There is a certain surrealism, almost a wildness, in the scores of Holocaust lullabies I have translated. This is an ancient tradition, going back to the Inquisition and later periods of pogroms, and – through the imagination of a classic late-nineteenth century Yiddish writer, I. L. Peretz-back to Egypt itself, in a dearly loved lullaby sung by Jochebed to her infant son, Moses.
In the latest horror-epoch especially, it was the vast scope of night-marish situations that inspired such an assortment of approaches. sometimes it was the father who took up this dead wife’s melody. there are lullabies to murdered children and to others who will never be born; to a doll (sung by a little girl whose parents are dead); to a stone; to children snug in their New York beds; to empty or vanished cradles. (pp. 33-34)
The last Lullaby – Poetry from the Holocaust, Syracuse University Press, 2004