Men darf tsi kemfn
The song’s refrain is a workers' call to arms, but it has lost this connotation in the Łódź ghetto, and become instead a general call for survival, and a demonstration against the humiliating ghetto authorities.
The verse is a political satire on the rumour that the ghetto is to receive a new ruler known for his good qualities, one who may ask the Germans to open it up. Moses Merin, a member of the central committee of the Elders of the Jews in East-Upper Silesia in Sosnowiec, visited Łódź in the autumn of 1940. Because he had a good reputation, there was hope that he might be the one to help the Łódź inhabitants. But, in fact, he resembled Rumkowski in his abuse of power.
Yaakov Rotenberg, sings in this recording.
Yaakov Rotenberg, who sings the song in this recording, commented: 'The most important song in the ghetto was a song of revolt, 'Kemfn' (Struggle), which means to fight, to revolt.' The melody comes from an earlier song by Dovid Beyglman, 'Ganovim Lid' (Thieves' song), with some alterations to fit the text.