Lemkin’s Lost Poem

Last year I was amazed to discover an unknown Holocaust poem in Hebrew written by Raphael Lemkin, the Polish Jewish lawyer famous for coining the term “genocide.” I knew Lemkin wrote poetry in Hebrew and Yiddish, but I’d never been able to locate any of it in his extant papers or other published sources. Then, all of a sudden this text popped up in front of my eyes. It had been hiding in plain sight in the pages of an old Israeli newspaper. Today my colleague Leora Bilsky and I re-introduce the poem to the world with our new translation and a piece in The Atlantic about its meaning for our time. The actual poem is here on this site. You can also hear me discuss it and related questions of Holocaust memory and antisemitism today in this podcast interview that I did with Yehuda Kurtzer at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America.