JEWISH SONG COLLECTION
Title: Botvin is Akhtsn (Botvin was Eighteen)
Transcription: Miriam Isaacs
Translation: Miriam Isaacs
Information: This song, peformed by singer William Yelin, is a ballad about a Polish Jewish hero, Naftali Botwin (1905-1925) from Lemberg (Lviv), Poland. Botvin was a member of the "Kompartei" ("Kon partay") the communist party. When a member of the right wing "white police" infiltrates, our hero shoots him in the heart and is immediately executed. But Botwin's name and courage live on. He was all of eighteen, "Botvin iz akhtsn yor alt gevorn". The Yiddish brigade in the Spanish Civil War was named for him. In the context of World War II, this sort of-self sacrifice would be important to inspire resistance.
1. Botvin iz 18 yur alt gevorn,
An antayl nemt er in di ” kom” partay
Tsu 20 yur vert er arestirt
In di shtut fun di vayser politsay (2x last 2 lines.)
2. Botvin iz bald gevoyer gevorn,
as der provikuter darf adorkhtsugayn
Oroysgenimen hot er dem revolver
un shist im glaykh in harts arayn 2x
3. Der provokator is gefaln a toyter,
Botvin iz mutik geblibn shtayn
Es hot shoyn gurnisht lang gedirt
Er iz shoyn bay di vayser politsay 2x
4. Botvin iz …gefangen gevorn
Men firt im in der gerikht arayn
Ober Botvin hot dokh nisht kayn moyre
Er zingt dem internatsyonal 2x
5. Vaynt nisht brider, vaynt nisht shvester,
vaynt nisht ale ????
Az es faln ayn korbn falt nisht kayner
Nor es falt der bester.
1. Botwin just turned 18,
he took part in the communist party.
At age 20 he was arrested.
In the city of the White (fascist) police.
2. Botwin soon learned
that a police informer was to travel through
He took out his revolver
and shot him right in the heart.
3. The informer fell dead,
Botwin remained standing there with courage
It did not take long (For the white police to arrest him)???
He is already with the White police.
They took him right to the courthouse.
But Botwin was not afraid,
he sings the International.
5. Don’t cry brothers, don’t cry sisters,
Don’t weep, all of you.
When a victim fall, no one falls.
But the best of all falls dead.