This version was recalled by Yaakov Rotenberg and recorded by Gila Flam.

Yiddish Transliteration

Ikh fur in keltser kant
Lyrics: Yankele Hershkowitz
Ikh fur in keltser kant,
Dort est men retekhlekh mit shmant,
Mayrn, burkes far a drayer,
Khutsi khinem krigt men ayer.
Dortn s’leybn iz nisht tayer,
Fur avek zay nisht kayn frayer.
Ikh fur in keltser kant,
Dort est men retekhlekh mit shmant.
Dort boyet zikh a naye medine
In dem zayen mir kayn grine,
Rumkowski Khayim vet zayn indzer fraynt
Servus yidn servus
Ikh fur nokh haynt!
Ikh fur in keltser kant…

English Translation

I am Going to Kielce
Lyrics: Yankele Hershkowitz

I’m going to Kielce,
Where they eat radishes with cream,
Carrots, beetroots as much as you want,
And eggs for half the price.
Life there is not expensive,
Go there, don’t be a fool
I’m going to Kielce,
Where radishes and cream they eat.

There, they build a new nation,
Nobody there will be 'green'.
Rumkowski Khayim will be our friend.
Bye-Bye, Jews,
I’m going right away.

I’m going to Kielce…

This is yet another commentary on a rumour that spread throughout the ghetto, namely that in the region of Kielce, Jews lived free and had plenty to eat, just as before the war.

The song mentions food, the most desirable commodity in the ghetto where there never was enough to eat.  Its description of food is realistic but its imaginings border on raw cynicism when it describes the new nation led by a 'friendly' Rumkowski.

The song, with its variants, makes it clear that the people are desperate to leave the ghetto, they have 'the evil passion', as if the devil had got into them.  They want to live in a free Jewish land where they will not have to wear the hated yellow star.

This song was composed and performed in the ghetto by Yankele Hershkowitz.  The melody and the structure of the song are of Jewish origin and are similar to those of 'Ikh fur kayn Palestine' (I’m going to Palestine). Its minor modality and melodic repetitions are characteristic of Yiddish folksong.