Only one hour is given for the kill, Only one hour to rest before the battle, Only one hour before the most important deals: For some the firing squad, for some the medal. During that hour we shall not write a line, Pray to the gods of war - the artillery men. We arenít regular - we are convicts, We wouldnít write-consider me a Communist. Before attacking - drink vodka? What for? Our share we drank in the Civil War. That is why we never yell "Hurrah!" With death we play the game of silence. All convicts have one law, one simple end: Go and kill the Nazis in the battle. And if you wonít catch a bullet with your chest, For being the bravest you shall catch the medal. Kill with your bayonet, but better with a bare hand - Itís more hopeful and itís also quiet. And if somehow you will stay alive, Go, walk around, punk, spend more than a ruble. The enemy thinks: morally we are weak. Behind them: burned forest and cities... Youíd be better off building the coffins out of wood. The battalions of convicts are now marching. Now itís six oíclock, and now for the kill. So, God of war, donít rest before the battle. Only one hour before the most important deals: For some the firing squad, and for some the medal.
© Nathan Mer. Translation, 1991