David Giora: Songs in their memory

Poets written by David Giora.
Translated from Hebrew by Mr. Yuval Romano.

Lend me a corner

Lend me a corner, only a corner,

I will pour out my heart in Hebrew,

I will not conceal anything that happened in the past,

Even if stabbed by the sabra bushes.

I shall not run away nor erase any black stain,

As always I shall beg: heal the sick,

Nothing is too expensive even if it costs a fortune,

Even in time of suffering I shall play the Master.

Do not cry my friend let your face smile,

Every man you meet – continue to bless.

If complaints you shall give – its’ outcome you’ll see,

Not rewards, only words of horror.

Nothing is different around the world,

No matter how old you are, you are only a human being.

Everyone ffels the suffering on their own flesh,

As is known in the world, nothing new happened.


I was born in Siedlce

I was born in Poland, in Siedlce.

My parents, peace upon them, did not marry out of love.

Matchmaking was common in those times,

Zvi Yehuda was my father, and Rachel my mother.


I’m not a writer or a writer’s son,

I do not sell my meager words.

I write out of boredom,

And my reward is “nothing”

These are my words and that’s all there is,

Each and Everyone understand them as you will.


I am the only survivor

At last it is permissible to say

I’m a Holocaust survivor and I’m the only one left

Everyone is already in the other world

And I want my story to tell …


Stories and books were published aplenty

And I was a pretty young boy

What recollection do I have of the time?


I remember (very well) when Poland was attacked

Bombs were dropped on the residents’ houses

And most of the casualties were, of course, Jews

Mountains of bricks and a huge fire


And the survivors wandered from one flat to another

Even before – they lived in poverty and overcrowding

Now there were families without clothes and cover.

You could not get bread either,

The lucky person was an exception,

The Nazis stormed the roads

In many vehicles, with tanks and cannons.


Poland was smashed into a pile of fragments,

In the east, the Russian armies took over.

The only place left to escape,

Was the East, where the Red Army had taken over.

Hundreds and tens of thousands fled for their lives,

To find refuge and remain as human beings.


Those who survived the horrors and slaughter,

Were now called She’erit Hapleitah.

Once millions in ravaged Poland,

Each man now looked for some closeness.


Communities of “kibbutzim” were set up in many places,

Yes, in these places they behaved like Jews,

Tried to keep tradition as they had in the past,

Dwelling together, was a great event.


About my home-town Siedlce

A dream I dream, and in my dream I see the ruined city.

No! The city’s buildings are standing,

I see only the streams of blood of my ancestors and relatives

Murdered only for being Jews.


Yes! Even the apostates who fled their Jewishness,

They, too, were mercilessly destroyed. Their blood was permitted.

Even though they are devout Christians.

But not far enough from their Judaism.

Just like their blood-fellows, the Jews

All of them ended up being “destroyed.”


My eyes are streaming, my eyes are tearing,

The horror scenes I see day by day.

Both when I sleep and am awake,

I see the burning furnace.

The bodies of the murdered turning to ash,

Their bones crushed to pieces.


Ami, Ami, I cry for you,

My beloved brothers who are murdered.


I’m a Jew

My name has always been David.

I was born as a Yid and in Poland I was called a “Zid”.

Here I have to testify, that I keep on going,

For my people to be a Hasid,

And for the rest of my life- a “Yid”.


Grandpa Shmuel

My grandpa Shmuel

Grandpa Shmuel of blessed memory came to me in my dream,

Grandfather Samuel, rest in peace.


And so he said to me, “My dear grandson”

Remember me for you’re a relative, not a stranger.

Let me tell you a short story,

About our world, about the cruel world.

Remember the strange exile,

To an unknown land, to a foreign country.


I haven’t reached my final destination

The City of Sketivker was the place of my death.

I was left alone and no one understood my words,

I was dying slowly with no relative next to me.

I could not say “Shema Yisrael”

nobody digged a grave for me 


And you must remember me this far

I loved you, my dear grandson, Peace will come upon you

“And I, my dear grandfather, shall always remember you,

I am your grandson – David. “


This is my life

Robbed childhood in a distant land.

A life of wandering and lost youth.

This is the story of my life, briefly told,

Details? Too long is the story.


The Age of Heroism (Gevurot)

I was born naked, as all human do,

to my parents, my progenotors, who had but few possessions.

I grew up to twelve and that was all.

The horrors broke out and only bereavement remained.


I shall not count years of childhood and youth.

I studied there and had no friends.

I had no clothes and my possessions were nothing,

Dreams I had of a dead-end future.


If not for the hope in my heart,

I’d be in the other world long ago.

I got the good with evil by my side,

Therefore I can never regret.


I’ve grown old, 80 years old,

And what’s dear to me is only my family.

I do not need any gifts or praise,

For the generation I’ve raised is beyond all blessing.


I see them

I see them waking up and going to sleep.

I’ll remember them until my last day.

Friends – I had six,

Every day we met in a great mood.


There were girls, but only a few I remember.

Trying to recall I break my head.

Only Rivkaleh and Hanaleh are etched in my memory,

And who is left of all of them? Just me.


Who should I mourne?

Who should I cry for? I shall never know.

For my relatives and friends and their bitter fate?

Tombstone I shall not find anywhere

On which I coule prostrate and cry.

The faces of relatives and friends – I shall forever see

waking up and going to sleep.

I shall always see the disaster,

My relatives and friends I’ll remember to my last day.