Monday, 22 June 2009

Erich Fried's Bulldozer

The following is the second poem in the current series of translations from the work of Erich Fried (1921-1988). Fried, born in Vienna, fled Austria in 1938 and lived in England from 1938 onwards.
Following publication of his controversial and Vietnam and (1966) and his Love Poems (1979) he became the most widely read German language poet since Bertolt Brecht.


The Bulldozers in Israel
have confirmed
their connection
to the Israeli Bulldozers
in Beirut
where the bodies
of murdered Palestinains
were buried under the rubble
of their quarters

It is now reported
that in the middle of Israel
the Memorial Cemetery
for the dead of Deir Yassin
has been partly destroyed
by Bulldozers
"Not intentional" it's called:
"An oversight during building work"

Also the murder
of the people
in Sapra and Shatila
shall become known only
as an oversight
in the work of building
a great Zionist power

translation of publisher's* footnote:
Deir Yassin's occupants were murdered in 1948 by Begin's Freischärlern (the 250+ dead were mostly women, children and old men); Sapra and Shatila in Beirut were the two refugee camps destroyed.

*Wagenbach, Berlin

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