touching the heavens?
The radiance, the sun illuminates
An airship squadron, a dragon swarm.
The air there stinks of powder.

Like hungry vultures hunting for prey,
plunging themselves down on weak creatures.
So they buzz, too, the airship people,
And there they break their heads.

There everyone fights for the fatherland's honor.
In history will it be recorded,
and below, at home, flows many a warm tear
for those who have finished their struggle.

And when the war comes to an end,
the nations all reconciled,
one forgets the soldiers. One forgets the victory.
One is angry at those who call themselves heroes.

      Even those who experienced it all –
      trembled fearfully, shuddered with terror –
      are soon, even themselves, ready to believe
      that these are only fairytales from ancient times.

Komomea, Galicia, 1918


[Page 56]

More Recent Fairytales

II. The World War

What the world has experienced and experiences,
is really educational and interesting;
With fire and weapons, one strived for peace.
A world fire blazed – a terrible conflagration.

A hissing and screeching, a terrible din
from airships and trenches,
from submarines and cruisers, a moaning
of a youthful ending of lives.
There they all fight – with weapons
on water, in airships, in trenches
and all – strive for fatherland's honor
to have fought and bled.

      But when generations, in later times,
      of these events do not believe;
      one will think of it as fable, even the chroniclers,
      allowing it to be called a fairytale.

      Even those who experienced it all –
      trembled fearfully, shuddered with terror –
      are soon, even themselves, ready to believe
      that these are only fairytales from ancient times.

Komomea, Galicia, 1918

Father came back from the officials as Preziosa finished reading the poems; and the return home went faster and more comfortably then the flight.

On May 24, 1918, the family was already in Czernowitz. Justus and Max were informed right away that, considering the times, the apartment was very good. But many weeks passed and no answer came back.

Finally, on October 18, 1918, a letter from Justus arrived: “I am on my way with Max – healthy. If G-d allows, we will see each other soon! – Justus.”

Meanwhile, news trickled through of “revolution in the Ukraine” and “defeat of the Austrians” on the Italian front.

November 4, 1918. “Revolution in Austria.” “All on the Italian front captured” (probably due to betrayal by the Empress Zita). The monarchy falls apart – and the people are leaderless.

November 14, 1918. Finally, Justus and Max are home!

Solon! Solon! Solon! So ends the “little stroll” of the great Austro-Hungarian Empire against the little Serbs.

As a result, the Bukovina, the Land of Beeches, is occupied by the Romanians, and Czernowitz is renamed “Cernauti.”

Other times, other customs! Now one must learn Romanian and become familiar with anti-Semitism.

Epochal times! Hopefully, the fears are unfounded.


Invasion Calendar of Czernowitz 1914

As the great king Croesus lay on the funeral pyre, he screamed with all his might: Solon! Solon! Solon!

The victorious King Cyrus had him immediately freed and called for the wise Solon.

“I know how a king must die, and I ask not for mercy,” said King Croesus, “but because too late I understand the advice of the wise Solon, that is what caused me to call out for him.”

“Wise Solon! What advice did you give to your King Croesus?” asked King Cyrus.

And so spoke the wise Solon: “I said to my King Croesus who thirsted for war:
If you cross the borders of your land, you will destroy a great empire. But he didn't
want to understand the significance and went on to his doom.”

As the great Austro-Hungarian Empire attacked little Serbia in the “Sunday stroll war” on July 29, 1914, there was no wise Solon on hand to say, “If you cross the borders of your land, you will destroy a great monarchy.” And 1918 showed it to be true. The avalanche could not be stopped and beneath itself it buried the great monarchy.

Solon! Solon! Solon!

And the jackals and the hyenas sang songs of praise for death and the conscience-lacking diplomats who had conjured up the unholy war.


