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Video Archives: Boris Tzentziper

Boris Tzentziper

Boris Tzentziper

born in Dobroye Bashtanskiu , 1923


Boris Tzentziper was born in the village of Dobre, near Nikolaev, in 1923. He fought in the Red Army on the Eastern front in a battalion with 12 different nationalities.

Current Video: A Small Ladder to Heaven

We interviewed Tzentziper in Mykolayiv in 2008 and he honored us with a kind of song that mourns the tragic fate of the Jewish people. Although he characterized the song as one of his own, it resembles another popular song that can be found in Beregovsky's collection of 1934. It appears that almost one stanza and part of the melody of Tzentziper's song were borrowed from there (text).

A leyter tsum himl vel ikh shteln.
Un ikh vel aroyfkrikhn tsu got.
Eyne, tsvey verter, oy, vel ikh bay im fregn:
Farvos di yidn hobn in ergets nit keyn ort.

Un nokh vel ikh im zogn:
Az di yidn - hobn fargosn azoy fil blut.
Er zol baklern
 un zol makhn az di yidn zoln lebn gut.

Un nokh vel ikh bay im betn:

Ot-di ale, vos zey hobn di yidn nit lib
zol er zey araynvarfn in grib.

I will put up a small ladder to heaven.
I will climb to God
to ask him one or two things:
Why don't the Jews have a place anywhere.

And I will tell Him:
that the Jews shed so much blood.
He should consider this
and make sure that the Jews live well.

In addition, I will ask from Him:

Anyone who doesn't like the Jews
He should throw into a pit.