Di yunge mame
In Montreal, in 1959, David Botwinik set music to the poem ‘Di Yunge Mame’ (The Young mother). The lyrics were written by Avraham Sutzkever in Vilna in August 1944 after the liberation of the city. Botwinik explains this song as follows in his book From Holocaust to Life:
A young mother returns to her home and finds that all that remains of her precious baby daughter Khanele is a doll left behind in the cradle. The mother tenderly cares for the lifeless doll, but to no avail. At the end of the song, the mother awakens from her reverie with an agonizing scream.
Lisa Willson, soprano, performed the world premiere of this composition in March 2011.
The above translation (by Naomi Cohen, Leybl Botwinik, and Alexander Botwinik) together with the original Yiddish text and complete musical score can be found in the book From Holocaust to Life: New Yiddish Songs. See http://botwinikmusic.com.