[Page 57]

The Approaching Second World War

Early Fall

As often as I look in the mirror – so cries my heart within me,
Oh, if it were only, oh, if it were only, a coarse carnival heart!
I am still young, barely 40 years,
On my head, already no hair,
I am a young, old man …..
Why? Why?....Who knows?.
The times were difficult even before the war. The work was so hard,
and our women suffered much, also the dear little children.
We slaved day in, day out.
Hardship was at home with us,
We bathed in sweat…
Why? Why?....Who knows?
Then the magnates invited an army of diplomats,
ordered a great war and a sea of blood.
And this terrible war
Destroyed our domestic happiness,
You see it – in black and white…
Why? Why?....Who knows?.
And the masses were stupid, followed them blindly,
Gave themselves to the murderers, left wife and children.
They lost their sanity,
Stoked the world fire
Where indeed it was so hot.
Why? Why?....Who knows?.
Who didn't want to go to war wasn't a man.
Men who didn't know each other were killing each other,
and the cripples' wailing anguish
Tells of corpses without number.
My heart freezes to ice.
Why? Why?....Who knows?.
The father murders the son – he was surely no magnate –
And the medals were the reward for this noble deed.
And he who has murdered much
Is called a courageous soldier.
Therefore all are diligent.
Why? Why?....Who knows?.
And after the war, one thought that it is now enough.
The wage earner goes to work, the farmer to the plow.
And the magnates praise much.
The mob, which was so brave,
Is stupid – and knows nothing….
Why? Why?....Who knows?.
Now, already, the magnates think about a new war.
They still believe the mob is stupid and lead it with skill.
Oh masses! Tell me quickly,
What has the war taught you?
Why am I an old man?
Why? Why?....Who knows?.


[Page 58]

Storm in a Water Glass

(An original advertisement)

There was a colorful commotion in front of the Czernowitz Justice Palace. Numerous women and girls from all levels of society, in spite of the early morning hour, besieged the building and shook their fists over the process which was to take place today, the 18th of February, 1930, against the woman-hating author, Justus.

In a small brochure, the evil-doer had taken a position against the suffragettes – and had shoved a sea of accusations into their innocent shoes, which must have outraged every suffragette.

Of all women, his own girlfriend, Bertha Stroh, a pugnacious lady who would fight with a madman, was at the head of the insulted women and assured that without mercy they would bring this sinner to his knees.

Just then, the implacable heroin arrived with a bundle of the accused's brochures as corpus delicti [evidence of the crime] under her arm, and before any one could do anything, all the copies were gone. The accused was distinguished by his absence and a murmur of displeasure went through the ranks of the fairer sex.

Because of the lack of copies, it was impossible to satisfy all the women and girls – and so the popular heroine offered to read a copy coram populo (before the public) to raise support for her point of view. With general agreement – and with much giggling – the heroine read loudly and distinctly:

Curious Thoughts of a Night Wanderer

Czernowitz 1928

All thinkers draw their wisdom from the same well. All get warmth from the same sun. Nevertheless, the method of thinking is basically different. I think thusly: every man has his head – every head his brain – and every brain has its own thoughts.

For me, the most important thoughts are my own, even when they are not the most correct.

The fight of the suffragettes for the equality of women proves that the heroines have fallen into the clutches of the diplomats. Otherwise, they would know that nature from time immemorial has given the worthy woman more than equality.

If the so-called equality, on paper, was natural and necessary, the dear Lord would not have created Adam first, but Eve. And notice: Eve had more than paper equality won in parliament – and destroyed for poor Adam his paradise.

That is the curse – the bad deed. One who brutalizes the laws of nature creates ugly creatures. The natural law stands for eternity, above all parliamentary laws. And what nature created – good or bad – is absolutely right.

Soon the suffragettes will be forgotten, as if they had never existed, but the natural laws will remain for eternity.

From apple trees come apples.
From pear trees come pears.
From sick people come sick children,
and from strumpets, strumpets.

Worthy wives laugh the good fortune of the house – and they easily achieve all wishes that are natural and appropriate. Scolding witches teach the world that the paper equality for which they fought is of no use to them.

Intelligent women are proud of their womanly dignity and thank G-d for this good fortune.

Women who want to be men constantly have misfortune. No singing, no smiling, only bitter scolding is the tone in this house. Wind, avoided by everyone like a depraved gramophone.

