Children of a Vanished World [Reprint 2020 ed.] 9780520354074

Between 1935 and 1938 the celebrated photographer Roman Vishniac explored the cities and villages of Eastern Europe, cap

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T H E S. M A R K T A P E R

&

FOUNDATION

I M P R I N T IN J E W I S H

BY T H I S

STUDIES

ENDOWMENT

T H E S. M A R K T A P E R F O U N D A T I O N THE APPRECIATION AND

SUPPORTS

UNDERSTANDING

OF T H E R I C H N E S S A N D D I V E R S I T Y OF J E W I S H LIFE A N D

CULTURE

The publisher gratefully acknowledges the generous contribution toward the publication of this book provided by the S. Mark Taper Foundation

Children of a Vanished World

Roman Vishniac Children of a Vanished World

Edited by Mara Vishniac Kohn and Miriam Hartman Flacks

University of California Press Berkeley Los Angeles London

University of California Press Berkeley and Los Angeles, California University o f California Press, Ltd. London, England © 1999 byThe Regents of the University of California All photographs © Mara Vishniac Kohn The Yiddish texts and transliterations, as well as the music, for "Oyfn Pripetshik," "Rozhinkes mit Mandlen," "Yankele," "Hulyet, Kinderlekh," and "Motl" are reprinted from Mir Trogn A Cezang! by Eleanor Cordon Mlotek with permission o f The Center for Cultural Jewish Life of The Workmen's Circle. The Yiddish texts and transliterations on pages 82-100 are reprinted with permission from theYIVO Institute for Jewish Research, from its publication Yidishe fblkslider mit melodyes, compiled by I. L. Cahan, edited by Max Weinreich, 1957; originally published in 1912. Library o f Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Vishniac, Roman Children o f a vanished world / Roman Vishniac ; edited by Mara Vishniac Kohn and Miriam Hartman Flacks. p.

cm. — (S. MarkTaper Foundation imprint in Jewish studies)

Includes texts ofYiddish songs with English translations by Miriam Hartman Flacks. ISBN 978-0-520-22187-1 I.Jewish children—Europe, Eastern Pictorial works. works.

3. Jews—Europe, Eastern Pictorial works.

2. Europe, Eastern Pictorial

I. Kohn, Mara Vishniac. II. Flacks,

Miriam Hartman. III. Title. IV. Series. DS135.E8V56

1999

947' .0004924—dc21

99-27866 CIP

Printed and bound in Italy 13 9

8 7 6 5 4

3

The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements o f ANSI/NISO Z39.48-1992 ( R 1997) (Permanence of Paper).

This book is dedicated, with love, to our grandchildren, Ruby and Zina Goodall, Melina Schiff, and Maurice and Olivia Flacks Klatch

Contents Introduction by Mara Vishniac Kohn Translator's Introduction by Miriam Hartman Flacks Texts and Photographs

ix xiii 1

Music

103

Coda: The Story of the Horse

131

Notes

133

Acknowledgments

140

Index of Texts and Music

141

Introduction

My father, Roman Vishniac, took these pictures between 1935 and 1938 in traditional Jewish Eastern European villages and towns. It was a difficult time, with few options available to poor families trying to improve the circumstances o f their lives. In an effort to help and support these poor communities' struggles to survive, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee in Central Europe organized a fund-raising drive. Joachim Prinz, the well-known and extremely popular Zionist rabbi in Berlin, advised the "Joint" to ask my father to take photographs to support their drive. "Roman," he told them, "is never seen without a camera; it's part o f him and I think he'll do it." And so, Roman traveled east, as he thought, for one brief trip. Once he arrived in Vilna, the "Jerusalem o f Lithuania," he knew he had entered the world he had heard about as a child from his father and grandfather. This, he felt, was or had been his own family's life and therefore it was his. He began to make contacts, to photograph in the poorest sections of town, to listen to parents' burdens and fears, and to love the children. When he returned to his darkroom in Berlin, I (aged nine) stood beside him in the red gloom and rocked ("Gently!" he said) the developer trays in which the images in this book first appeared. I discovered a life I had not known and asked many

IX

questions. "Do these children have toys? Why does this boy carry such a large load on his back? Shouldn't he use a cart?" After two weeks o f "our" work, I was told my father was ready for another trip. I asked, "For what?" "They are our people," my father said, "and we must help wherever we can." He traveled east three or four times after that. They were arduous trips, in cold weather, with no assurance o f the outcome. He was "handed" from one newfound friend to another. With the ultra-orthodox members ofthe community, he had to be mindful o f the suspicion with which photographers and other "imagemakers" were greeted. His notes describe how he enlarged a buttonhole in his winter coat so that the lens would fit through while the camera itself remained hidden. Depending on circumstances, he used either a Rolleiflex or a Leica, and he did all his work by available light, often loving the scene before him but not sure his film was sensitive enough to record it. For three years, Eastern Europe was his world; its Jewish communities, his; its children, his. Some o f t h e images were used for the fund-raising drive. All began their existence by drying on the living room floor o f our Berlin apartment. "Step carefully," I was told. In Germany in the mid-1930s, no Jew could feel secure. Our Zionist youth groups were declared illegal; our "leaders" (aged eighteen or nineteen) were randomly arrested and questioned, usually to be freed after a few days. Telephone calls came for my parents with news o f someone's arrest here, another's there. Economic and professional restrictions accumulated week by week. No one knew what would come next. The Jewish communities in Germany and its border states felt a pervasive dread and a darkness nearing.

C H I L D R E N

OF

A

V A N I S H E D

W O R L D

What would happen to a Jewish photographer of Latvian nationality living in Berlin, who had surreptitiously taken thousands of pictures of struggling groups of East European Jews? My father felt certain that the poor he had visited in the shtetlekh, many of whom had become his dear friends, would not be able to survive. "I wanted," he said, "at least to save their faces." How could the negatives be saved? His father, Salomon Vishniac, was about to leave Berlin for Paris; he carried many of them with him. The next difficulty was how to bring them out of Europe. Roman turned to a trusted friend who had been forced by the French to serve in the Foreign Legion in North Africa, but who now had returned to Marseilles, where Roman met him. Would the friend, Walter Bierer, consider carrying the negatives with him when he was able to leave Europe? The friend took the negatives and promised he would try. Roman returned to Paris and, within days, was arrested and interned in Camp Du Ruchard, a detention camp nearGurs. In May 1939 I had been sent to safety in Sweden, where my mother and brother were finally able to join me, after being arrested in Latvia. It was my mother's task to persist in her efforts to obtain a U.S. visa and an affidavit of support from an American citizen, which would help to secure my father's release. On October 16, 1940, he wrote to us in Sweden, "Now my world is surrounded by barbed wire. I'm very cold and hungry. I wrote to a friend in Poland and asked him to send me a blanket, but I have received no answer." Finally, at the end of November 1940, after all my mother's work, a visa was granted and my father was released. Our family was able to reunite in Lisbon, where we awaited passage to the United States and safety.

