KZ-Liebeslied (Love Song from a Concentration Camp)

The poem, written in 1934 by Zofia Karpinska a Polish woman, together with Czech Ludmilla Peskanova, Liebeslied is a gripping song composed during the time of their incarceration in the concentration camp, Majdanek. They were some of the few women who survived. I have been unable to learn much more about their fate, except that Ludmilla was taken to Ravensbrueck, an infamous camp for women, where the inmates were subjected to horrific tortures. Zofia lived after the war in Warsaw. Both have since died.

Draussen steht eine bange Nacht,

Die Zeit flieht - der Flieder blueht,

Hinter dem siebenten Berg bist du.

Draussen steht eine bange Nacht,

Die Zeit flieht - der Krieg dauert an . . .

Hinter den Draehten warte ich.

Mein Herz sehnt sich nach dir

Und weint, ach lange, ach lange

Hierher zu uns  - hinter die Draehte

Fliegt kein Vogel.

Draussen steht eine bange Nacht,

Die Zeit flieht - der Krieg dauert 

Hinter den Draehten

Hinter den Draehten krepiere ich,

krepiere ich.

 

LOVE SONG FROM A CONCENTRATION CAMP (KZ-LIEBESLIED)

(line by line translation by Naomi Stephan)

Outside, the night is frightening.
Time flies, the lilac blooms.
You are beyond the seventh mountain.
Outside, the night is frightening.
Time flies, the war drags on.
I wait behind the barbed wire fences.
My heart longs for you
And cries without end, without end.
To us prisoners behind the barbed wire,
Not a single bird ventures.
Outside, the night is frightening.
Time flies, the war drags on.
Behind the barbed wire fences
Behind the barbed wire fences
I am dying,
Dying a slow death. 

 

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