With intelligent women, there is singing in the home. They smile, they create satisfaction, they are the magnet, the ruler, the happiness – they are decisive for domestic tranquility – they are the blessing – they need no rights on scraps of paper.

The good, the noble need no propaganda.
The bad remain bad no mater how you paint them.
When the hen crows, it's a scandal,
a vain, corrupted masquerade.
The rooster should crow – the hen cluck.
Then will the chicks become healthy and strong.
If the hen wants to get into politics,
the goods are not suitable for the market.
If the hen wears the pants, the rooster is a jumping jack.
Then there will be crippled chicks.
If the hen crows and annoys the rooster
then begins the fighting in the house,
the atmosphere grows thick to the point of suffocation.

This is G-d's order:

Sun, moon and stars, man woman and child,
Rooster hen and chicks – or morality suffocates.

Woman, don't ponder over the riddle –
you will destroy body and soul.

From a loving wife to make a strumpet – that is easy to do.
From the strumpet a loving wife – you will never succeed.

The wine dealer:

A loyal wife is like a good wine, one never tires of loving her –
and at a great age, the man is intoxicated by the
faithfulness which she has shown. A true woman is a blessing, she
is worthy to be the ruler of the house.

A false woman is rotgut – discarded after the first taste


The rider:

A loyal wife is like an expensive horse, one can ride it over the most difficult hurdles. Even in death, this ride pays. A loyal wife is a jewel; she is never subjected to needless toil.

A false wife is like a lame nag, useless for riding, therefore hitched to the freight wagon and only used as a beast of burden.

The believer:

A loyal wife is the paradise of both worlds; she brings happiness and peace to the house that is entrusted to her. Her laughing and speaking is sweet birdsong, her wise advice brings blessings.

A false wife is false to herself – and makes of her surroundings a hell. Bad women don't sing.

Empty pots and hollow heads always make a lot of noise.


The Earlier Paragraph As Acrobat

- Sad melodies without Music


Woman can love to madness, as long as they are not loved in return. Convince them that you love them, and then they love another.


As long as she has no children, she lives for you,
If she has a child, then you are her slave.


If the man lets loose of the reins, the woman seizes them – and degrades the rooster to a hen. And two wives in the marriage bed are an exciting perversity.


There will be a time when the wife thinks about genuine faithfulness – when she is old and worn out.


Neither the angel nor the devil can understand a woman – and therefore they are single.
Only inexperienced men are caught.


You should be her lord, otherwise you will be her jumping jack.


The devil has aunts and nieces – but have a wife? No.


The thankfulness of a woman is like the love of a snake – out of pure love she poisons you.


Women who are faithful to a man have some kind of defect.


G-d is love and gives every man a wife.
G-d is love, G-d is just,
But G-d himself has no wife.


Men make short Seitensprόnge (literally “side springs” means to have affairs).
Women make long Seiten-Reisen (side trips).


As long as she pretends to be your lover, you can always make her your wife.
Once she is your wife, then she can only be the lover of another.

Note: Women, who can't accept the truth – and want to take me to court – I can guarantee that they are the purest innocent angels.


A storm of applause rewarded the reader, and all present went into the court, which had just opened. Naturally, the hall was overflowing, and the whispering and giggling buzzed like a beehive. The judge coughed in embarrassment and explained with a smile:

“My honored ladies! With the reading of the brochure in the Justice Place, after the conclusion of paragraph 12, a passage was read which stated that the accusers are the 'purest innocent angels.' On the basis of this well-reasoned remark, the complaint must be dismissed. But, in spite of this, the punishment of G-d will surely strike the accused as soon as he marries his angel.”

On the Ringplatz by the tramway stop, Justus waited for his angel, and his first question was, “What have you done now, you little wildcat?”

The heroine straightened her boyfriend's tie and impishly replied, “The trick worked. Now we have to do a new printing as quickly as possible.”


[Page 65]

Scroll of Honor

for the friend of the Jews

Dr. Trajan Popovici


who, by issuing the so-called “Popovici Authorization” saved the lives of

25,000 Jews

and later paid with his own life.
Honor his memory


[Page 66]

II. World War

Mortal Gods!

