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[Page 321]

The Night of Slaughter April 28

by Mokhtshe Zshabner–Zilberberg

Translated by Tina Lunson

On the night of April 28 the black shirts with even blacker souls and skulls on their caps, went on a walk through the Jewish streets and sowed death at every house they stopped at.

Yosl Maliniak lived on the same street as we did in those years, and Alter Grinberg and their families lived with the Abramovitshes in a house on Ilzetski Street. On that night of slaughter they also knocked on doors and took away the men. Given that it was forbidden to go out into the street in the evening hours, the women only realized their misfortune in the morning.

In the middle of the night we were shuddering from gunfire near our window. We knew very well what that meant, but did not know whose family it was that night. Once it began to get light we heard a choking wail from the street, and we peeked out a bit from the closed shutters and saw the gruesome scene: at the door of the well–known anti–semite Butshnievavi lay the dead bodies of Yosl Maliniak and Alter Grinberg and standing over them were their wives who had grown old over night and their shocked and dumbstruck children who could not even comprehend their great misfortune.

The women went away quickly out of fear that the Christians would report them for being by the dead bodies of their husbands. We quickly closed the open crack in our shutters, not to allow in the infiltrating rays of the rising sun which promised a fresh awakening day.

Nothing changed, only the black crows cawed more often and sought the pools of spilled Jewish blood which smelled better to them than the ordinary garbage cans.


Collecting the victims of Bartholomew's Night


[Page 322]

The Night of the Execution

by Yechiel Magid–Rosenberg

Translated by Yaacov David Shulman

God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,
Put an end to the dark night!
Who knows how many Jews the Nazi murderers
Have already murdered this night?

I have recited the Confession twice,
And the day still does not want to come.
What good will my third confession do for You, God,
If You do not want to hear my prayers at all?

God help us if the most religious Jew here
Is hoping after today for any kind of miracle.
How can one still hope, how can one still wait,
After such a shuddering, bloody 24 hours?

We are tired of our lives,
God, quickly send the angel of death
And let there be a complete end,
Let us be where our fathers are.

Death processions drag on without end,
Funerals of innocent children and elders,
Young and old, religious and secular, men and women.
All go to death, all of them together.

And the ghetto gate, will give its only testimony,
Grating a sigh with its massive bolts,
And the steely voice of the executioner Westerheide
Will seal his last order to murder, with blood!

God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,
Put an end to the dark night!
Who knows how many Jews the Nazi murderers
Have already murdered this night?


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