Mordechaj Gebirtig


22 Iyar 5781

Mordechaj Gebirtig was born on 4 May 1877 in Kraków, a professional carpenter and by passion a poet, a songwriter and an actor. He was linked to Krakow’s Kazimierz almost all his life.

Mordechaj Gebirtig was called the last Jewish popular artist in Poland and the Bertold Brecht of Kazimierz. His creations mirrored the whole complexity of cultural and common life of the Jews in pre-War Poland and above all, in “Kroke”, Kraków.

In December 1940 he had to move from Kraków to Łagiewnik. Thus, as a poet, he said goodbye to his beloved city:

Goodbye Kraków

Be healthy

Under my house a car waits already.

Here from my town

I am chased like a hound.

The streets like a desert are found

On 4 June 1942 he was shot by the Germans together with his whole family.

May they all rest in peace and may the murderers never be forgiven.

photograph: Wikimedia, translation Dr. D. Cohen