Share via Email Alice Herz-Sommer making her debut in Droemer Publishing Alice Herz-Sommer, who has died agedwas a concert pianist of distinction whose career was blighted by nazism.
Texts and tunes by known and unknown authors described the day-by-day destruction of vast Jewish multitudes at the hands of a tyranny unequaled in world history. Reminiscent of the seventeenth-century chronicles of martyrdom, these songs memorialized and condemned the Nazi-German power and its personnel, which for six years engaged in sadistic expropriation of Jewish possessions, uprooted and shifted human beings from place to place, exploited and drove them until they fell in their tracks, and then physically destroyed them when they were still alive.
This macabre program of a military might organized in a brutal war against an unarmed civilian population of millions is revealed in hundreds of songs written by men, women, and children, old and young, in a desperate struggle to survive.
It is generally conceded that whoever has not himself experienced the German occupation can never really grasp the complex evil process that turned countries into prison camps and human slaughterhouses and made the earth and every step upon it a yawning grave.
And yet, even survivors on the very day of their liberation could not themselves believe that what their eyes had witnessed had actually occurred.
Disbelief, bewilderment, shock are evident in many songs current soon after the German occupation of Poland incoupled with the sincere faith that this nightmare would soon be dispelled and everything would return once again to normal. But when the consequences of German rule became evident and it was realized that no quarter could be expected from its evil men, the songs not only chronicled the tragedy but also served to rally and organize the people for survival and struggle against the tyrants.
The song, the satirical rhyme, the witty saying, the humorous anecdote became extremely important and even necessary to the Jews in the German ghettos of the twentieth century.
They were news bearers, morale builders, heart warmers, helping hands, as well as organizers and fighters for life and freedom.
Many categories are represented in the songs of World War II: Almost entirely absent are the songs of normal times: The occasional drinking and dance song has the macabre quality of the seventeenth-century dance of death; the rare love song pines away beneath the gray ghetto walls, yearning for the sight of a green blade of grass and a bit of blue sky.
Created by the whole people, both by the educated and untutored, the songs contain elements of fine poetry side by side with primitive folkloric rhymes. Through all the songs, however, there flows the single-minded will to live, to survive, to preserve wherever and as long as possible every vestige of dignity, self-respect, the traditions and customs cherished for centuries, the precious habits of learning and teaching, the creative urge to write, sing, and even put on plays and concerts!
The songs described the crowded quarters, the food scarcities, the backbreaking toil, the irritations, abnormalities, humiliations, degradations heaped upon Jews from all over Europe, who had been driven into the ghettos together.
The ghetto had its street singers, its coffee and tea houses.
He sang a ditty which soon became widespread. The same fellow would go about humming another rhyme, which similarly soon became popular: Concentration-Camp Songs Europe was transformed into a vast concentration camp in which the Jews were the first and most terrible victims.
Ghetto life became the threshold to the slave camp and the yawning death pits. From early dawn, the tramping feet of the forced labor brigades could be heard marching on the cobbled ghetto streets, past the guarded gates to endless hours of backbreaking toil and starvation rations, designed to work the remaining able-bodied Jews to death.
To cling to the last shreds of dignity and manliness became almost a heroic act in itself.
Following is a song written by the old Rabbi Emanuel Hirshberg of the Lodz ghetto, which describes the Nazi use of elderly men in the place of horses. The Plight of the Children Of all the people caught in the Nazi web, innocent Jewish children were exposed to the worst suffering. The first impact of the German occupation was felt by the mother and child.
Very young children were considered unfit to labor for the Germans. Consequently, bearing children in the ghetto was forbidden. Their work included all manner of actions, from the simplest to the most drastic. Their courage and heroism filtered past the ghetto gates, beckoned to the dwellers to flee the ghetto and join their brigade.
They secretly instructed ghetto dwellers in diversionist acts and generally generated a feeling of hope and determination. Songs were one of their weapons.
Set to a tune by the Soviet composers, the brothers Pokras, it became the official hymn of all the Eastern European partisan brigades and was subsequently translated into Hebrew, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Rumanian, Dutch, and English.
With almost magical speed it was caught up by all the concentration camps and by the time the war was over, it was being sung by Yiddish-speaking Jews the world over and by a score of other peoples as well. Composed in Vilna, it is most often related to the Warsaw ghetto uprising, which began in the morning hours of April 19, With the speed of lightning the news of the uprising spread to all the ghettos and camps.
The original text contains the lyrics and music of some of the songs described above.Family During the Holocaust by Dalia Ofer However, academic research on the Jewish family is only in its early stages and information on the Jewish family in Eastern Europe is particularly scarce.
When used during this early time period, holocaust is used to mean sacrifice. only 60% approve it meaning loss of human life over a longer time, such as lives lost over the course of a war.
Jews were the only people who suffered through the Holocaust, and the term 'Holocaust' does not apply to the ghettoes or loss of civil rights that.
Many categories are represented in the songs of World War II: lullabies, work songs, satirical songs and ballads, prayer songs, songs of pain and anguish, shame and humiliation, songs of ghetto life, concentration camp and death camp songs, songs of courage and heroism, bitter hatred for the enemy, songs of faith and hope, struggle and joy in victory.
Mar 04, · Holocaust film reveals the pain of bringing autobiography to screen would he once again go through the angst of making such a film? "Prisoner of Her Past" will be rebroadcast on WTTW-Ch. Alice Herz-Sommer making her debut in Photograph: Droemer Publishing Alice Herz-Sommer, who has died aged , was a concert pianist of distinction whose career was blighted by nazism.
Aug 10, · On the other hand, some people start to feel less sensitivity to pain, which means they could injure themselves and not even know it. There was once a case of a man who cut his foot and didn’t feel it/know it due to a severe case of sleep deprivation.