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Es brent! Briderlekh, sbrent! Oy undzer orem shtetl, nebokh, brent Beyze vintn mit irgozn Raysn brekhn un tzeblozn Shtarker nokh di vilde flamen Altz arum shoyn brnet! Refrain Un ir shteyt un kukt azoy zikh mit verlegter hent un ir shteyt un kukt azoy zikh Undzer shtetl brent II Sbrent, briderlekh, sbrent! Oy undzer orem shtetl nebekh brent S'hobn shoyn di fartzungen S'gantze shtetl aygengetzungen Un di beyze vintn hudzhen S'gantze shtetl brent! Refrain 3. S'brent, briderlekh, s'brent1 Oy skon kholile kumen der moment Undzer shtot mit undz tzuzamen Zol oyf ash avek in flamen Blaybn zol, vi nokh a shlakht Nor puste shvaze vent! Refrain 4. S'brent briderlekh s'brent! Di hilf iz nor in aykh aleyn gevendt Oyb dos shtetl iz aykh tayer Lesht mit ayer eign blut Bavayzt az ir dos kent Shteyt nit brider ot azoy zikh Mit farleygte hent Shteyt nit brider lesht dos fayer Undzer shtetl brent!
Es Brent (translation from <i>Favorite Yiddish Songs</i>, complied by E.G.Mlotek, c.1972 Adama Books) It's burning, brothers, it's burning! Oy, our poor shtetl is burning, Raging winds are fanning the wild flames And furiously tearing, Destroying and scattering everything. All around, all is burning And you stand and look just so, you With folded hands... And you stand and look just so, While our shtetl burns. It's burning, brothers, it's burning! Oy, our poor shtetl is burning, The moment is at hand when, God forbid, Our town, along with all of us, Will be turned to ashes by the flames, And only bare, black walls will remain As after a battle. Our town is burning, And only you can save it! Extinguish the fire with your very blood, If you must! Don't just stand there, brothers, With folded hands. Don't stand there, put out the fire! Our shtetl is burning!
Don't stand, brothers, while our town is burning! The Polish poet Mordekhai Gebirtig (1887-1942) wrote "'S brent!" as a reaction to the bloody act against Polish Jews in the village of Przytik. It was and still remains a dramatic warning to the dangers of remaining passive in times of oppression. "Brothers, our village burns! You all just stand and watch. Do something! If necessary, extinguish the flames with your own blood!" The clip featured here is by Aufwind, a German band. Click here to go to their website.
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