Yad Vashem Heartstrings. Music of the Holocaust

Khalutsim lid – Pioneers’ Song

Lyrics: Shmerke Kaczerginski
Melody: David Botvinik

Khalutsim lid – Pioneers’ Song

The song was written after the war by Shmerke Kaczerginski during his years in Paris. Kazcerginski recorded the song for the Central Jewish Historical Commission, Munich 1946. 

The song was published (words and music) by Kaczerginski’s friends in a memorial book, Kaczerginski Ondenk Bukh (Buenos Aires 1955: pp. 259-260), after his tragic death in 1954

The song describes the survivors who had left the inferno of the ghettos, Auschwitz, Ponary and Majdanek, and those who fought in the ranks of the partisans, all of whom could testify to the Jewish victory over the wicked enemy. The chorus encourages the survivors, and says: “We will break the bonds and rebuild our lives; we, the pioneers will continue the battle for the Land of Israel as a free Jewish state.” It is a farewell song to Europe and a song supporting the Zionist pioneers.

Kaczerginski visited Israel but was unable to realize his dream of living there. He was invited to take an important Jewish community job in Argentina, where he was killed in an airplane crash in 1954.

Khalutsim lid – Pioneers’ Song

Fun getos, oshvyentshim, ponar un maydanek,
Fun frontn, un velder, fun hits un fun kelt,
Es halt zikh di biks nokh bay undz afn aksl,
Es shturemt dos harts nokh, es zidt un es kvelt.

Mir veln, mir veln tsebrekhn di koymen,
Mir shteln, mir shteln dos lebn in kon,
Khalutsim, khalutsim tseshparn di roymen
Un hebn dem kamf ersht nokh on, ersht nokh on.

Khotsh eybik tsum lebn mir zenen geboyrn,
Dokh shteyen mir alts nokh baym tkhumikn rand,
Es hobn khalutsim tsu kdoyshim geshvoyrn,
Tsu kemfn far frayheyt fun folk un zayn land!

Mir veln, mir veln…

Es hobn yortoyznter midbershe zamdn
Zikh nestn geboyt dort bay undz in der heym,
Itst kumen khalutsim un vider farvandlen
Dem midbershn vist in a yidisher heym.

Mir veln, mir veln…

Sholem aykh yidn, in lender, in vayte,
Sholem aykh yidn, in noyt un in payn,
Es ruft der kholets inem land, dem bafraytn-
To lomir tsu im oyle zayn, oyle zayn!

Mir veln, mir veln…

The online exhibition was made possible through the generous support of:

Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany works to secure compensation and restitution for survivors of the Holocaust.

Since 1951, the Claims Conference - working in partnership with the State of Israel - has negotiated for and distributed payments from Germany, Austria, other governments, and certain industry; recovered unclaimed German Jewish property; and funded programs to assist the neediest Jewish victims of Nazism.