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Literature and Poetry/
Holocaust Remembrance Day

Avramek Koppelevitz

The Department

In the department, it is happy and joyous as a rule

The cobblers sit in a circle

The hammers are striking one and two

And the work is burning in their hands


One of them whistles, the second sings

The commander is not angry and passes by

Because when they are singing the foxtrot

The nails run quickly under the hammers


The commander is a good guy

He likes to philosophize and make jokes

(and if) a good word is spoken

(it) falls straight to the heart


The hammers are striking with joy

And the pliers are banging out a tune

The wooden sandals are lined up

And the cobblers are all sweating


[...] and the soup that the department receives

Is enough for two hours of work

But they, by the sweat of their brows

Work and labour ten hours

They eat and immediately one and two

One hour after the soup they are hungry again


Another new and grave issue has been added:

Smoking cigarettes is definitely prohibited

The deputy and the lady responsible for the hall

Are responsible for this in the name of everyone

And if it happens that someone smokes

He must immediately leave and go to the lobby

Because if Shea catches the poor guy

He will take him to the police station


Because Shea is the seriously sadistic assistant

Ashi deserves a series of lashes

And he deserves at least three hundred


The lady responsible for the hall, the deputy

Condemns any disorder and mess

And likes almost everyone

(who keep) the order

Because her name is “Liebhabar”

We wish her good health


Herr Leiter – the manager of the platoon

Gutterman - a man who likes justice

Wisdom, effort and is a tyrant (!)

Manages us all the time

With the help of a community of messengers


Pan Brilinsky also

Has laboured with the sweat of his brow

He takes the place of the manager

In the event that Herr Leitar goes out

Pan Brilinsky celebrates

And controls us with a heavy hand


Pan Rakovsky – the deputy coach

With an easy temperament and complacent

(....) above the cobblers

(....) above the fibulas

He stands bent over most of the time

Prepares what is needed for Thursday


The lady responsible for the hall

A wonderful woman

She has a good head on her shoulders

She remembers everyone’s name

In every department, those who come daily

And also those from the contract work


Each and every one of them is amazed

And Pan Varheim – the head of the department

Shouts at everyone who is late

And very often loses his rag

He has a deputy who is really a great guy

Just waits who to give it to (on the head??)


And when he gets annoyed he spits like a tap

We read here on the board also any small disorders

In Hall No. 5 they are not accurate with times (accuracies?)

Once as if by mistake, the second time as if

Not in order, and again they put us at the end of the queue

This is our bitter fate, lunch

We always receive last.


On the fifteenth of December they were about to have a celebration

The management collected money from us

Each of us gave the Mark that he worked hard for

On the fifteenth of December the management informed us

That our celebration was postponed until January

On the fifteenth of December they notified us formally

That the celebration had been postponed to another time

We just have to pray to God and wish to express

That we hope to reach that time whole

And we will be able to have a celebration next year


And despite the fact that the building is good

Because the department has created excellent material

For who? Just the cobblers know

And everyone will tell of different times (better?)

(...) those who I did not describe will forgive me

(...) and they will forgive me if I did not mention them

Because I knew only a few and matters and men should not be judged

Just superficially

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