• AJR Refugee Voices team

Aunt Lisi's Poem

By: Kristin Baumgartner, Archival Researcher

@krbaumgartner


This is a poem written by Eve Gill's aunt Lisi on March 13, 1939, just before Eve left Vienna for the UK on a Kindertransport.


Aunt Lisi was Eve Gill's (née Elfriede Gottfried) mother's aunt with whom her mother stayed when she moved from Slovakia to Vienna. Aunt Lisi was famous in the family for her poems which she used to read at family parties. Everyone would go quiet and listen.

The poem is bitter sweet - happy for Eve to leave Vienna and be saved but sad to stay behind. She begs her not to forget those whom she leaves behind and Eve never has, she still treasures this book with Aunt Lisi's poem which became her diary.

Lisi perished in Theresienstadt with many of Eve's Slovak relatives.



Wien 13/3. 1939 


Elfi, auch du gehst heute fort von mir

Und ich  ich bleibe wieder hier!

Ich möcht noch sagen ganz allein

Doch nein, wir sind ja doch zu zwein!

Die Jugend bröckelt sich nur ab

Und unser wartet jetzt das Grab!

Doch ziehe mutig in die Welt

Ich wünsche das Glück sich dir gesellt

Gesundheit sei nur dein Begleiter

bleibe nur fröhlich, gut und heuter, 

Der liebe Gott hält schirmend seine Hand

Er möge weben schirmend über dich ein Band

Das Band der Liebe zu den deinen

die trauernd heute dich beweinen.

Doch Freudenträ(h)nen sollen es nur sein, 

wenn wir auch bleiben ganz allein!

Deine Tante Lisi für immer



Elfi, you too are going away from me today

And I stay behind alone

But no, we are still the two of us! 

The young people break away

for us only the grave awaits!

But venture bravely out into the world

I wish that luck is on your side

may health be your companion

stay happy, good and cheerful

God may shield you with his hand

and weave a shielding bond over you

the bond of love for your loved ones

who are crying with grieve today

but may these be tears of joy 

even if we stay behind alone!

Forever your Aunt Lisi 




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