Smithsonian Collections

Songs of the ghetto sound recording / sung by cantor Abraham Brun

Image for Songs of the ghetto sound recording / sung by cantor Abraham Brun
Data Source
Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections
Cover design by Ronald Clyne. Photographs by David Gahr.
Biographical note, introductory notes, and texts of the songs with English translations (6 p. : ill.) inserted in original cover.
"The songs on this record are part of the large cycle of artistic expressions in song and music given by the inmates of the ghettos, labor camps and death camps to the infernal conditions in which they lived and died." -- text from notes.
During WWII, the term "ghetto" took on new meaning as a place where Jews in Nazi-controlled Europe were required to live, usually later to be transported to the concentration camps. Ghetto residents often turned to music to express their sorrow or to ease their burden. While many of the songs relate directly to the Holocaust, others concern Jewish life in Eastern Europe prior to WWII. The songs selected for this recording are all in Yiddish, traditionally the primary secular language of Eastern European Jews. Cantor Abraham Brun (1909 - 1998) is uniquely qualified to sing these songs. Born in Lodz, Poland, he is a Holocaust survivor, having been confined to the Lodz Ghetto and later having been sent to Auschwitz. He had performed these songs in the Ghetto.
Sung by Abraham Brun with guitar accompaniment.
Related materials may be found in the Moses and Frances Asch Collection, also held by this repository. Related materials may include correspondence pertaining to the recording, original cover art designs, production materials, business records, and audiotapes from studio production.
Track information
101. Mir zitzn in tzen (Ten of us seated)
102. Cheder yorn (School days) / music by David Beigelmann, words by Zelkowicz
103. Nit kayn rozhinikes, nit kayn mandlen (No Raisins and No Almonds ; parody on a traditional Jewish lullaby) / music by David Beigelmann, words by Isaiah Spiegel (Lodz ghetto)
104. Feter Yitze (Uncle Itzi) / by M. Kulbak
105. Oyb nit kayn amune (If Not Faith - a fragment)
106. Yidelach, briderlach (Little Jew brothers) / by David Ignatov
107. Tonu rabonun (The talmud student) / music by David Beigelmann, words by Zelkowicz
201. Minutn fun betochn (Moments of confidence) / by M. Gebirtig, music by Abraham Brun (written in Cracow, 2 October 1940, before the mass killings began)
202. Shtiler, shtiler (Quiet, be quiet) / music by Alec Wolkowiski, words by Kaczerkinski (Vilno ghetto)
203. Zunen vern nit farloshn (Suns do not become extinguished) / by I. S. Pernowitz
204. Mach tzu di eigelech (Shut your little eyes)
205. Mayne yorn (My years)
206. A lid (A song) / by Aliza Greenblatt
207. Vos darfn mir veinen (Why need we cry?)
Publisher number
FW 8739 Folkways Records
Repository Loc.
Smithsonian Institution, Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, 600 Maryland Ave., S.W., Suite 2001, Washington, D.C. 20024. Call 202-633-7322 for appointment. Fax: 202-633-7019. Email:
Brun, Abraham
Gahr, David
cover designer
Clyne, Ronald 1925-2006
20th century
Physical description
1 phonograph record : analog, 33 1/3 rpm ; 12 in
Phonograph records
See more items in
Folkways Records Collection 1948-1986
Local number
Folkways 8739
Folk songs, Yiddish
Songs, Yiddish
United States
Restrictions & Rights
Restrictions on access