Page 55 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 5 (1946-1947)

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H. Leivick spent the war years in this country, which received
only distant echoes of what went on there. But Leivick, the poet
of the conscience and the man who always demanded responsibil-
ity, spiritually lived in the Ghettos and extermination camps.
Tha t is why he could write the poems which now appear in the
In Treblinka Bin Ikh N it Geven
(I Was Not in Treblinka).
These poems are the apology of the Jew who was not chosen by
fate for a burnt offering, who escaped the hangman’s hands while
there was still time. They reflect our forlornness and bereavement
while “our people was slaughtered and the world paid no heed,”
the limitless woe of not being able, nor permitted, to justify the
ways of God.
Sutzkever and Katznelson, Segalovitch and Leivick, represent
different moods and fates. But each of them reveals the heart of
the Jew in our generation of destruction. Other Jewish poets do
the same in most of their poems in Yiddish periodicals and daily
press. The extinction of the old home compels them to turn their
gaze towards the towns and the streets which had been abandoned
long ago and which now appear in a mournfully romantic light.
The poet N. J. Gottlieb of Montreal, who lost his younger brother,
the very capable poet Jacob Gottlieb, in the war, writes concern-
LiteרMein Haimland
(Lithuania my Homeland).
Geven a Hoiz
in Poiln
(There was a House in Poland) is the name of the collec-
tion of poems by Leo Grushko of Mexico. Nechama Lehrer of
Buenos Aires makes her debut in Yiddish poetry with a work
Muter Khanafun Grabovits
(Mother Chanah of Grabovitz),
a symbol of present day mothers whose seven sons have been sacri-
Hailiker Ash
(Sacred Ashes) is the name of a collection of
poems by Elie Verblun of Montevideo. M. Z. Tkatch named his
small collection of poems
Blut Schreit fun der Erd
(Blood Crying
from the Ground). N. B. Minkov in his new book of poems
Beim Rand
(At the Edge) reflects our tragedy in his characteristic-
ally subtle and intellectual way.
I have mentioned here works of differing worth. But all of
them equally bear the mark of our era of destruction. The
publishing house issued Chaim Grade’s large collection of poems
under the name
(Generations), Itzik Fefer’s
Shotens fun
.Varshever Getto
(Shadows of the Warsaw Ghetto), David Hof-
Ikh Gloib
(I Believe). All of these are links in the contem-
poranean chain.
Completely apart from these is Reuben Eisland’s
Gezang fun
(Song of the Deer) a work based on a strange conception of
the Song of Songs.
Portretn fun Shreiber
(Portraits of Authors)
by A. Lutski is more in the nature of cafe gossip than a genuine
examination of characters.