Now again, two new gods have appeared who want to displace the old god, Jehovah, from his throne in seventh heaven. Their arrogance makes them forget that they are only mortal men. Of course, they will cause much misery – and soak the earth in seas of human blood – but they won't change the world.

Neither Stalin nor Hitler have any god-like qualities but are closer to Satan, and anyone who correctly assesses their “virtues” quickly notes their despotic intentions.

Already at New Year, 1938, the little gods, Cuza and Goga, took their places at the Romanian Olympus. And, drunk with victory, as they began their disastrous rule, the old god, Jehovah, threw them down from Olympus on March 14, 1938 – and hopefully, they will never return.

Now it is June 1, 1940, and there are rumors that the dear god Stalin – without a plebiscite – wants to occupy North Bukovina. The fallen gods, Cuza and Goga, cannot stop it, but the great god Hitler has let it be known that he – Hitler, not Stalin – is the only god. And if Stalin tries to occupy the beautiful “Land of Beeches” (the Bukovina), he will set his gods, Thor and Frigga, and the heroes of Valhalla upon him, and they will chase him all the way to Ochrana.

Paying no attention to this, Stalin sent an ocean of military might into the Bukovina on June 28, 1940, without meeting any resistance. The citizens cheered the new god – and had no idea that they were cheering an executioner. Flowers were thrown in such numbers that the tanks had difficulty getting through the streets. But this mass hysteria didn't last long. The new methods quickly sobered the drunken spirits and taught them that under any dictator the people are slaves in disguise. Mortal gods are the biggest cowards when their power is stripped away.

On July 5, 1941, Stalin was no longer in Czernowitz, and into the burning city marched the Romanian 14th Dorobantzen – with Hitler's blessing and with swastika flags flying – and for three days they heroically savaged defenseless Jews. Then they rested on the laurels they had earned with their great deeds.

And those Jews who had escaped the murderers, the police designated with special yellow Stars of David, which had to be worn on the left breast under threat of imprisonment.

Holy Corporal Hitler!

After the blue shirts of Cuza's followers,
or the green shirts of Codreanu's followers,
the leather stink of Stalin's followers, now
the blood soaked brown shirts of Hitler's followers –
Shouldn't we be satisfied?
Quiet! It could be worse.

Ghetto and Transnistrien

October 11, 1941, was a day of bedlam. Without notice, all the Jews were driven into the Jewish ghetto so swiftly that it is hard to imagine.

This noble work was accomplished between 6 am and 6 pm. So many tears, so much property damage! Dwellings shut up and abandoned. The crying and whimpering in all directions of approximately 70 thousand desperate people – carrying only backpacks and the most necessary items – streaming in confusion to the designated quarter. It appeared as if the houses moved with them – and cried.

Whether this ghetto will remain permanent is uncertain. The streets around the ghetto are sealed off with boards, and the Jews look out like chickens in a coop.

Former homeowners, intellectuals, high officials, and city councilmen sleep in the dirty courtyards at night under the open sky.

In the wildest dreams, one couldn't think of anything more terrible.

After three days, two cattle-like transports of Jews are sent to an unknown region (Transnistrien). The noble S.S. people run things only for a short time in a “polite but firm manner.” The police are nowhere to be seen.

Whether the Jewish Council which was formed in the interim did the right thing will be discussed in another section, but one fact which stands out in the story should be noted here: The Romanian mayor of Czernowitz, Dr. Trajan Popovici, resisted this ukase [proclamation] by issuing, on his own authority, 25,000 certificates of protection – thereby saving the lives of many Jews. That he would pay for his nobility with his life is certain. And after complex negotiations, the rescued ones were able to return to their homes – which in the interim had been plundered – on October 27, 1941. And the rest were driven without mercy to Transnistrien.

New Year, 1942 “The dear G-d created men at the same time he created the world. Am I blind? I see none.”

If all the oceans were ink, there would not be enough to record the suffering of the Jewish people! So G-d forsaken! So free as birds! They are speaking again of transports. Not enough shot, frozen, starved – and to be banned to Siberia? Still not enough?

