Vi Ahin Zol Ich Geyn? (1948) by Leo Fuld [born in 1912 in Rotterdam–died in 1977 in Amsterdam], a Dutch-Jewish singer who made the song famous to English audiences.
The lyrics to this song were written by Igor S. Korntayer [also known as S. Korn-Teuer; 1890–1941], who was born and lived in Poland, his first language being Yiddish. He died in Auschwitz in 1941 or 1942 during the Holocaust of the Second World War. The music was composed by Oskar (Leib) Strok [1893–1975), who was born into a Jewish family in Dinaburg, Latvia (nowadays Daugavpils), a very famous composer between the two world wars, called “the King of Tango.”
Just before the start of the Second World War [September 1, 1939], Leo Fuld left for America, where he became a well-known singer of Yiddish songs. When Fuld returned to Rotterdam, the Netherlands, after the war, in 1948, he found out, like so many of his time, that his entire family—with the exception of one sister—had been murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators in the Holocaust. As the story goes, Fuld first heard the song at a Yiddish nightclub in Paris, sung by a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto. He vowed to make the song famous, which it became.
Without saying it by name, the song is about the hundreds of thousands of Jews, survivors of the Holocaust, who were languishing in DP camps, who were waiting for a country to call home, where they could/would start a new life. Where to go, where to go/Every door is closed to me/To the left, to the right/It's the same in every land.
In the end, there was only one country that could, that had the will and the desire to, accept them all: the Jewish Homeland. Now I know where to go/Where my folks proudly stand/Where to go, where to go/To that precious promised land.
Steve Lawrence, born in 1935 in Brooklyn, New York, sings the song in both English and Yiddish. It is on the album Ramblin’ Rose (side 1; track 3).
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