In the camp all terms are brought to end, And there is a short and blunt On the crosswise boarded up camp’s gate Notice: “All gone to the front”. All our sins they will forgive-forget Since our people is of the kind: If there’s danger to the Motherland All are going to fight. If and while you are a lucky one One year’s counted for three. To the front the guards have also gone Free from playing trickery. And Berezkin, our master-guard, Of big-headedness a bloke With the soul which is cross-boarded up, Also has gone with the folk. Rather at the rear he’d have been, Brave at camp but not at front. The tribunal has awarded him For self-shooting to be shot. As to us, - the trust we justified And an award there was: Medals out of bronze for them survived, And the dead obtained the cross. Other prisoners will come and gaze, And in some way they’ll respond To our destiny’s remembrance glazed - Notice: “All gone to the front”.
© Vyacheslav Chistyakov. Translation, 2015