Yad Vashem Heartstrings. Music of the Holocaust

Zog nit keyn mol – Never Say

or

Partisaner Hymn – Hymn of the Partisans

Lyrics: Hirsh Glik
Melody: Dimitrii Pokrass

Zog nit keyn mol – Never Say

The song was recorded for the Jewish Historical Commission, Munich, 1946. At the opening, Shmerke Kaczerginski introduces the song, and says that he wrote its words. This is untrue.

The song is performed by Betty Segal, accompanied by Akiva Daykhes.

The song was published many times. It is the opening song in Kaczerginski’s anthology Lider fun Getos un Lagern (1948: words – p. 3, melody p. 361). The title of the anthology Mir Zaynen Do (1983: p. 94) is taken from the song’s refrain. The song appears with Hebrew translation by the poet Abraham Shlonsky (who translated it in 1945), in Min Hametsar Karati (1954: p. 189, text only), in the anthology Min Hametsar (1987, p. 98, with the melody), and in other collections. In Leyzer Ran’s booklet celebrating Hirsh Glik’s 50th anniversary, The Hymn of the Jewish Uprising (New York, 1972), the song is elucidated and translated into many languages.  

The Hymn of the Partisans was written by Hirsh Glik for the Vilna Jewish United Partisan Organization (FPO), and became the hymn of the Jewish uprising. The hymn was sung in the Vilna ghetto and among the Vilna partisans, spreading to the labor camps, concentration camps and other partisan groups. The song later became the hymn for Holocaust Day remembrance ceremonies in Israel and abroad. 

The song encourages and praises heroism and uprising. It is a testimony to Jewish suffering and sacrifice for the sake of liberty, and is intended to be sung from generation to generation.

The melody is taken from a song written for the 1937 hit film Sons of the Working People. It has a march-like, dotted rhythm, suitable for this kind of communal song.


Zog nit keyn mol

Zog nit keyn mol az du geyst dem letsn veg,
Khotsh himlen blayene farshteln bloye teg;
Kumen vet nokh undzer oysgebenkte sho,
S'vet a poyk ton undzer trot – mir zenen do!

Fun grinem palmen-land biz vaytn land fun shney,
Mir kumen on mit undzer payn, mit undzer vey,
Un vu gefaln s'iz a shprots fun undzer blut,
Shprotsn vet dort undzer gvure undzer mut.

S'vet di morgn-zun bagildn undz dem haynt,
Un der nekhtn vet farshvindn mitn faynt,
Nor oyb farzamen vet di zun un der kayor-
Vi a parol zol geyn dos lid fun dor tsu dor.

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.

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.