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The Song of Martin Fontasch

Leon Rosselson
Language: English

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Si tratta della trasposizione in canzone di un passaggio del romanzo di Primo Levi "Se non ora, quando?" del 1982, quello in cui il capo dei partigiani ebrei Gedale ricorda la figura di un compagno, Martin Fontasch, il falegname con la passione della musica catturato ed ucciso dai tedeschi nel 1943. I suoi carnefici avevano scoperto che era un musicista perchè avevano trovato un flauto tra le sue cose e così gli avevano concesso di comporre e cantare un ultima canzone prima di ammazzarlo. I suoi compagni avevano poi recuperato il flauto ed il manoscritto uccidendo a loro volta il tedesco che se n'era impossessato... Nell'ultima strofa Rosselson ci porta ai giorni nostri, al conflitto israelo palestinese ancora in corso dopo oltre 60 anni, e ricorda agli ebrei che le sofferenze subite non devono trasformare i cuori degli ebrei in ghiaccio e che gli ebrei devono rifiutare chiunque insegni ai propri figli l'odio e l'offesa, anche se si tratta di un altro ebreo.
The story's told of how in 1942
Martin Fontasch, poet, carpenter and Jew
With a band of Partisans through in his lot
Till he was taken by the Germans to be shot.
He was a peaceful man, quick to laugh and cry
At every village celebration he'd be there
With his songs that told of sadness and of joy
And the guitar he carried with him everywhere.
But when the Nazis came and killed his wife and son
Martin traded his guitar in for a gun.

This song is for those who are cast out by history
The banned and abandoned, the spurned and ignored
Whose homes have been taken, whose dreams have been broken
Who huddled on hillsides, demand to be heard.

The German soldier assigned to kill the Jew
As it happened, was a music-lover too.
And this bond, it seems, is what made him decide
To offer Martin one last wish before he died.
Soon my soul, Martin said, will dance on air.
Now all I ask is time to write my farewell song.
The German soldier checked his watch and said: One hour.
One hour? Martin remarked…that long?
And so he wrote and sang full-voiced to raise the dead
And then the German put a bullet in his head.

And this song is for those who are cast out by history
The banned and abandoned, the spurned and ignored
Whose homes have been taken, whose dreams have been broken
Who huddled on hillsides, demand to be heard.

The German kept the song and bragged of what he'd done
And showed it proudly - when in drink - to everyone.
He couldn't read the words and didn't seem to see
That a song cannot take root unless it's free.
And then one night two partisans set out -
The song must be released the man must die -
They slipped into his quarters, slit his throat
Took back the song and gave it wings to fly.
And it soared upon the wind and came to rest
And found a home among the damned and dispossessed.

And his song was for those who are cast out by history
The banned and abandoned, the spurned and ignored
Whose homes have been taken, whose dreams have been broken
Who huddled on hillsides, demand to be heard.

Though we resist oppression, still our dream is peace,
Theirs is the mask of hatred, ours the human face.
Then let not our sufferings turn our souls to ice
So that we do to strangers what was done to us.
It is not with conquering armies I belong
Their bloody retribution I disown
Their songs of triumph I will never sing
For the God they worship turns them into stone.
If any teach their children how to hate and hurt,
Though they are Jews they do not live inside my heart.

And his song was for those who are cast out by history
The banned and abandoned, the spurned and ignored
Whose homes have been taken, whose dreams have been broken
Who huddled on hillsides, demand to be heard.

Let his song be a spark,
Let it fly through the dark like a bird.

Contributed by The Lone Ranger - 2010/5/16 - 19:44


Il testo della canzone scritta da Primo Levi e da questi attribuita al partigiano ebreo Martin Fontasch, uno dei personaggi del suo romanzo "Se non ora, quando?" La canzone di Martin Fontasch è quella che da il titolo al romanzo e fu scritta da Primo Levi ispirandosi al "Se non sono io per me, chi sarà per me?" uno dei princìpi della letteratura talmudica contenuto nel Pirkè Avot (פרקי אבות), il libro dei "Capitoli dei Princìpi Fondamentali".

SE NON ORA, QUANDO?

Ci riconoscete? Siamo le pecore del ghetto,
Tosate per mille anni, rassegnate all'offesa.
Siamo i sarti, i copisti ed i cantori
Appassiti nell'ombra della Croce.
Ora abbiamo imparato i sentieri della foresta,
Abbiamo imparato a sparare, e colpiamo diritto.

Se non sono io per me, chi sarà per me?
Se non cosi, come? E se non ora, quando?

I nostri fratelli sono saliti al cielo
Per i camini di Sobibór e di Treblinka,
Si sono scavati una tomba nell'aria.
Solo noi pochi siamo sopravvissuti
Per l'onore del nostro popolo sommerso
Per la vendetta e la testimonianza.

Se non sono io per me, chi sarà per me?
Se non cosi, come? E se non ora, quando?

Siamo i figli di Davide e gli ostinati di Massada.
Ognuno di noi porta in tasca la pietra
Che ha frantumato la fronte di Golia.
Fratelli, via dall'Europa delle tombe:
Saliamo insieme verso la terra
Dove saremo uomini fra gli altri uomini.

Se non sono io per me, chi sarà per me?
Se non cosi, come? E se non ora, quando?

The Lone Ranger - 2010/5/16 - 19:45



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