xi

The fate of Roman's negatives was more complicated. Walter Bierer carried them with him to Cuba, where he was interned for six months. With great difficulty and the help ofhis family already in the United States, he finally obtained an American visa, allowing him and the thousands of negatives to arrive in Miami. There the negatives were confiscated by U.S. Customs officers, but they were later released to my father in New York. Roman tried to exhibit his images of impoverished Eastern European Jews on the brink of destruction. If any of these families were to be saved, there was no time to lose. He arranged for a small show at the Teachers College of Columbia University and wrote a letter to Eleanor Roosevelt, inviting her to visit the exhibition. An answer came from the White House: Mrs. Roosevelt regrets that she is unable to visit New York to see the pictures of Polish Jews. Roman knew that time was running out for the children he had come to love. He sent a selection of prints to FDR; the White House graciously thanked him for "the excellent pictures you sent to the President." That was all. In this book, more than fifty years later, we want to remember the children Roman loved, the children of "a vanished world." Their images are surrounded with the songs and rhymes that made them smile. W e want to look into their eyes and see there the wonder, the hope, and the trust in a future that they would not experience. W e think of them, we assure them of our love, and we cherish their memory. —Mara Vishniac Kohn

C H I L D R E N

OF

A

V A N I S H E D

W O R L D

Translator's Introduction O Lord of Creation! Here there were people Who lived and who worked, who sang and who cried! Here, in joy they would bless, or curse in their fear, Here merchants and customers bargained and vied, Here they knitted and shouted, they danced and they leaped, Here children were rocked in their cradles to sleep, Here children were nestled to mothers' warm breasts... — from "Shades of the Warsaw Ghetto," by Itzik FefFer, a Soviet-Yiddish poet, executed with other Yiddish writers in August 1952 (translated by Miriam Hartman Flacks)

The people "who lived and who worked, who sang and who cried" in Warsaw and the other areas ofjewish settlement in Eastern Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries spoke Yiddish. The daily commerce of their lives—their arguing, debating, cooking, buying, selling, working, lovemaking, childrearing, writing, teaching, learning, even praying—was in Yiddish, a language they called mame-loshn ("mother tongue"). This language developed as truly a "folk" language and was for many years disparaged as "jargon," with no codified rules of grammar or spelling and little or no written literature. Yet it emerged as a vessel holding the cultural outpourings of the Jews of primarily Poland and xiii

the Russian empire, as a manifestation of their national and cultural identity in the latter half of the nineteenth century. In addition to a prominent world-stage literature by such giants as Isaac Loeb Peretz, Sholem Aleichem, and Nobelist Isaac Bashevis Singer, hundreds of lesser-known novelists, essayists, poets, playwrights, and lyricists wrote in Yiddish in post-Enlightenment Eastern Europe and, later, in the United States. A mame-loshn is, of course, the language of children, who usually have their own version of the language surrounding them. Whether in street rhymes, games, nursery rhymes, lullabies, stories, or folktales, a children's idiom emerges. This idiom is not always known to the scholars and "experts." In 1904 Regina Lilienthal, a psychologist, wrote in TheJewish Child: Jewish children have few unique games, and none accompanied by song. This is characteristic, and I believe that their games are for counting purposes and are mostly at-home games. The former is the result ofthe occupation of theJewish masses, and is an unconscious, practical part of child-training; the reason for the latter lies in the sad fate oftheJewish people: the constant fear ofthe danger that lies outdoors, the narrow ghetto walls lay like a heavy stone on the spiritual life of the Jewish child. Frightened and insecure, he was most comfortable in his own home, and his imagination flowered here. The children's games are as quiet and calm as they are themselves, and even in their group games no noise, no shrieking is heard. The expressions of joy and laughter have been stifled and suffocated in theJewish child. To which Shmuel Zeinvil Pipeh, writing in the August-December 1936 issue of YIVO Bletter ("YIVO Pages"), replied:

CHILDREN

OF

A

VANISHED

WORLD

For us, these words are comically absurd, because we have before us our games, so full ofmovement and laughter. Acquaintance with our material clearly shows that, although they have a uniquelyJewish cast, our children's games possess the same evidence of the child's psyche that is evident in children's folklore ofother peoples. The rhymes and songs presented in this volume, accompanying Roman Vishniac's photographs of the children who knew them, have often been collected during the past ninety years or so. They made their way to America along with the throngs of Yiddishspeaking immigrants who built new homes and lives in American cities. Even I, born in Brooklyn, New York, learned many of them as mame-loshn, at my mother's knee. Some were collected in books and magazines that have survived in the library of the YIVO Institute forjewish Research in New York; some are nonsensical, some are works of profound poets, some are simply charming, some offer insight into the lives of Jewish children in pre-Holocaust Eastern Europe. For today's non-Yiddish readers, we offer translations along with the original Yiddish texts, but we also provide transliterations to make it possible for a new generation, with different mother tongues, to pronounce the Yiddish words. To have a real sense of the lives of the children in this book, one must hear the Yiddish words they spoke and sang. —Miriam Hartman Flacks

XV

Children of a Vanished World

Bulbes ,oyaVQ — P'DJIT

Potatoes

Sunday — potatoes,

Zuntik, bulbes

,ojnVn - ¡rwx»

Monday — potatoes,

Montik, bulbes

.ojnVo - i x t » ' »

iik

p'tson

Tuesday and Wednesday — potatoes,

Dinstik un mitvokh, bulbes

,oynVn — p'o^nS px p'tsïnjnïn

Thursday and Friday — potatoes,

Donershtik un fraytik, bulbes

.jrtwpTn^o x - yiymi x px raw

The Sabbath brings a novelty — potato kugl!

Shabes in a novene, a bulbe kugele

¡05D1?!! lyvm - p'tMlî

Sunday, once more potatoes . . .

Zuntik, vayter bulbes.

(music on page 104)

C H I L D R E N

OF

A

V A N I S H E D

W O R L D

Bin Ikh Mir a Shnayderl

, V u n » J ® X TÌ3 "pX T l

I Am a Little Tailor

A little tailor, that is what I am.

Bin ikh m i r a s h n a y d e r l ,

>ijn?u» x TS TX P

A little tailor, that is what I am.

Bin ikh m i r a s h n a y d e r l ,

irX-JXErO'KOXD TS JX W1?

And I live here every day

Leb ikh m i r c o g - o y s - t o g - a y n

•i?s

p'bdiV

Happy, fine, and gay.

Lustik, freylekh, fayn.

,TI3 JXT -

Tell me, tailor,

Z o g mir, s h n a y d e r l ,

,-ij7DU ]ix nypra'1?

as you pull your thread:

Libinker un guter,

JUS« "71X3 '1 TT tn

Does your needle earn you

G i t dir di nodi g e n u g

?nyois tra era «px

the butter on your bread?

O y f broyt mit puter?

CHILDREN ()l: A VANISHED WORLD

-

i-'../',

ts

., •• :• •

« •

:

S J * '

^ r

-





.

i i^S^^isSämiäiS^i:W$«¡tfSjflS*

ê •m

%

r*JäFi

•.•" «Ai?1:

W- wm. ,' •

••• . •

TXT1 K "|KM TX

I make each week

Ikh makh a vokh

,-iym K tra py>i

two nothings and a quarter.

