The Way to Theresienstadt

As it appears in “Pavel’s Violin”

This is the Way to Theresienstadt
original German by Ilse Weber c. 1943
Translation by Walter William Melnyk, 2017

This is the road to Theresienstadt
trodden laboriously by a thousand,
and every one of the thousand has
suffered the same injustice:

They marched him with bowed head,
the Star of David over his heart,
his tired feet sore and dirty,
his soul tormented with pain,

hands bruised with a heavy burden,
driven by harsh commands,
an endless road in the burning sun,
his throat tormented with thirst.

This is the road to Thereseinstadt,
which has drunk our lifeblood,
where many a weary old man collapsed
and died on the rocky road.

It is a road full of misery and darkness
where streams of tears flow;
complaints of children, and moans of women,
are shed in helpless yammering.

Here an old man with poor sight stumbles
in the ruts of the herd.
How many never again return,
because the earth encloses them.

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