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Near the grave of our brothers

Noah Podbersky

(Translated by Eilat Gordin Levitan)

As soon as we returned from the forest as the war concluded we stood somberly by the brotherly tomb that coated the bones of our dear ones and our hearts anguished as if mountains of sorrow were pressing upon them. Echoes of the lament of the tormented and the throes of the demised, our beloved who were snatched to be slaughtered and plowed in your earth, reverberate for generations to come, Vishnevo.

The blood of our sisters and brothers is howling to us from your land. "Vow" shout beloved people and shudder the nations of the world, reiterate and incessantly disclose, hence the mother earth will never forget the deeds of the executioners (hangmen), that the world will never forget what was done us. Will they recall? Will the world retain it? Do the ones who are provided on this day a knife in their grasp bethink this in their heart? Vishnevo, one of thousands of Jewish shtetls that the foe, may his name be erased from all memory, pulled out from its roots, the enemy that shattered you on its way to conquer the world. Here on this narrow footpath, Kerve Street, whose name is emblematic of its essence, the concourse of blood. The Nazis pushed and shoved the next of kin of our kindred while they were bewildered, numbed and almost deceased. They took their last steps holding hands and saying, "Shma Israel." Hero Israel, Adonai is our God, Adonai is One.

And here, at the edge of Kerve Street across from you, near the wall of the unfinished building, the wild brutes who feigned to be mankind, put their victims, rows behind rows with their faces to the bulwark, they commanded the beloved to crawl on their knees and here they shot their necks, one after the other and discarded them in the fire. Numerous of them jolting between life and death, and another yet alive. It’s a summer day and the world is radiant all around us an the sun is shining and the flowers all shimmering, encompassing us in multitudes of colors, and my heart is dwelling on the ice cap.

The Nazis torment terminated. We too took certain revenge. But who can meliorate from the torment that the remnants experienced? The vestiges that lost everything that they cherished. Who will heal their wounds? The laceration of the ones who walk solitary in the environ with everlasting anguish in their hearts? A grief that nevermore assuaged with heavy hearts we departed the ossuary and forever said goodbye to our dear ones. How long will this grave linger in its plot? A year? Two years? And then this land would be plowed and all things would be as if it never arise. Hush, my heart. Alive