Tsvey gildn mit a drayer,

,btb "ixa oy tx

I eat just bread;

Ikh es nor broyt,

.lyre is rx nyois V'jn

I can afford no butter.

Vayl puter iz tsu tayer.

,ViyD01W K TS

T>3

A little cobbler, that is what I am,

Bin ikh mir a shusterl,

>19001» X TÖ I'X f3

A little cobbler, that is what I am,

Bin ikh mir a shusterl,

^X'IKD'D'IX'IXD TÖ TX

And I live here every day

Leb ikh mir tog-oys-tog-ayn

•l^S ,pyV""is .p'ooiV

Happy, fine, and gay.

Lustik, freylekh, fayn.

C H I L D R E N

OF

A

V A N I S H E D

W O R L D

>UDOW ,T» IST -

Tell me, cobbler,

Z o g mir, shusterl,

?iyr?p ix op lüosn

Have you enough to eat?

Hostu vos tsu kayen?

— DyO'IX TT D^yä

Can you borrow

Feit dir oyset

ix ixn iooxn

To buy the things you need?

Hostu vu tsu layen?

,Ü>3 Ü"1? lyr'p —

I have no money,

Keyner layt nit,

.mmy pp m lyr'p

I have no funds for spending.

Keyner git keyn orves.

yvow k p -px

I am a cobbler,

Ikh bin a shuster,

.oyvnip ypxo -px "i

my children's shoes need mend

Gey ikh take borves.

(music on page 106)

CHILDREN

OF

A

VANISHED

WORLD

Patsh Z h e Kikhelekh

,1jrt>3a?

m

®oks

,ym w

h s

C l a p Y o u r Little H a n d s

C l a p , c l a p y o u r little h a n d s

Patsh zhe, patsh zhe kikhelekh nyVyrw iS'ip Djni y a w n y i

D a d w i l l b u y y o u little s h o e s

DerTate vet koyfn shikhelekh ipno» oyn yasa n

M o m w i l l k n i t y o u little s o c k s

Di Mame vet shtrikn zekelekh nyVypjn oy^ypar px wityi k

A n d y o u (child's n a m e ) have such lovely cheeks!

A gezunt in (child's name) bekelekh! (with the last line, lightly tap child's cheeks with both hands and use child's name)

CHILDREN

OF

A

VANISHED

WORLD

Oy, Mayn Kepele

, T I TM BITS YVYSYP PJIA ,'IX

Ov. / ' Mv y Little Head Oy, my little head, how it hurts,

O y mayn kepele tut mir vey, /"Ti T D CID YVYSYP

,ix

Oy, my little head, how it hurts,

O y mayn kepele tut mir vey,

,yVysy % T JT B"-n yVysyp pa ,'ix

Oy, my little head, guess I should have stayed in bed,

O y mayn kepele, dreyt zikh vi an epele, ."n TO BIB YVYSYP ]?d ,'ix

Oy, my little head, how it hurts.

O y mayn kepele tut mir vey.

,"11 T D DIB YVJID'S L'JD ,'1X

Oy, my little foot, how it hurts,

O y mayn fisele tut mir vey,

Oy, my little foot, how it hurts,

/"TI T D BID Y"?J7D'S 1?D O y mayn fisele tut mir vey,

.ybyo'i k ix!

yVyo'ä

,'ix

Oy, my little foot, I can't even wear a boot,

O y mayn fisele, geyt nor a bisele, . T I T D DIB J/VYD'S L'_'D ,'1X

Oy, my little foot, how it hurts.

O y mayn fisele tut mir vey.

(music on page 108)

C H I L D R E N OF A V A N I S H E D

WORLD

Oyfn Pripetshik x wjrin p'ffoysns isnx

On the Oven's Hearth On the oven's hearth a little fire burns

Oyfn pripetshik brent a fayerl,

.o«n rx aicff fx px

Oh, how hot it gets.

Un in shtub iz heys.

-|j?yijnrp yr>bp twipb n ijn px

Here the rebe teaches all the little ones

Un der rebe lernt kleyne kinderlekh

.n'ri'rx ojn

Our alphabet:

Dem alef-beys.

Chorus: ,5njr?ü ysn üpjjnyi .nyV-iynrp ,ysn »yi

"Here, my little ones, remember for all time

Zet zhe kinderlekh, gedenkt zhe, tayere, ,XT ony 1 ? T X oxn

Say it without flaw:

Vos ir lernt do,

x 1 X 3 ypxD px "?xa x -|XJ J H P T oixt

Say it once again, repeat it yet again,

Zogt zhe nokh a mol un take nokh a mol: .X i ^ X T n p Komets alef:

Komets-alef— 'aw.'"

"o."

CHILDREN

OF

A VANISHED

WORLD

,pvn o'ni D'a ,"i:nrp .ony1?

Learn, my little ones, with a passion, learn

Lernt, kinder, mitgroys kheyshek, /|X

TK JKI 'ITX

With fire in your eyes;

Azoyzog ikh aykh on,

röy lyjyp -px ps lys'j oyiro um

Whoever learns the Hebrew faster than the rest,

Ver s'vet gikher fun aykh kenen ¡vre,

.lijS x »aipxa -ijn

He will get a prize.

Der bakumt a fon.

(Chorus) ,pyn -lyoVy ^"ny-ir? ,05711 TX TX

As you, my dearest ones, will grow up a bit,

Az ir vet, kinderlekh, elter vern,

/P'BEnxS r^x TX Bjm

You yourselves will know

Vet ir aleyn farshteyn,

,P5no P'1? nrnix n px VS'ii

How the letters of our ancient alphabet

Vifl in di oysyes lign trern,

.p'lljtt V'D '1111X

Carry so much woe.

Un vi fil geveyn.

(Chorus)

C H I L D R E N

OF

A

V A N I S H E D

W O R L D

mV: Djn n v ^ n ^ P

T X TX

When you, my dearest ones, in foreign exile dwell,

A z i r v e t , kinderlekh, d e m goles shlepri, ,1«T tsywDiiayio'ix

Wearied, brought low down,

O y s g e m u t s h e t zayn, ,iay® ms n r m x h pa t x dVxt

From these letters, then, you will draw strength;

Zoic i r f u n di oysyes koyekh shepn, II'-TIX T TX Dplp

Here comfort can be found.

Kukc in zey arayn!

(Chorus)

(music on page 1 1 0 )

CHILDREN

OF A V A N I S H E D

WORLD

Yankele

Yankele

T-'a .yVypax1 /pw t » ym «ixV®

Sleep then now, my Yankele, my darling,

Shlof zhe mir shoyn, Yankele, mayn sheyner,

ns -|xia ,yp>rx-iioi® ' i ,-|j?'?j?r>x n

For now's the time to close your lovely eyes;

Di eygelekh di shvartsinke, makh tsu;

Ijrt'jnr'x yVx pw tsxn oxn

x

A little boy, already finished teething,

A yingele vos hot shoyn ale tseyndelekh

?ryrimi ljurr ynx» n

na

He still needs me to sing him lullabies?

