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[Page 225]

In Memory of the Fallen

Jewish Heroes from Bukowina In the Israel Liberation and Sinai Wars

Hermann Sternberg

Translated by Berti Glaubach

Editorial assistance by Jerome Schatten and Bruce Reisch

Long is a night of watch. Where is the replacement?

Stars – Infinite – Eternity – God.

I, a speck of dust on the planet spinning in space – thinking creature – I am – I feel

nostalgia? Hope? To what? What for?

Tormented, persecuted, humiliated, defenseless, at the mercy of sadism and murderers. the beasts in human form that gassed my parents, tormented my siblings to death in the camp. Defenseless? No, never again!

I feel my strength on the soil fertilized by the blood of the forefathers; I want to fight for my homeland.

Home that I never had, that my heart always wanted. Yes, the generations suffered and hoped and groaned to death, and in their place came others who also dreamed the dream of their homeland and waited in vain. We, we are fortunate enough to wake up from the dream of the centuries.

Open your eyes and see Zion, to experience Zion.

Hope has given us courage, the fulfillment brings blissful joy.

There is still much to do. The enemy wants to destroy us ….

There is blood flowing.

My best friend, in front of my eyes, torn to pieces.

David, dear David, why did you have to die?

The night is long. Creeping wetness penetrates through marrow and leg. The head hurts, the pain is in the heart.

Oh! Painful feeling of pleasure in pain, pleasure of fulfillment, secret pleasure.

You, too, David, hoped for a life of freedom, effort and work, the dream of happiness. Exuberant life,

You have finished to struggle.

And me? I hope and wish, but … Who knows the future?

And should I not achieve the aim, I have not lived in vain.

Ruth, my love, I think of you. If you were here, I would ask you…

It drizzles. Why am I not being replaced? Have they forgotten me? …

You will never be forgotten, young hero. In love and gratitude, we commemorate you who gave your life so we can have a homeland. You believed in the salvation of your people from shame and misery, in their rebirth in the land of the fathers. You were happy because you believed. But your luck did not last. You had to leave us before you experienced victory. The freedom you won was not granted to you. We deplore your hard fate, which deprived you of due reward.

Did it have to come like this? A question for which there is no answer.

 

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