Petr Ginz

The Model Camp: Terezín
Voices and Art From and About Terezín

Petr Ginz

        Living Quarters by Petr Ginz             Main Street of Terezín by Petr Ginz

Memories of Prague

How long since I last saw
The sun sink low behind Petrin Hill?
With tearful eyes I gazed at you, Prague,
Enveloped in your evening shadows.
How long since I last heard the pleasant
rush of water
Over the weir in the Vltava river?
I have long since forgotten the bustling life
on Wenceslas Square.
Those unknown corners in the Old Town,
Those shady nooks and sleepy canals,
How are they? They cannot be grieving for me
As I do for them. Almost a year has passed.
For almost a year I have huddled in this awful hole.
A few poor streets replace your priceless beauty.
Like a beast I am, imprisoned in a tiny cage.
Prague, you fairy tale in stone, how well I remember!

The Madman

I walk the streets alone and alone
Pondering the evil in the world.
And thoughts about it fill my mind,
As I walk the dark streets
Alone and alone.
I remember. Long, long ago,
A madman wished to change the world,
Turn it upside down and inside out,
Fill people and youth with one ideal:
Take nothing on trust, let nothing stand,
Fight for every inch of land.
If something is down, then lift it up,
If others stay silent, you must speak up.
And so this madman years ago
Tried turning the world upside down
And walked his cat instead of his dog.