Muz nokh di mame zingen ay-lyu-lyu?

wby-irv yW

R W

oxn OXTI ,yb¡nsr x

A little boy, already finished teething,

A yingele vos hoc shoyn ale tseyndelekh,

nn tx •ftiq Vra tr» Djm ]ix

Who'll soon, God willing, to the kheydergo

Un vet mit mazl bald in kheydergeyn,

,xim rix &xnn ly vyn ]ynyb px

To study all the Torah and the Talmud,

Un lernen vet er khumesh un gemore,

?T_'x

D'X M M

jraxa

UM IJWTI

Vxi

Should not he sleep and not be fussing so?

Zol veynen ven di mame vigt im ayn?

C H I L D R E N

OF

A

V A N I S H E D

W O R L D

,x-im o y n i v n y 1 ? oxti y b y ^ r

A little boy who'll study all the Torah,

x

A yingele vos lernen vet gemore,

,is -pr ü - i j h i fix oVynp ,ymo iyi

d^db?

bx

Just look at how your father swells with pride,

O t shteyt der tate, kvelt un hert zikh tsu, ,D3rr-rn1?n

x oopxn oxn ybyuv x

A little boy, a budding Talmud scholar,

A yingele vos vakst a talmed-khokhem, m

i s D'3 i v a « » u n

DDJ/J y s a x j btx1?

Should never let his mother sleep at night?

Lozt gantse nekht der mamen nit tsu ru?

.•srrTaVn x oopxn oxn ybyn? x

A little boy, a budding Talmud scholar,

A yingele vos vakst a talmed-khokhem,

,-p1?! is -pix -imo nyo'iyi x px

And a successful merchant, too, I'll bet,

Un a geniter soykher oykh, tsu glaykh,

,-imainn -\yrbp x ybyiiv x

A little boy, a charming, clever bridegroom,

A yingele, a kluger khosn-bokher, ? T 2 B X f X '11 0 X 3 '"ITX p , ! 7 VXT

Should lie here in a puddle, soaking wet?

Zol lign azoy ñas vi in a taykh?

C H I L D R E N

OF

A

V A N I S H E D

W O R L D

,-irrn-inn -lyn^p pa ,Ta vwt ix1?©

Nu, sleep for now, my charming, clever bridegroom,

Nu, shlofzhe mir, mayn kluger khosn-bokher,

.-pa ra yVym fx loor1? Vi'rnjn

Meanwhile you're in your cradle near my bench,

Dervayl ligstu in vigele bay mir.

run» oyaxa px 'a V'S -|ic itsoxp ojmo

And it will take much work and mother's weeping

S'vet kostn nokh fil mi un mames trern

.m lis cnx wtujna x ojnro lyaxn ra

Until from you emerges a full mentsh!

Biz vanen s'vet a mentsh aroys fun dir!

( m u s i c o n page 1 1 2 )

C H I L D R E N

OF

A

V A N I S H E D

W O R L D

Motl

?TS ys?r IXT >0X13 /PT «110 "IJH ÜJ?n 0X1) -

Motl What will the end be, Motl, do you know?

Vos vet der sofzayn, Motl, zog zhe mir?

/pxnjtt njriS pä -|xa nyny bo'3

It's even worse now than before;

Bist erger nokh fun frier gevorn,

,th «px or?n i n i5n tt oxn aix'ypxa

For just today the rebe let me know

Baklogt hot zikh der rebe haynt oyf dir, .ptr y r a D'x B O T i y i n TX

That he can't stand it anymore.

Az du dergeyst im zayne yorn.

,-ua lynyV B'a ooV'ii n iuyi ütn rx'o

It isn't just that you will not sit still,

S'iz nisht genug du vi Ist nit lernen gor,

.lynynyn 0010 ijnya f i i ojn

You keep the kheyder classroom churning,

Dem rebn nebekh tust dertsernen, ,-1^3 t t

»o'rs® t «

dtix t* ooix1?®

You fight and fool around at will

Shlogst zikh arum un shpilst zikh nor,

•lyny1? oxi ny'j-ijnrp n Do-iyo® px

And keep the others from their learning.

Un shterst di kinderlekh dos lernen.

C H I L D R E N

OF

A

VANISHED

W O R L D

,mxi'm ijn oxn .yoxtj ,n»x dbtj -

The rebe's tale, dear Dad, is not all true:

Nisht emes, tate, vos der rebe zogt,

p?1?! pn xtsvri

nywy1?® K

An evil man, and always cursing;

A shlekhter mentsh, nishto zayn glaykhn; ^IK 1 ?® HJ1K "15? '11 .DEPJ "iy D ^ ' S i y i 0X11 "IKS

About the hitting he does not tell you,

Far vos dertseylt er nisht vi er undz shlogt,

.p^s lyxVn oyn /pjytsxt) ,yr

The black-and-blue mark still is hurting.

Ze, tatenyu, dem bloen tseykhn.

,riVa oVo-iynys yr ij^arrfix era ixm

My friend Avreml had a fight with me;

Kh'ob mit Avremlen zikh tsevertlt bloyz,

,pnjra "?»!ain pa axn ny

He grabbed my khumesh, it was ripping,

Er hot mayn khumeshl tserisn, o'iip

pr «px'm nyi mix dxh iKSiyn

And just for that, the rebe took us on his knee,

Derfar hot undz der rebe oyf zayn shoys

•ID'acyi Vijii'j x D'n -jx:

And while he chanted, gave us a whipping.

Nokh mit a nigndl geshmisn.

C H I L D R E N

OF

A

VANISHED

W O R L D

I ' m lystuy vVoxa ,t_t «yio -ijn oyn oxn -

W h a t will the end be, Motl? Just you say;

Vos vet der sof zayn, Motl? Entfer d'royf:

T na'3 ,PXT D'»® H

The neighbors tell—they are not lying—

Di skheynim zogn, kh'muz zey gloybn,

,1'in fK DT1X jyo VS3K1 TI DDIS' n

O f how with Yanek's pigeons, every day,

Du yogst zikh gantse teg arum in hoyf

- ,piD opyas' b'» -pi ooian px

You chase around—like them, you're flying.

Un khaverst zikh mitYaneks toybn;

.T"1?« Jw .it1 "isS 1"® OKI rx 'X

Now is that nice forjewish fellows—just you say-

Tsi iz dos sheyn far yidn, zog aleyn,

?lJK'isanx tt p'lB B'a

To chase the birds, drive them insane?

Mit toybn zikh arumtsuyogn?

po® x D'a -ijrm >DXS ,IBSJ?J DDXH

You, with a stone again, just yesterday,

Host nekhtn, Motl, vider mit a shteyn

?lJx1?®yio,ix 2'w OJDP ojn

Knocked out a neighbor's windowpane.

Dem shokhns shoybn oysgeshlogn.

C H I L D R E N

OF

A

V A N I S H E D

W O R L D

D'TIK D'lp "IX: rX'D ,J?DKD ,ri»X W J

-

It is not true, dear Dad, it's hardly out,

Nisht emes, täte, s'iz nor koym aroys

•isy'rpis oayp'a

bpvsv x

It's just a piece, it can be mended.

