Remembering

By Maia Lamdany

Edited by Jessica Orlidge

The Jewish holiday of Passover will start on March 25 this year, and for some reason I’ve found myself thinking about the Holocaust, more specifically about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising began on the second night of Passover (April 19) in 1943 and ended on May 16, 1943. There were more than 300,000 Jews crammed into the Warsaw Ghetto when it was first established in 1940, and by the time that the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising began that number had been reduced to around 70,000, and a further 13,000 were killed in the Uprising.

I want to share a poem written by the Polish Jewish writer Itzhak Katznelson during his time in the Warsaw Ghetto. He was murdered in Auschwitz in 1944.

I had a dream,

a terrible dream:

my people was no more, my people

disappeared.

I rose screaming:

Ah! Ah!

What I have dreamed

is happening now!

Oh, God in heaven! —

Shuddering I shall cry:

what for and why

did my people die?

What for and why

in vain did it die?

Not in a war,

not in battle . . .

the young, the old,

and women and babies so little — —

are no more, no more:

wring your hands!

Thus I’ll cry in sorrow

both day and night:

What for, my Lord,

dear God, why?

This poem was translated from the Hebrew by Regina Grol and I found it on http://info-poland.buffalo.edu/exhib/ghetto2/dream.html.

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