His song was sung across Jewish ghettos in Nazi-occupied Europe and inspired the Kraków Jewish resistance, which adopted it as its anthem. Even in the darkest days of the Holocaust, Yiddish writer Mordkhe Gebirtig (Mordechay Bertig) expressed hope for a better future.
Editor's note: The following interview by Michael Gold with Dr. Mordekhai Yushkovsky, the Yiddish Instruction Inspector for the Ministry of Education of Israel of Hadashot, the newspaper of the Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities of Ukraine. In honor of a new UJE-sponsored Yiddish-Ukrainian dictionary that will be presented at this year's Jerusalem International Book Festival, which should bring about renewed interest in Yiddish, we are publishing a translation of the October 2014 interview.
Once upon a time, nearly a thousand years ago, there were people with no country of their own. From the eleventh through the fifteenth centuries, they were expelled from whatever European land they had settled. At times, they were unable to take all of their physical possessions with them, however they always took what was most important — their religious beliefs and their language. The people were the Jews, their religion was Judaism, and their language was Yiddish.
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