A shtikl shoyb, m'kens tsuklepn. ,n"?n "ixj i s T t pip

TT J S ' T N

I do not chase, I simply hang about

Ikh yog zikh nisht, ikh kuk zikh tsu nor bloyz,

,pyiw -pr -lyVya^D f ® 'n

And watch the birds soar, as God intended.

Vi sheyn di taybelekh zikh shvebn,

,1'in fx onx TT lyjris® "T ms m

How freely, happily they jump around

Vi fray zey shpringen zikh arum in hoyf,

,P'S "T ny'nnyp n r ® n

To find and peck the seeds and crumbs,

Vi sheyn di kerndlekh zey pikn,

,«jnx TXV x TT p'J "T Vyj® 'n

And how they are so quick to leave the ground

Vi shnel zey gibn zikh a loz aroyf,

.p'Vnjn aio jnnjns x "t

If a stranger among them comes.

Ven zey a fremde toyb derblikn.

C H I L D R E N

OF

A

V A N I S H E D

W O R L D

?-IM "H jyiä'3

/pr f)io n$n oyn oxn —

What will the end be, Motl, I ask you?

Vos vet der sof zayn, Motl, kh'freg dikh nor?

.jnrrpy T"P -W' "Win x

A great big boy, keyn ayn-hore;

A groyser yung, keyn ayn-hore.

,-ix' j r m mmyi dVx fa -px u?n

When I was just a boy like you

V'en ikh bin alt gevezn draytsn yor,

,x-im n "lyoxn 'n ojypyi

I was so fluent in gemore.

Gekent vi vaser di gemore. , T n s D'nj tra m w

lyry1? na t '

x

A Jew must study Torah all he can,

A yid m u z lernen toyre mit groys freyd, - u m px d ' ^ w i s j p x n o w j

Not bother with what's light and foolish,

Nisht hobn narishkeyt in zinen—

,01'"? ix , d x i is rx oxn ,VÜWÜ Djn V'ixn t x

For praised be he who honors God and man,

A/ voy! dem mentsh, vos iz tsu got, tsu layt,

.lyr-nxs oVyi px lyaiyV cm ivp oxn

Both earns a living and is studious.

Vos ken gut lernen un gelt fardinen.

C H I L D R E N

OF

A

VANISHED

W O R L D

,tt ps tj^xnyi Vxa s oxn jn»T ijn -

My Grandpa told me all about you, Dad,

D e r zeyde h o t a m o l dertseylt fun dir:

"pi ly^jD'j» "|xj -px üoiy'yS

About the pigeons you were chasing

Flegst o y k h n o k h t a y b e l e k h zikh y o g n ,

,tö lis uniyi üirj -iyoyn V'ä -px bd'3

And all about the escapades you had —

Bist o y k h fil beser nisht geven fun mir,

.IJxVffjN TIN "H öKn n p i

Your rebe gave you quite a pasting.

O a y n rebe h o t dikh o y k h g e s h l o g n ,

,injn üVyj ooxn px lyny1? loojyp earn

Today, you study and have money, too;

H a y n i kenstu lernen un h o s t gelt d e r t s u ,

,x-na rp tb -ixb ,vjj?bxb ,axn

About me, Dad, have no misgiving:

H o b , t a t e n y u , far m i r keyn m o y r e ,

,rr 'n ,-p< ^yn ,0'ni pjrn Vyn tx urn

When I grow up, I will, like you,

V e n ikh vel vern g r o y s , ve! ikh, vi d u ,

.rrrw lynyV lis o'jyi lymxs

Both study Torah and make a living.

F a r d i n e n gelt un lernen toyre.

(music on page 1 14)

C H II :) K I- \ Or- A VANISHED WORLD

Hulyet, Kinderlekh - u^njnrp 5D'1? ,-px o^sv

Revel,. Little O n e s

Play on, dearest little ones,

Sh pi It aykh, libe kinderlekh—

!oriK3 fw irVnS nyi

For spring has come anew,

Der friling shoyn bagint!

ny^nsnrp ,-pt pa 'n 'ix

Oh, my dearest little ones,

Oy, vi bin ikh, kinderlekh,

.-irsx -pK xapa

Oh, how I envy you.

Mekane aykh atsind.

Chorus:

Revel, revel, little ones, Hulyet, hulyet, kinderlekh, ,1TP MJ7T T K pr 1 73

Now, while you're still young,

Kol-zman i r z e n t y u n g ,

-lyorn mx ru u'Vns ps Vm

For from the springtime to the winter

Vayl fun friling biz tsum vinter

.unsirrixKi? x rs

Is an eyeblink long.

lz a katsn shprung.

CHILDREN

OF

A VANISHED

WORLD

.IJrtnjnrp jd'1? ,tjn dV'S®

Play on, dearest little ones,

Shpilt aykh, libe kinderlekh,

.p'^unx rp tm'iriKS

Do not waste the day;

Farzoymt keyn oygnblik.

>S® fS 1"-1N T1X TB B»J?J

Let me also share your joy,

Nemt mikh oykh arayn in shpil

.p'Vi DXT fix -ra umss

Include me in your play.

Fargint mir oykh dos glik.

(Chorus)

,SKp iyxu ii'ia *px our: tspip

Do not stare at my old, gray head;

Kukt nisht oyf mayn groyen kop,

7^'Stt; i'k

Din cny w'x

Does it disturb your play?

Tsi shtert dos aykh in shpil?

.IIP 1K3 t'K naw 1'JiJ

My soul, dear children, is still young

Mayn neshome iz nokh yung,

px' o'a p'-nx m

As in a former day.

Vi tsurik mit yorn fil.

(Chorus)

1X3 rx nam

My soul, dear children, is still young

Mayn neshome iz nokh yung

,0'ix osxirpjjn lis tro px

And dies of loneliness.

Un geyt fun benkshaft oys.

-rx TT oVni pjh m ,ix

Ah, how much it wants to dance,

Akh, vi gem vilt zikh ir

.D'nx «pa IDVK pS

Its ardor to express.

Fun altn guf aroys.

(Chorus)

/ly^ijnrp yi'1? ,-px o'rs®

Play on, dearest little ones,

Shpilt aykh, libe kinderlekh, ,P'"?3JJ'1X r p Ett'inXS

Do not waste the day

Farzoymt keyn oygnblik,

.nbga TT cpy U'Vns -ijn V^n

Because the spring will soon be gone

Vayl der friling ekt zikh baid .p'1?: ytjosyn DXT D'X Ö'»

And this joy will go away.

Mit im dos hekhste glik.

( Chorus)

(music on page 1 1 6 )

C H I L D R E N

OF

A

VANISHED

W O R L D

Dray Yingelekh lytyur im tsxn yaxa ' i

Three Little Bovs /

A mother had three little boys,

Di mame hoc dray yingelekh .oxnyi i ^ V y i r ' ?TJ

Three little boys had she,

Dray yingelekh gehac /ufafpj» y e n ,373m e n

With cheeks as soft as smoothest silk

Mic veykhe, royte bekelekh .ox1?: uyaxo nyD-ixs m

And rosy as could be.

