In dem kleinem Dorf, in Smiltschenzi

Music: Unknown; Arrangement: D. Zisl Slepovitch

Arranger D. Zisl Slepovitch writes:
The song is a fascinating attempt to compose in German by the native Yiddish speakers. This results in a mixed, almost macaronic text, which is largely German but with a few Yiddishisms mixed in. The song conveys the suffering of Jewish mothers who were separated from their children and longed for their homes.


The style and form of the song are indicative of the interwar (Weimar Republic) period cabaret (Kabarett) and theater songs in the spirit of Kurt Weill. These might be the sources where the song and its language could originate. Another indirect clue that the song might not be originally composed by the labor camp inmates is the widespread use of popular songs with new texts during World War II.


“In dem kleinem Dorf, in Smiltschenzi ”

In dem kleinem Dorf in “Smiltchynti“
wohnen Juden in dem Lager umgliklikh
Und die Frauen weinen,
weinen on ein grunt:
Voy ist unser haymayt,
wann zaynen wir zuhaus?

In der Stall wie Schweinen leben wir
und wie Hunde hungrig zaynen wir,
das Kind hat keine Mutter,
die Mutter hat kein Kind
Voy ist unser haymayt,
wann zaynen wir zuhaus?

Juden, Juden Leid ist uns
was von dem wusst kein Mann
Von di treren unzere
kanen Flüssen sein
fun dem Blut fun uns’ren
kann sein an okean.
Von di treren uns’re
keinen Fluessen sein
fun dem Blut fun uns’ren
kann sein an okean.


"In the little village Smilchyntsi"

In the little village “Smilchyntsi”
In the camp the Jews are living miserably
Hear the women crying
Crying without end
Where is our homeland?
When will we return?

In the stall we live like pigs
Hungry as dogs are we
A child without a mother
A mother without child
Where is our homeland?
When will we return?

Jews, o Jews, o how we suffer
Nothing like it was ever known
The tears we’ve wept
Could be rivers
The blood we’ve spilled
Could be an ocean
The tears we’ve wept
Could be rivers
The blood we’ve spilled
Could be an ocean

(Translated by Daniel Kahn)