Study and Theory/
Holocaust Remembrance Day

Natan Alterman

Memorial day and the rebels

1954

And on Memorial Day the fighters and the rebels said:

Do not place us therefore to be differentiated from the Diaspora in the illuminated light

At this time of memorial we are ready to descend

To again be mixed in the darkness of the life of the masses of Jews

 

The fighters and the rebels said: the day of testimony

Its main and principal symbol is not the barricade of the glorious in the flames

And not a young man and young woman who burst forth or died

By way of eternal pictures of world rebellions which are burning and are not extinguished

 

No this is the gravestone of the period. Do not dress it with the flags of the battle to see them as a summarization, the redemption of its honour and its justification

The fighters and the rebels said: we are part of the whole nation

And some of its honour and its heroism and a deep sigh of weeping.

 

We are part of the time which stands alone and which will postpone the routine of the militia

And the routine of the symbols which stand revealed

Those who fell with their weapons in their hands, perhaps will not accept the partition

Between them and the death of the communities and their leaders and lobbyists

 

We who saw the time in its terror and its dark greatness

We who saw the heroism with its many faces which is the history of the nation

We when the lightening shattered its skies, however we will not avenge its centre as a masked sculpture

Of the few for whom the brilliance of the soul of the period is the end of the battle

 

Therefore the fighters and the rebels say: the significance of this day

Is not only illuminated and emphasized in the speeches and in the writings of our brothers

The sword is drawn, the battle and the barricade, no-one can compare to them by any act

But they alone are not the symbols of the Memorial Day and not within them does it dwell

 

The honour of the nation – its only supreme justification

Will not ask the justifier to say: I fought and I raised the miracle of the uprising...

The uprising is only one note of the affair. It did not have a crossroads and a purpose

And this nation will still compete for its honour with every other nation....

 

The fighters and the rebels said: The nation shared its heroism and its honour

Also the Jewish fathers who said: “the Holocaust will bring about the underground organization”

And also that same boy or girl who walked and walked until they were lost somewhere

And left no more than a small white sock in the archive as a stone of memorial

 

Also those who symbolize the time and our war and the shining of the sword in the scabbard will be dimmed

As with nations who have never withstood such difficulties

This said the fighters and the rebels – let the people hear and not move

And the stars of the witnesses over them

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