Vi tsarter samet glat.

ybyiyi

or* oxn

The first one was called "Berele,"

Hoc eyns geheysn Berele,

,jrt>jnjnaw trn - ycrns oxi

The second "Khayim-Shmerele,"

Dos tsveyCe, Khayim-Shmerele, i c n y i Dsn y u m o*n

The third one was called, was called,

Dos drice hoc geheysn •T® ]S'ip O'X "?KT Men zol im koyfn shikh.

Was called too late for lunch!

/- V A ' I ! •I F !j W O R L D

,B-IX3snsk

nxn TK

I fooled you all, I did,

Ikh hob aykh opgenart,

.D"IXn TX DOIKnyj 3KH fW

I am a fooling kid:

Ikh hob gevust irvart:

- ybyur

,ycm oxi

The third one of the little boys,

D o s drite kleyne yingele,

."]'x p DXi vom Din

The third one—that is me!

D o s drite dos bin ikh.

IjrVyo'j ?m oxn j/axa H

A mother had three little nuts

Di m a m e hot dray niselekh

,BDxna5?j TIX' ayi 113

That she brought from the store;

Fun dem yarid gebrakht;

/•D^jhm yvys

m

Three plump and shiny little nuts

Dray gute, fete niselekh,

.B3X1S x -¡ytyo'a im

With nuttiness galore!

Dray niselekh a prakht.

CHILDREN

OF

A

VANISHED

WORLD

/isfanjn -ixs iynyi or'x rx

So she gave one to Berele

lz eyns geven far Berelen,

.B^jnyaw urn -ixs or'x px

And one to Khayim-Shmerele;

eyns far K h a y i m - S h m e r e l e n ,

Vo'j yooya oxi -ixi px

The very sweetest little nut

U n gor d o s beste nisi

.-pi ixs UTxVyi t oxn

Was one she kept, did she.

H o t zi gelozt far zikh.

> 0 1 x i n eny-inxn T X

You're wondering why, I bet—

Ir vundert zikh a bisl, ?"?D'J p p T B D ' J D X T T I X B

A nut I didn't get;

Farvos mir nit keyn nisl?

— yVyo'j .p'j ,p'j Vm

'Cause nutty, nutty, little nut,

Vayl nisn, nisn, nisele—

.-px p

dxt y o m

ohi

The third nut—that is me!

D o s drite d o s bin ikh.

(music on page 1 1 8 )

CHILDREN

OF

A

VANISHED

WORLD

flÉÊÊM

Rozhinkes mit Mandlen ,Bnpan m o$n px

Raisins and Almonds

In the ancient Temple,

In d e m beys h a m i k d e s h

,-nn Vprn x px

in an empty room,

in a vinki kheyder

.pVx irrra ruaVx h orr

The widow, Bas Zion, is sitting alone.

Z i t s t di a l m o n e Bas-Tsiyen aleyn

y'pyir >rrrp tx

She rocks her son Yidele

lr b e n - y o k h i d l Yidele

noD i w'li

and softly croons

vigc zi keseyder

ybyrb x D'x oh't fix

A lullaby song,

Un zingt im a lidele

.fi isx1?» ms

a song of her own.

t s u m shlofn geyn.

vV ,1'"?

,?i
Jf

I

B

St***« a. "" *-* -^ V SBHSKSSt ... -

**"*J¡# H

B

Tsu Dayn Geburtstog

Todav Is Your Birthdav

¿xüDtrrnyi f-t is

Today is your birthday

/

/

Tsu dayn geburtstog

,or_'n aio-or PT is

And we all have come

Tsu dayn yontev haynt

»Vaxnxa -pr pxn

All your friends and family

H o b n zikh farzamlt

.Dmfi you ym

All your dear old chums.

Dayne gute fraynt.

,tt i»»m Ta ,x-nn ,x-nn

Hooray, hooray, we're wishing you

Hura, hura, mirvintshn dir

,-m iBorn Tia ,xmn ,x-nn

Hooray, hooray, we're wishing you

Hura, hura, mirvintshn dir

.p'1?; px Muya T i IWWTI TS

We're wishing you a joyful life!

Mirvintshn dirgezunt un glik.

(music on page 124)

C H I L D R E N OF A V A N I S H E D

WORLD

Tsipele ybysrt yr>Vpn oxn oy

Tsioele i The little girl named Tsipele

Es hot di kleyne Tsipele

ybysrb x twa urmxH

W a s pouting, crying, too;

Farbisn mit a lipele.

ttbojti oxn .yVys'x ,'ix

Oh, Tsipele, what is it?

Oy, Tsipele, vos veynstu?

?iDD3"a DXI

ix

An apple shall I give you?

An epele, dos meynstu?

fj

,T"2 ,T": ,'IX

Oh, no, no, no, no

Oy, neyn, neyn, neyn, neyn

?pm fx TX ,oy mxt nyn

W h o says I'm full ofwoe?

Verzogt es az ikh veyn?

.ytya'x y:"1?? H wxn oy

The little girl named Tsipele

Es hot di kleyne Tsipele

.yVys'jp x V'ra DXT DS^PIXQ

Said sadly, "Oh, boo-hoo"

Farknipt dos moyl a knipele.

?ioorTi oxn .yVys'x ,'ix

Oh, Tsipele, what is it?

Oy, Tsipele, vos veynstu?

?TO03"a oxn .ly^yay "ns

Two apples shall I give you?

Tsvey epelekh, dos meynstu?

C H I L D R E N

OF

A

V A N I S H E D

W O R L D

P'j /pj

Oh, no, no, no, no

Oy, neyn, neyn, neyn, neyn ?1"ti t n tx ,oy

mxr - i y n

Who says I'm full of woe?

Ver zogt es az ikh veyn?

. y V y a y p t x - p B ^ O ^ D ' O rix

And now she shakes her little head

Un s'treyslt zikh ir kepele

.yVysyx tx va

Her braids go flying, all askew

Tsuzamen mit ir csepele.

?iB03"n oxn

,'ix

Oh, Tsipele, what is it?

Oy, Tsipele, vos veynstu?

not»"» Dip nyVyay m

Three apples shall I give you?

Dray epelekh, dos meynstu?

,ra

.ra ,'ix

Oh, no, no, no, no

Oy, neyn, neyn, neyn, neyn

.T'a tra ,©ip x V'n

t k

I want a kiss, no more!

Ikh vil a kush, nit meyn.

( m u s i c on page 1 2 6 )

C H I L D R E N

OF

A

V A N I S H E D

W O R L D

Hob Ikh Mir a Manti , _ , '2nxS rs VdJXB X TH fX 3XH lp>D

I Have Me a Little Coat

I have me a little coat of ancient design

H o b ikh mir a manti fun fartsaytikn shcof

xV-xV-x1? ^yxV-xV-xV-xV-xV-xV-xno

Tra-la-la-la-la-la-la-la, la-la-la

Tra-la-la-la-la-la-la-la, la-la-la

ip'sr'x i"p in fx tra oy uxn

And not a stitch of it can stand the test of time

H o t es nit in zikh keyn eyntsikn shtokh

KV-KV-K1? ,xV-x,?-xI?-xI?-xI?-x,?-x,?-xnB

Tra-la-la-la-la-la-la-la, la-la-la.

