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Generations After, Inc. is an organization based in Boston, Massachusetts, created by children and grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors.  We know that our legacy has given us the responsibility of representing in this world all of the relatives and all of the kinsmen who did not survive.


We owe it to our parents and to those who perished to do our utmost to respect and assist Survivors, to ensure that Holocaust educational programs and community events are maintained and promoted and to develop relationships and networks with descendants of Survivors, their children, their grandchildren and friends.


Our goal is to grow our organization to become a better resource for Survivors and to join with members of the next generation in fulfilling our legacy.


This recording of the Partisan song was made for the Generations After web page.  The poem was written by Hirsh Glik, who set it to lyrics of a Russian folk song.  He was born in Vilna in 1920 and while living in the Vilna ghetto he became a member of the underground resistance which fought off Nazi troops in the surrounding forests.  The song became the official hymn of the resistance and traveled from partisan outposts to concentration camps throughout Eastern Europe.


Hirsh Glick died at the age of 23.  The song has been translated into many languages and is still performed throughout the world at Holocaust Remembrance events by Survivors, their descendents and friends.


David Dembling, a Holocaust Survivor from Poland, sings in Yiddish.  Emily Paley, a high school student from Newton sings an English translation and Jenna Brown, from Watertown and a recipient of a scholastic award from Facing History & Ourselves, plays the melody on the violin.


In the footsteps of our parents we bring you…the Partisan Song.


 


  The Hymn of the Partisans 


To purchase the CD, click here Hymn of the Partisans







Zog nit keyn


Zog nit keyn mol az du geyst dem letstn veg, 


Khotsh himlen blayene farshteln bloye teg. 


Kumen vet nokh undzer oysgebenkte sho-     


S’vet a poyk ton undzer trot mir zaynen do!


 


Fun grinem palmenland biz vaysn land fun shney,  


Mir kumen on mit undzer payn, mit undzer vey,


Un vu gefaln s’iz a shprits fun undzer blut,


Shprotsn vet dort undzer gvure, undzer mut.


 


Dos lid geshribn iz mit blut un nit mit blay, 


S'iz nit keyn lidl fun a foygl af der fray, 


Dos hot a folk tsvishn falndike vent


Dos lid gezungen mit naganes in di hent!


We Are Here


English Translation:


Never say you walk your final way,


Though lead-filled skies above blot out the blue of day.

The hour for which we long will appear,
Our footsteps beat like drums we are here!
 
Our land of green palm trees to lands with snow,
We march on with our pain and with our woe,
and where'er a spurt of our blood did drop,
For there our might sprout from that spot.
 
The morning sun will radiate the day,
Our enemies and past will fade away,
But a people amid crumbling walls did stand,
They stood and sang this song with rifles held in hand.
 
This song was written with our blood and not with lead,
This is no song of free birds flying overhead,
But should the dawn delay or sunrise wait too long,
 
Then let all future generations sing this song.
 
 
Words by Hirsh Glik, Music by Dmitri Pokrass

The Hymn of the Partisans Performed by:


Singers:


David Dembling, a Holocaust Survivor from Poland


Emily Paley, a graduate of Solomon Schechter School


The violinist:


Jenna Brown, Watertown, MA winner of Facing History and Ourselves award for Holocaust Studies




History of Hirsh Glik the writer of the Song of the Partisans (1920-1944)


Hirsch Glik was born in 1920 to a working class family in Vilna.  Glik began writing poetry at the age of 13, and was involved throughout his adolescent years in literary circles such as Yung Vilne ( Young Vilna) and its offshoot Yungvald (Young Forest). In September of 1941, Glik was sent to the first of two ghettos established in the city. One of the most significant political forces in the Vilna ghetto was the underground Fareynigte Partizaner Organizatsye, of which Glik was a member.  The FPO was established in 1942 to organize armed resistance in the forests surrounding Vilna. However, the members of the FPO were also heavily involved in the cultural life of the Vilna ghetto.  Many partisan writers, such as Glik, saw song writing as an effective way of promoting their cause, encouraging resistance, and creating a feeling of communal strength.


Glik composed the popular song ‘Zog nit keynol as du geyst dem letstn veg’ (Never say that you are walking the final road), which became the official hymn of the FPO shortly after it was written in 1943. There were two important events that likely influenced the writing of this song; first, a battle between a group of Jewish partisans and SS officers in the forests near Vilna in 1943 and second, news of the Warsaw ghetto uprising. The song was based on a popular Soviet melody by composer Dimitri Pokrass. This song’s popularity extended far beyond the confines of the Vilna ghetto; Glik’s song found its way to concentration camps throughout Nazi-occupied Europe. We know from survivor accounts that ‘Zog nit keynol as du geyst dem letstn veg’ was also translated into several European languages


In September of 1943, Glik was deported to the first of several Estonian concentration camps. Throughout his internment, Glik continued writing poems. In 1944, as Russian forces were closing in, he escaped from the camp to join the partisans, but disappeared, and was presumed dead. [2]








[2]  Excerpt taken from the Jewish Music Research Centre, The Hebrew University of  Jerusalem