This song of despair was written before the war and was popular in the ghettos during the Holocaust and in the Displaced Persons camps after the war. It is attributed to S. Korntayer, a Yiddish actor, who died in the Warsaw ghetto in 1942.

Écrit par S. Korntayer, Pologne
Music is attributed to Oscar Strock. Variations of this song were sung in other ghettos as well.

© Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre 2002. All Rights Reserved.


Transcript

Vu Ahin Zol Ich Geyn?

Der yid vert geyogt un geplogt -
Nisht zicher ix far im yeder tog:
Zayn shtrebn, alts far im iz farmakht,
Faelozn, bloyz mit sonim, keyn fraynd.
Keyn hofenung, on a zikern haynt.

Vu ahin zol ikh geyn,
Ver kon entfern mir?
Vu ahin zol ikh geyn,
Az farshisn z’yede tif?
S’iz di velt groys genug,
Nor gar mir iz eng un kleyn -
Vu a blik
Kh’muz tsurik,
S’iz tseshtert yede brik:
Vu ahin zol ikh geyn?


Translation:

Where Shall I Go?

The Jew’s always hounded and plagued.
Not sure of his hour or his day.
His life is in darkness enclosed.
His strivings are thwarted, opposed.
Deserted, no friends, only foe,
No safe place, no safe day to know.

Tell me where shall I go,
Who can answer my plea?
Tell me where shall I go,
Every door is barred to me?
Though the world’s large enough,
There’s no room for me I know,
What I see
Is not for me,
Each road is closed, I am not free -
Tell me where shall I go.


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