Music of the Holocaust: Highlights from the Collection

Songs of the ghettos, concentration camps, and World War II partisan outposts

Ghetto Songs

 

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
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Portrait of Frieda Bursztyn Radasky taken in Turkheim, Germany, 1946.
Portrait of Frieda Bursztyn Radasky taken in Turkheim, Germany, 1946.
Toby Kornreich
Jews assembled under guard before deportation from Warsaw. Warsaw, Poland, July-September 1942.
Jews assembled under guard before deportation from Warsaw. Warsaw, Poland, July-September 1942.
Zydowski Instytut Historyczny Instytut Naukowo-Badawczy
There Lies Treblinka
(Treblinke Dort)

Lyrics by: Anonymous

Composer: Eduardo Bianco (tango “Oración”)

Language: Yiddish

 

Performed by Frieda Bursztyn Radasky

Frieda Bursztyn Radasky learned There Lies Treblinka in 1943 while working in the kitchen at a coal depot in the Praga district of Warsaw, outside the ghetto area. The kitchen workers, mostly young women, witnessed countless Jews being deported from the ghetto. Many deportees believed the Nazi propaganda that the trains were headed to work camps, where survival was possible. Radasky and her coworkers knew the trains led to death camps. There Lies Treblinka was their way of acknowledging the horrible truth.

According to Radasky, There Lies Treblinka was written over a period of time with each worker contributing to the lyrics. The song survives in a number of variant forms; Radasky recorded her version around 1990 during an oral history session with her daughter, whose voice can occasionally be heard on the recording.

Recording Source:

USHMM recorded sound archive

Related Links:

Deportations to and from the Warsaw Ghetto (article in the USHMM’s Holocaust Encyclopedia)

Treblinka (article in the USHMM’s Holocaust Encyclopedia)

 

Listen to There Lies Treblinka with Frieda Bursztyn Radasky’s opening commentary

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