Tra-la-la-la-la-la-la-la, la-la-la

03100X3 Tt l'X 2xn ,011X1

One day an idea came to me:

D a r u m , hob ikh zikh batrakht

!B3xayi Vpyn x Vwxa ajn ps

From that little coat a jacket we shall see!

Fun d e m manti a rekl gemakht!

,x"?_xI?-xIrxI?-x17-x,7-xno

Tra-la-la-la-la-la-la,

Tra-la-la-la-la-la-la

xV-xV-xV-x^-xV-xV-xn»

Tra-la-la-la-la-la-la

Tra-la-la-la-la-la-la

.03XÌ3J7A

X VDJXÌ3 D5n ps

From that little coat a jacket we shall see.

Fun d e m manti a rekl gemakht.

C II I I I) li ! \ O r A VANI S UFI) WORLD

,x ixnx

Where is the war? Up to its knees in blood.

Avu i' di m i l k h o m e ? Biz di kni in blut.

CHILDREN

OF

A

VANISHED

WORLD

Oy, Vey Iz Mir Gesheyn

.T&yi T» ™ "n 'ix

What Happened to Me What happened to me, oh woe,

Oy, vey iz mir gesheyn,

IS Dil rx V t 1 » X ü'Ü

With a girl it's good to go;

Mit a meydl iz gut tsu geyn;

,MXJ "2 "is: ,'1X ,JKÖ 23

ÜW3

Not in daytime, only at night,

Nisht bay tog, oy, nor bay nakht,

.oaxnjnis lyayr pjnts yVx

When all the doors are locked up tight.

Ven ale toyern zenen tsugemakht.

C H I L D R E N

OF

A

V A N I S H E D

W O R L D

Music

Bulbes Satirical Em

Em

j> ;> j> i J, Sun

- da y — (po)ta - toes,

Em

j ' j> ;

Mon - day — (po)ta - toes,

Tues

Thurs

toes,

-

day

and

Fri

B7

j> p F f 1 1 Î F i Sab - bath

brings

a

no

- vel

-

B7

-

day_

once

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day

V

ty — (po)ta

and

— (po)ta

En

1

day

Wednes - day

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jn j , j i ^ r ^ ^

Em

Sun

i > J> > ^

B7

(po)ta -

The

B7

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toes,

i 1 > J1 -

to

ku

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more

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toes . . .

gl

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B7

Em

h J1 J' J> (A) lit - tie

tai

B7

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lor, (that is) what

Em

I

am,

(A) lit

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g l U * (that is) what

I

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And

J'

live

here

tie

tai

eve - ry

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$

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P E P E Hap -

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fine,

Bm

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tai

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lor,

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pull l.J)

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ft

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just

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bread;

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nee - die

earn

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the

K s — ]N -j m— J J —

make each week Am 6

can

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D7

Gm

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P

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my D7



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head,

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lit - tie I

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guess Gm

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head,

a

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my

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should have stayed in bed D7

head,

Gm

r\

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lit - tie Gm

1

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how

it

hurts.

Oyfn Pripetshik Moderato Dm

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On

$

*

the

how

mm [Gm]

the

tm ^

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0

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all

ov

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al

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gets.

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fi

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pha

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re

burns

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be

teach - es

C7

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al

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pha

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Dm

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bet:

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bet:

A

r" J my

lit

C7

Bb

Say

Gm

EH

Dm

lit

hearth

it

with

-

out

- tie

ones, F

flaw:

re

Yankele Tenderly Dm

Gm

te

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then

now,

my

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my

dar

the

time

to

close

• -

tie

boy,

al

your

love

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ly

eyes

fin

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teeth

C7

needs

me

to

sing

J

lit - tie

him

lul

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la

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bies?

Dm

J

boy,

F

C

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read - y

fin

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Dm "XT-

Still

For

Dm

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ling,

*

Bb

still

Dm

Gm

lit

I

le,

Gm

now's

$

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needs

me

to

sing

him

lul

-

la

bies?

Moti Andante

¥

Bm

What

will

Em

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Coda: The Story of the Horse Atone point while taking these photographs of Eastern European Jews, Roman Vishniac wanted to find a small, isolated community. He spoke to many people and learned of such a place in the mountains. He decided to take three cameras and tripods, as well as other heavy equipment. But how could he carry so much? From the notes he wrote at that time, we know what happened. The first thing he did was to ask several of his new friends if anybody had a horse he could rent. "Finally," he wrote, "I met a man who did not exactly have a horse, but had heard about one from a friend." So this man called his friend, who called another man, and that man said that, yes, he knew a man with a cart and a horse. The man he knew had not had many jobs for his horse and would probably be glad to earn some money. They went to the man's house and explained the problem with the heavy equipment. "Yes," he said, "I would be glad to have this job. But I have one serious difficulty. Lately, I have not been able to feed my horse as much as he needs, and he is hungry and not very strong. The first thing you must do is to give me enough money for food for the horse and also for the trip." Roman agreed. On the day of the trip, the owner of the horse, who would also be its driver, helped Roman load the cart. Several times he shook his head doubtfully and said, "Heavy. Very heavy." At last they started out, and the horse seemed to pull the cart with the two

131

men and all the photographic equipment quite well. Gradually, as they moved into the mountains, the road got steeper. The driver told Roman that it would be better if he got out and walked, so the horse would have a lighter load. Now Roman walked behind the cart, and they went on like this for some hours. Then, the road became steeper still and the driver suggested that perhaps it would be better if Roman carried one of the tripods so that the horse would not get too tired. "And so," Roman's notes say, "we could go a little farther." But it was hard to walk on the rocky path with that heavy tripod. And just when Roman decided he could go no farther, the horse decided the same thing. Roman reminded the driver that he had already paid for the whole job. "You're right," the driver answered, "but look at this horse. He's thin and he's tired and he is pulling a load that is too heavy. Do you want him to die right here?" And Roman saw that there was no help for it. Together, the two men unloaded the cart and piled everything at the side of the road. Then they said good-bye, and horse and driver went off, a little faster now, down the hill. And Roman? He figured out that if he divided all the equipment into several parts he could slowly go up with one load, come down, and take another. After several trips, which took quite a long time—when he was just as tired as the horse had been—he had done it. —Mara Vishniac Kohn

C H I L D R E N

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Notes

A Guide to Pronunciation The standard system, devised by YIVO, creates a direct correspondence between the Latin letters and the sounds of standard literary Yiddish: a

like a in account

e i

like e in get like ee in feed

o u y

like o in dog like oo in moon likeyinyes

ay ey

like wy in guy like ay in day

oy kh

like oi in to/I like ch in cAutzpa or C/ianuka (guttural sound)

s sh

like 5 in sad like s/i in s/ioe

ts tsh z

like zz in pizza like ch in chaw like z in zebra

There are no silent letters; an e at the end of a word is a pronounced syllable.

