The Jewish Conscript
Poetry: A Magazine of Verse 5 (Nov. 1914): 66.
1They have dressed me up in a soldier's dress,
2 With a rifle in my hand,
3And have sent me bravely forth to shoot
5Oh, many shall die for their fields and homes,
6 And many in conquest wild,
7But I shall die for the fatherland
8 That murdered my little child.
9How many hundreds of years ago --
10 The nations wax and cease! --
11Did the God of our fathers doom us to bear
12 The flaming message of peace!
13We are the mock and the sport of time!
14 Yet why should I complain! --
15For a Jew that they hung on the bloody cross,
16 He also died in vain.
4] Universal conscription in Russia brought Jews into the army at the beginning of World War I, but Russian army commanders suspected them of treason and spying for Germany. As a result, between half a million to a million Russian Jews were deported and interned during the war, and their property seized. See Eric Lorh, "The Russian Army and the Jews: Mass Deportation, Hostages, and Violence during World War I," The Russian Review 60.3 (July 2001): 404-19. Back to Line
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