(recited by Horst Rotholz)
Listen, you dear people,
Purim, that means happiness.
Purim, that means eating cake,
And not forgetting Haman.
This saying from childhood days,
No longer applies today.
That was yesterday, what will tomorrow bring?
These are our present worries.
Visa, affidavit, consulate,
Brazil, Cuba, Dominican Republic,
Bolivia, Haiti, Paraguay, Alexandria,
Palestine or Rhodesia,
Australia, Shanghai, South Africa,
And the last hope is the U.S.A.1
What are we doing here, there we can laugh.
No mishpokhe, says the wife.
But think again now, long and hard;
That's right, your late mother’s brother,
Uncle Wolf, that lousy so-and-so.
Back then, you know, he had to go, now why was that?
Because of some bad deal, to the U.S.A.
The whole mishpokhe2 were beside themselves.
And now that I think about it, I do recall,
That Uncle Salomon during the night
Took him secretly to a ship in Hamburg.
He has grown-up sons, who are rich,
So sit down and write them straight away.
Tell them how we're doing, and that we have no relatives,
Ask if the mother’s still alive, the old aunt,
And then one morning you'll be cheering: Hooray,
Wife, come inside, the affidavit is here.
This is just the start, now the real misery begins.
You've got an affidavit, but no number.
You go to Stuttgart, show your papers,
And finally end up at a "benevolent society."3
You must wait five years, that's no exaggeration.
What's going on there defies all description.
You come home exhausted, and what do you bring?
A questionnaire, makh yontef4 with that.
Now you have an affidavit
And still you sit at home;
Your only thought is how to get out.
You're supposed to wait five years, that's clear,
By living frugally, you'll have the mezumen5 for two.
Now you start all over again with Argentina,
Visiting German or American lines.
Are you going to New York, Tel Aviv, or Florida,
To Colombia, Chile, Yokohama.
Will you cross the border in a legal or illegal way,
Or wait for the next Joint conference.6
Are you going to an intermediate country, who'll give you the currency for that?
Your wife is sitting there, while you sit here.
Who knows all these countries?
You’re getting all confused.
The places you want to go are mostly inaccessible.
You get all meshugge,7 run around like obsessed,
Go to Ms. Ehrmann and take English lessons.
You're completely honest, don't need to lie,
Learning English is no fun either.
Then the wife says, I've had enough,
I'm getting my household ready for emigration.
The beds are too high, the buffet should be lower,
Or else it won’t fit in the rooms in America.
You don't need an armoire, take an axe to it,
In America the closets are all built in.
Then they write you from over there,
You can hardly believe it,
Telling you to leave all your furniture behind.
So, you advertise, trying to sell,
And an endless number of people come by.
They offer you, though it's hard to believe,
For the most beautiful room: 100 Mark,
And when you've finally sold it all,
They write from over there: just bring the furniture along.
And so it goes, getting worse every day,
For yourself and your family, all you have is one room.
And in this room, admired by all,
There is a couch, the symbol of the century.
The couch, your wife, and the children, the dears:
That's all that is left of your wealth.
You have your wife share the couch, nice and snug,
There you sleep better than you did in your bed.
Contented, you think, enjoying the thought,
They can all go... take a running jump.
Then you fall asleep and can be envied,
You happily dream about the good old days.
But when you awake in the morning, you're aware of the sorrow,
And once again you're the same old khamer.8
You pace back and forth, up and down,
It just keeps on, it's becoming too much.
In the morning, at noon, until late in the night,
It's always the same thing that's making you fret.
You ask yourself why, for what reason, how come,
And think you'll never enjoy life again.
Can you, my friends, understand my concern?
The trouble, the trouble, the trouble I'd like to see!