Bronisława ‘Papusza’ Wajs: ‘Ratfałé jasfá so pał sasendyr pšeguam apré Vółyń 43 i 44 berśá’ / ‘Krwawe łzy co za Niemców przeszliśmy na Wołyniu w 43 i 44 roku’ in Romani and literal Polish transliteration.
The poem ‘Ratfałé jasfá / Krwawe łzy’ [Tears of Blood] was written in 1952. It depicts the fate of the Roma from Volhynia (2018: western Ukraine) under German occupation during the Second World War. Jerzy Ficowski points out that the poem is one of the most important sources of information on the extermination of Roma in eastern Poland during the war. The poem describes how Roma, suffering from hunger and the cold, hid from a persecution campaign launched by the National Socialists in Volhynia in 1943–44. At the same time, they witnessed the fighting between Poles and Ukrainians (‘The Germans and Ukrainians are coming / bringing death – to us and the Jews/ no mercy for anyone…/ and the poor Poles, their tongues were cut off’) and the Soviet-German battles (Czapajew was the name of a Soviet military commander). The lyrical ‘I’ refuses to take the possessions of Poles murdered by Ukrainian farmers, helps a Jewish woman in hiding and finally finds refuge with the soldiers of the Polish homeland army (Armia Krajowa).
‘Pieśni Papuszy’ / ‘Papusza’s Songs’ (1956) are available in three linguistic variants. The original texts in Romani were translated by Jerzy Ficowski into a literary Polish. These translations were the basis for the reception and aesthetic appraisal of Papusza’s works. Furthermore, as editor of the book, Ficowski juxtaposed the Romani originals with literal Polish translations to offer readers an insight into Romani and allow them to follow the poetic changes that were made in the literary translation into Polish.
Wajs, Bronisława [Papusza]. 1956. Pieśni Papuszy. Papušakre gila. Wiersze w języku cygańskim. Przełożył, opracował, wstępem i objaśnieniami opatrzył Jerzy Ficowski. Warsaw, Wrocław: Wydawnictwo im. Ossolińskich, pp. 119–41 [Romani and Polish].