In geto s’iz du a shteyger

This was written in late 1940 after the Łódź ghetto became more organized, and new workshops were opened.  The first two lines of the song set the scene: whilst the inhabitants were labouring and starving, Rumkowski’s cronies were organizing a big party for themselves.


The contrasting of Rumkowski and his friends with the suffering of the rest of the ghetto's inhabitants is also a familiar theme in other songs.  Czarnieckego Street was notorious as the place the ghetto prison was located.  The singer does not envy the prisoners, who sit while members of the favoured authority, the Beirat, enjoy the 'good life'.  The Beirat will never be punished for its crimes, as long as Chairman Rumkowski is in power, for he is their friend and he is strong.

This song was composed and first sung by Yankele Hershkowitz.  It was recalled and sung here by Yaakov Rotenberg.

Lyrics: Yankele Hershkowitz
In geto s’iz du a shteyger
[Czarnieckego Znany]
In geto s’iz du a shteyger,
Er klapt shoyn vi a zeyger,
Alts iz du markotno,
Nishtu kayn bez-rebotno,
Men est gebrutns
Men shpilt in kurtn,
Der gantser bayrat iz haynt mat,
Er hot kayb breyre,
Far an’veyre,
Der prezes shtarker iz a khvat.

The Notorious Ghetto
[The Notorious Czarnieckego]
Lyrics: Yankele Hershkowitz   

The notorious ghetto,
It runs like clockwork,
Everything is in order,
No unemployment,
They eat roast,
Play cards,
The entire Beirat is corrupt.
He [Rumkowski] had no choice,
Because it was a crime,
The strong president is all-knowing and brave.