from Oannes *…
…another contribution to the host’s ‘war’ theme.
To Babi Yar είναι ένα φαράγγι στην Ουκρανική πρωτεύουσα, το Κίεβο και τόπος σφαγών που πραγματοποιήθηκαν από τις δυνάμεις της ναζιστικής Γερμανίας κατά τη διάρκεια της εκστρατείας της κατά της Σοβιετικής Ένωσης στον Β’ Παγκόσμιο Πόλεμο. Ακούμε το πρώτο μέρος από τη Συμφωνία Νο.13 σε Σι ύφεση ελάσσονα, op.113 του Dmitri Shostakovich, “Babi Yar”. Ποίηση του Yevgeni Yevtushenko. Στο βίντεο χρησιμοποίησα έναν από τους “Χαρακτήρες” μου, που ήταν εμπνευσμένος από αυτό το έργο. Την Concertgebouw Orchestra & Gentlemen from the Choir of the Concertgebouw Orchestra διευθύνει ο Bernard Haitink. Εξαιρετική εκτέλεση και εξαιρετική ερμηνεία από τον Marius Rintzler [μπάσο].
Babi Yar, a ravine in the Ukrainian capital Kiev and a site of massacres carried out by Nazi Germany’s forces during its campaign against the Soviet Union in World War II. We listen to the first part of Dmitri Shostakovich, Symphony No 13 in B flat minor, op.113, “Babi Yar”. Poetry by Yevgeni Yevtushenko. Video was created using one of my “Characters”, which was inspired by this work. Concertgebouw Orchestra & Gentlemen from the Choir of the Concertgebouw Orchestra directed by Bernard Haitink. Extraordinary performance and exceptional interpretation by Marius Rintzler [bass].
Μεταγραφή & μετάφραση της Valeria Vlazinskaya • Transliteration & translation adopted from Valeria Vlazinskaya
❝ Over Babi Yar there are no monuments.
The steep precipice is like a crude gravestone.
I am terrified.
I am as old today
As all Jewish people.
Now I imagine that I’m a Jew.
Here I wander through ancient Egypt.
And here, on the cross, crucified, I perish.
And still I have on me the marks of the nails.
I imagine myself to be Dreyfus.
The Philistine – my informer and judge.
I am behind bars. I am surrounded.
Persecuted, spat on, slandered.
And dainty ladies in Brussels frills,
Squealing, poke their parasols into my face.
I imagine myself the boy from Belostok.
Blood flows, running over the floors.
The rabble-rousers in the tavern commit their outrages
Reeking of vodka and onions, half and half.
Kicked by a boot, I lie helpless.
In vain I plead with the pogrom-makers.
Accompanied by jeers: “Beat the Yids, save Russia!”
A grain merchant batters my mother.
O my Russian people, I know you
Are innately international
But often those whose hands were vile
In vain used your purest name.
I know the goodness of my land.
What base lowness – without a quiver of a vein
The anti-Semites proclaimed themselves
“The Union of the Russian People!”
I imagine myself as Anne Frank,
Transparent as a sprig in April,
And I love, and have no need for phrases,
But I do need for us to gaze into each other.
How little one can see, or smell!
Leaves – we cannot have,
Sky – we cannot have,
But there is so much we can have –
To embrace tenderly in a darkened room.
“Don’t be afraid, those are the booming sounds
Of Spring itself. It’s coming here.
Come to me,
Quickly, give me your lips!”
“They’re breaking the door!”
“No, it’s the ice breaking…”
Over Babi Yar the wild grasses rustle.
The trees look sternly as if in judgement.
Here everything screams silently and, taking off my hat
I feel I am slowly turning grey.
And I myself am one long soundless cry.
Above the thousand thousands buried here.
I am every old man here shot dead.
I am every child here shot dead.
Nothing in me will ever forget this.
The “Internationale” – let it thunder
When forever will be buried
The last of the anti-Semites on earth.
There is no Jewish blood in mine,
But I am adamantly hated
By all anti-Semites as if I were a Jew.
That is why I am a true Russian! ❞
As always, I’m happy to hear your thoughts, however I’d highly recommend a direct dialogue with the …’source’ [why comments are closed here], so please visit Oannes’ page where you can also listen to the song !
* For my friends who didn’t know, or first timers here, Oannes [aka Socratis Papahatzis] is my husband, partner in life and music and the one with my undying admiration. Together we have a band MK-O [the music of Marina Kanavaki & Oannes]. So, it’s my pleasure to share with you his [and sometimes mine] musical selections. • Do visit his site. He has my highest recommendation!