135

Glossary of Yiddish Terms gemore

the "Gemara," the part of the Talmud that comments on the Mishna

groshn

pennies (Polish)

keyn ayn-hore literally, "may no evil eye"; usually said after praising a virtue kheyder

a religious school for boys

khumesh

a small book for study, containing the first five books of the Bible (Pentateuch)

komets-alef the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet (pronounced as in "aw") kugl

a pudding

mentsh

a full human being

rebe

a religious school teacher

tokhes

underside, backside; root of the Yinglish "tushy"

Yidele

"little Jew" (used as a name in "Raisins and Almonds")

C H I L D R E N

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Information on the Texts Page 10 ("Patsh Zhe Kikhelekh" / "Clap Your Little Hands"): This text is a game, usually played with a one- or two-year-old child. The player claps hands with the child, until the last line, when the child's cheeks are gently pinched. Page 14 ("Oyfn Pripetshik" / " O n the Oven's Hearth"): This immensely popular song was actually written by Mark Warshawsky (1840-1907). It has been thought of as a folk song for nearly a century. The music is the basis of the theme song from Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List. Page 20 ("Yankele"): One ofthree songs in this book by Mordecai Gebirtig (1877-1942), a folk poet who was killed by the Nazis. His songs, sung in both Europe and America in the 1920s and 1930s, were part of the repertoire of every singer of Yiddish songs. Immediately adopted by audiences as "folksongs," they present the prevailing attitudes toward children and childhood in the Jewish Poland ofthis period. Page 26 ( " M o t l " ) : Another Gebirtig song, a dialogue between father and son. Page 38 ("Hulyet, Kinderlekh" / "Revel, Little Ones"): Another Gebirtig song. Page 50 ("Rozhinkes mit Mandlen" / "Raisins and Almonds"): This is the Yiddish lullaby. The verse was written by Abraham Goldfaden (1840-1908), the nineteenth-century creator ofYiddish musical theater pieces. It is meant to symbolize all Jewish lullabies, alljewish mothers, all Jewish children. Page 62 ("Tsu Dayn Gerburtstog" / "Today Is Your Birthday"): Another piece by Goldfaden. 137

Page 76 ("Mame un Kind" / "Mother and Child"): A poem by Itskhok Leyb Peretz (1851-1915), writer, moralist, and the intellectual father of modern Yiddish literature. He wrote many pieces for children, and this poem appeared in a Yiddish children's magazine, Crine Bletlekh (Little Green Leaves). Pages 82-100 ("Eyns-A Nisi" / " O n e - A Nut" and so on): These selections are from a collection of children's rhymes and games, originally put together in 1912 by I. L. Cahan and reprinted by YIVO in 1957, in a work edited by Max Weinreich. Page 94 ("Beys, a Shtibele" / "Beys- A Little House"): This mnemonic for Hebrew and Polish vocabulary was helpful for the dual schooling manyjewish children were exposed to. The first italicized words are Hebrew, the second are the Polish versions, and in between are the English meanings. Page 96 ("Lashinke, Vaysinke"/"Little Boy, Little Boy"): A Yiddish version of the Russian folk song, which was the basis for Pete Seeger's "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?"

A Note on the Translations and Music These poems and songs are meant to be read or sung aloud. The translations therefore attempt to provide rhyme and meter for reciting or singing. Consequently, sometimes the literalness of the translation of the text must be sacrificed to the rhyme or meter. We hope that the deeper meaning and the flavor of the original are nevertheless preserved. The musical notation will usually correspond with the meter (i.e., one syllable, one note). Occasionally, however, there will be an extra English syllable. Those syllables are printed in parentheses in the musical notation; they should, however, be sung, using the note immediately following them.

CHILDREN

OF

A

VANISHED

WORLD

A Note on the Photographs Roman Vishniac recorded a few notes about his images ofjewish families in Eastern Europe, but his comments were often very general: "Mother and Child," without any specific details. About Selma on page 91, he tells us, "She was sent to the store for a pot of soup and a bottle of milk." Only years later did he add that he recalled photographing her in Lodz, probably in 1939. Although a few of the prints are marked with their locations—"Community kitchen in Prague, 1937" for page 51—most are not. We know that the image on page 81 comes from Warsaw and that opposite the title page from Lodz in 1938. But for the most part the exact locations cannot be identified with any certainty. Perhaps Roman Vishniac wanted us to think deeply about the lives of the people, not their towns.

139

Acknowledgments W e owe many heartfelt thanks to friends and to those who, through their work, have become friends: Dina Abramowicz and the YIVO staff, Arnold Band, Walter Bierer, James Fraser, Frank Goad, Hans Guggenheim, ourYiddish reader,Janet Haddad, Anne Roiphe, Benjamin Schiff, and ourfavorite editors, Stanley Holwitz and Sue Heinemann. This book owes its existence in large part to its designers, Randall Goodall and Naomi SchifT. W e thank most particularly our husbands, Richard Flacks and Walter Kohn, for their long-lasting encouragement and support.

C H I L D R E N

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Index of Texts and Music "Beys, a Shtibele (Little House)," 94 "Bin Ikh Mir a Shnayderl," 4, 106 "Bulbes," 2, 104 "Clap Your Little Hands," 10 "Dove, The," 86 "Dray Yingelekh," 44, 118 "Eyn Mol Arum," 88 "Eyns-A Nisi," 82 "Helflkh Mamen," 54, 122 "Helping Mother," 54, 122 "Hob Ikh Mira Manti," 68, 128 "Hulyet, Kinderlekh," 38, 116 "I Am a Little Tailor," 4, 106 "I Have Me a Little Coat," 68, 128 "Lashinke, Vaysinke," 96 "Little Boy, Little Boy," 96

"On the Oven's Hearth," 14, 110 "Once Around," 88 " O n e - A Nut," 82 "Our God Sits in Heaven," 90 "Oy, Mayn Kepele," 12, 108 "Oy, My Little Head," 12, 108 "Oy, Vez Iz Mir Gesheyn," 100 "Oyfn Pripetshik," 14, 110 "Patsh Zhe Kikhelekh," 10 "Potatoes," 2, 104 "Raisins and Almonds," 50, 120 "Rebe, Der (The)," 92 "Revel, Little Ones," 38, 116 "Rozhinkes mit Mandlen," 50, 120 "Three Little Boys," 44, 118 "Today Is Your Birthday," 62, 124 "Toyb, Di," 86 "Tsipele," 64, 126 "Tsu Dayen Geburtstog," 62, 124 "Undzer Got Zitst in Himl," 90

"Marne un Kind," 76 "Mother and Child," 76 "Moti," 26, 114

"What Happened to Me," 100 "Yankele," 20, 112

"Nit Vashn!" 80 "No Washing!" 80

141

DESIGNER:

SEVENTEENTH

STREET

COMPOSITOR: SEVENTEENTH STREET WITH PETER MANSEAU AND ERNIE MANSFIELD

STUDIOS STUDIOS

(YIDDISH) (MUSIC)

TYPE: ITC LEGACY SANS & QUARK P R I N T E R : L.E.G.O. S.p.A. B I N D E R : L.E.G.O. S.p.A.

FRANK