Where have these hyenas learned to persecute men so barbarically? Where are the crowned and uncrowned rulers with blue blood, who lie so smugly about humanity and justice? Are they silent out of fear? Or is there a secret agreement that the deities, Stalin and Hitler, will take care of the executioner's work? Anything is possible.

But those who give the orders forget that they themselves, as well as their godly master executioners, are simple mortal men.

Sooner or later, the avenging nemesis will come.

Three Black Sundays

On June 7, 14 and 28 of 1942, the Hydra again raised her head and a further 5,500 Jews were assembled on the Makkabiplatz, and from there transported to a certain death in Transnistrien. And on November 1, 1942, an order arrived that the remainder of the Jews had to move into the Jewish quarter within five days.

On January 17, 1943, a decree was issued by which the Jews were allowed to go out onto the street to get fresh air for three hours a day, from 11 am to 2 pm, and eventually for anyone who had money to go shopping. If a Jew was caught without the yellow star, or outside of the allowed hours, he was sent to prison.

Romanian Swan Song

On March 18, 1944, the German military swarmed over the Bukovina. The Germans shoved aside the Romanian Jew murderers and attempted to confront the “God Stalin.” But Hitler was no longer a god, and on March 28, 1944, Chinese soldiers appeared whom the “God Stalin” had defeated. In Czernowitz, at the direction of the police, the S.S. people were sent to the wall and, just like the Jews before, were mercilessly gunned down without trial.

That the brown beast, which in cold blood had torn up and beheaded Jewish children, now cried and whimpered for its own miserable life proved that there must be an avenging nemesis.

Those who began with the Jews and shoveled a grave for them in the end dug their own graves. Corporal Hitler is no longer a god! Poor mortal gods!

Written in the Margin

The fall of Hitler proves that the simple corporal was no god, but merely a sadistic executioner who won the loyalty of the entire German people.

For an “old Austrian” with a German education, it is difficult to accept the view that every German was responsible for Hitler's crimes. It is not easy to throw the noble Efraim Lessing, who wrote “Nathan the Wise,” into the same pot with the S.S. people. It would be unfair to forget the uncounted German men and women who endangered their own lives by saving the lives of many Jews. And those who lived through this terrible time have to testify that the S.S. men were recruited from the scum of many nations, among which the Ruthenians (grandchildren of Chmelnitzky and Petljura) played first fiddle.

Those Ukrainians trained in pogroms, the Romanian 14th Dorobantzen, the Czechoslovakian Hlinka Guard, and even the Hussaini Arabs – they exceeded the Germans in brutality and competed with one another in the murder of Jews to gain favor with the chief executioner, Hitler. All these apprentice executioners willingly wore the brown Hitler uniform, obviously with the approval of their leaders, but their crimes disgraced the entire German people for generations into the future and stained the honor of many honorable Germans who never “blew Hitler's horn.” This is not to say that the German murderers should be forgiven! Indeed, they didn't do it willingly like the others, but they were drilled, poisoned and forced murderers who did their hangman's duty only too efficiently – but there were also exceptions which we cannot overlook.

It was in Czernowitz that a group of “German-Austrians” secretly warned the Jews three days before the action to “make themselves scarce” so that, after the action, they could report that they didn't find any Jews in the designated places. Is it any wonder that the Jews who were warned and saved will never forget this event?

It could be that I don't understand things correctly. It could be that, because of my German education, I am influenced and judge the crimes of the Ruthenians who murdered willingly more harshly than the same crimes of the forced hangmen. But one thing is clear: that not all Germans “blew Hitler's horn.”

Shame on the German people who selected Hitler as a leader who misused his power and left behind dishonor and disgrace.

As he came from nothing, so the goblin disappears into nothing – as a warning to later generations – quod est demonstrandum [what is shown].

« 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.

  Sadgora, Ukraine     Yizkor Book Project     JewishGen Home Page

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

Copyright © 1999-2018 by JewishGen, Inc.
Updated 7 Aug 2005 by LA