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Mayn Shtetl Ungen

Mayn Shtetl Ungen Ė Barkan, H; Filadelfiye : Dzsh. L. Gros drukeray (Mid-City Press, Inc.) Ė1959. Yiddish poem by Chaim/Haim (Hershel) Barkan about life in Ungen

From authorís son, Archie (Hersh) Barkan:

"My fatherís poem, Mayn Shtetl Ungen was published in 1959. You know, it caused quite a stir at the time. His intro is so incredible Ė itís the best thing he ever wrote. David Grossman, (famous Israeli author), LOVED this book. He thought it was a classic.Ē


English translation dictated by the authorís son, Archie Barkan, Woodland Hills, CA.

Dedication: To those who were destroyed by the hands of villains in 1941.

Section Headings:

Part I: Formation of the town Ė A Stretch of Land; In the Yard of the Landowner; The Meeting of Some Members of the Town; Jews are Building; The Hammer and the Saw and the Iron and the Stone; The Marketplace; Jews Speaking in the Holy House; The Town Grows; Teachers; Making a Living; The Heritage; Charity; A Learned Man comes to Town

Part II: The New Time; Youth; Summer; Two Generations; Jews; A Rabbi; The River; New Teachers; The Hebrew School; Three Shuls; Holidays; Jewish Heroism/Strength; Revolution; Epilogue--Destruction/Death/Annihilation; Acknowledgements.

Introduction:

Ungen

My dear little town,

Ungen in Bessarabia --You were destroyed, my town

Destroyed by the Nazi world villains

I carry you in my heart like a golden treasure

With your dreams and your ideals

With your weekday noises and arguments

With the charm of your well-kept homes and well-dressed Jewish daughters

With your noisy back yards and your deep mud

With your gentleness and your learnedness

With your ignoramuses and your stupid people

With your holidays and your mid-weeks

With your deep humanity and broad generosity

With your miserliness and stinginess

My little town with all kinds of wonderful characteristics and stupidity

With your good facets and your faults, but with charm everywhere in everything- You are rooted in my heart forever

On your earth, where I was born and spent my childhood, my young years and my mid years

My hand is shaking as I take my pen in hand, as I put a gravestone up over you

Iím standing at an open window

And I look out with my wide open eyes

And it seems to me like Iím young again

And I see you as you looked to me a couple of decades ago, before I left you

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