Auschwitz – Leon Felipe w/English Translation

Auschwitz de Leon Felipe 

(A todos los judíos del mundo, mis amigos, mis hermanos)

Esos poetas infernales,

Dante, Blake, Rimbaud…

Que hablen más bajo…

¡Que se callen!


cualquier habitante de la tierra

sabe mucho más del infierno

que esos tres poetas juntos.

Ya sé que Dante toca muy bien el violín…

¡Oh, el gran virtuoso!…

Pero que no pretenda ahora

con sus tercetos maravillosos

y sus endecasílabos perfectos

asustar a ese niño judío

que está ahí, desgajado de sus padres…

Y solo.


Aguardando su turno

en los hornos crematorios de Auschwitz.

Dante… tú bajaste a los infiernos

con Virgilio de la mano

(Virgilio, “gran cicerone”)

y aquello vuestro de la Divina Comedia

fue un aventura divertida

de música y turismo.

Esto es otra cosa… otra cosa…

¿Cómo te explicaré?

¡Si no tienes imaginación!

Tú… no tienes imaginación,

acuérdate que en tu “Infierno”

no hay un niño siquiera…

Y ese que ves ahí…

Está solo

¡Solo! Sin cicerone…

Esperando que se abran las puertas del infierno

que tú ¡pobre florentino!

No pudiste siquiera imaginar.

Esto es otra cosa… ¿cómo te diré?

¡Mira! Este es un lugar donde no se puede tocar el violín.

Aquí se rompen las cuerdas de todos

los violines del mundo.

¿Me habéis entendido, poetas infernales?

Virgilio, Dante, Blake, Rimbaud…

¡Hablad más bajo!

¡Tocad más bajo!…¡Chist!…


Yo también soy un gran violinista…

Y he tocado en el infierno muchas veces…

Pero ahora aquí…

Rompo mi violín… y me callo.


Auschwitz By Leon Felipe 

Translation by Moises Salinas

(To all the Jews in the world, my friends, my brethren)

Those infernal poets

Dante, Blake, Rimbaud…

Let them speak quietly…

Let them be silent!


any inhabitant of this earth

understands more about hell

than those three bards together.

I know Dante is a gifted violinist…

Ah, a great virtuoso!

But do not dare to attempt now,

with your amazing  stanzas

and perfect hendecasyllables,

to frighten that Jewish boy

who is standing there,  extricated from his parents…



Awaiting his turn

in the Auschwitz crematorium.

Dante… you descended to hell

by the hand of Virgil

(Oh Virgil, the “great cicerone”)

and that Divine Comedy of yours

was an amusing adventure

of music and tourism.

This is something else… something else…

How can I explain?

If you don’t have an imagination!

You…  do not have an imagination,

remember that in your “inferno”

there is not a single child…

But that one over there…

He is alone

Alone! Without cicerone…

Waiting for the gates to open to a hell

that you, poor Florentine!

Could not even imagine

This is something else…  How can I explain?

Look! This is a place where you can not play the violin

Here, the strings of every

violin in the world get broken

Have you understood, Infernal Poets?

Virgil, Dante, Blake, Rimbaud…

Speak quietly!

Play your instruments quietly! Shht!…

Be quiet!!

I am too a great virtuoso

And have played many a time in hell…

But now, here…

I shatter my violin… and keep silent.



About msalinasphd

Moises Salinas-Fleitman, was born in Mexico City, Mexico in 1966. He has been involved in Israel related activities from age 15. Dr. Salinas first came to Israel in 1984-5 when he attended the Machon, the Institute for Youth Leaders Abroad in Jerusalem. He returned to Israel in 1986 to study at the Hebrew University, earning his BA in Educational Psychology (Cum Laude) in 1991. Returning to Mexico City in 1991 to resume his studies, Dr. Salinas completed his MA in Psychology (he minored in Jewish Studies) in 1995, and in 1998, he earned a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. Since 1999, he has worked as a Professor of Psychology at Central Connecticut State University. His research focuses on the effects of stereotypes on academic performance, and reducing the performance gap between minorities and non-minorities through learner-centered education. He has published a large number of articles and chapters on areas related to educational and social psychological issues. His first book, "The Politics of Stereotypes: Affirmative Action and Psychology" was published by Greenwood-Praeger in 2003. In 2004, Dr. Salinas became one of 14 young Zionist leaders worldwide to be honored with the first Herzl Awards from the World Zionist Organization, in honor of the 100 anniversary of the death of Theodore Herzl, for his contributions to the Zionist Movement. He moved with his family to Israel during 2005-2006 to work on the present book, and developed close ties with several Israeli and Palestinian figures in the peace camp.

Posted on January 27, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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