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Your top 9 Yiddish antifa anthems: a revolutionary playlist

By Seth Rogovoy | 5 June 2020

FORWARD — The Yiddish roots of antifa – the anti-fascist movement whose precursors date back at least as far as opposition to the Russian czar – have been well documented. They are also enshrined in a canon of Yiddish antifa songs – songs of resistance, anarchism, revolution, and workers’ rights – that listeners might find eerily resonant and applicable to our present moment.

Herewith, an annotated list of the Yiddish Antifa Top 9:

In Kamf (In Struggle):

Perhaps the best-known song written by Russian-American anarchist poet David Edelstadt, “In kamf” (In Struggle), is “really an anchor of this repertoire,” says organizer and cultural worker Rosza Daniel Lang/Levitsky, “because it talks directly about … the state violence that meets attempts to bring structural change. It’s important because it’s so specifically from an anarchist perspective, which hasn’t in any way stopped it from being incorporated by the Yiddish socialists and communists.” In addition to this version by the Klezmatics, Berlin-based American artist Daniel Kahn recorded a punk-rock version with new English lyrics. […]

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