In geto hersht haynt ru (It is Calm in the Ghetto Today)

or Zonder Yatn - “Zonder” Men

A song from the Lodz ghetto. Like several other songs recorded by the Jewish Historical Commission in Munich, 1946, no information is available about the perfromer. It was partially published in the anthology “Min Hametsar Karati”, Jerusalem, 1954, p. 66.

The song is in the style of the street songs of the Lodz Ghetto. It is a commentary on the hunger and the harsh life in the ghetto. The song, like other songs from the ghetto, criticizes the Jewish police, known as the “Sonderkommando,” established by Rumkowski in order to preserve order in the ghetto. Portions of food are small and in order to see the bread and potatoes one must don magnifying glasses. Rumkowski and his associates enjoy better food and the members of the Jewish police, headed by David Gertler, a frightening figure in Lodz’s crime scene, enforce order in the ghetto. The refrain reflects on how the Jewish police is putting a stop to thievery and should be commended for their efforts. The song uses humor and irony to comment on the politics and life in the ghetto.

The melody is taken from a Yiddish folksong.

In geto hersht haynt ru
Kartofl broyt iz do,
Vos toyg mir zorgn af morgn,
M'lebt haynt mit der sho.

Klor iz der gedank,
Men iz shoyn mer nisht krank –
Veyst ir, geto-yidn
Vemen s'kumt a dank?

Di zonder-yatn,
Zol zey gornisht shatn,
Vi zey kumen, vet keyn gneyve zayn,
Vayl Dovid firt oyf,
Zayn hant regirt oyf,
Vos er tut iz dokh gut,
Ir zet aleyn.

Afn varshivna-plats,
A varshyusik krigt a zets,
Gevald er protestirt,
Men hert im vi a kats,
Bald di zonder do,
Un Dovid fun oybn on,
S'geyt dokh bald an ordenung,
S'geyt dokh bald a ru.

Di zonder-yatn…

Kuk vi men geyt,
Dos personal vakst in der breyt,
Men muz onton toplte briln
Biz a kartofl men derzet.
Nor di zonder-vakh
Makht zi zup gants gedikht –
S'iz shoyn do fil kartofl,
A maykhl, oy a prakht!
Di zonder-yatn…