Monthly Archives: November 2013

‘The Queen’ Of Yiddish Song

[From The Jewish Week]

Remembering YIVO archivist Chana Mlotek, one of the major figures in the revival of klezmer.

When she was interviewed by The Jewish Week in June 2012, the outstanding Yiddishist Chana Mlotek confided that at age 90 she had lost a bit of her ferocious productivity.

“My legs don’t go as fast as they did,” she joked. “But I can still work three times a week at YIVO, I still write a column for the Forverts, and the work is always interesting.”

A unique and generous resource for Yiddish scholars and Jewish musicians, Mlotek died at her home in the Bronx Monday, Nov. 4, at the age of 91. Her death was announced by her sons Mark and Zalmen.

Working with her husband Joseph until his death in 2000, and on her own afterwards, Mlotek was the ITAL source of information on thousands of Yiddish songs and co-editor with Joseph of three major compilations, “MirTrogn a Gezang” (“We Are Carrying a Song”), “Pearls of Yiddish Song,” and “Songs of Generations.”

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Filed under Knowledge entries, Other resources, Yiddish materials 4: primary sources

900 of Earliest Holocaust Testimonials Available Online

[from The Jerusalem Post]

Imagine stumbling upon a three-decade-old interview of your grandmother’s Holocaust experiences on YouTube, and then listening to her retell her account of Jewish resistance against Nazis in Poland. Gal Nordlicht, who had never heard his grandmother’s story, before could only describe the experience as “incredible.”

The Nordlicht’s are just one of many families who have discovered a relatives’ Shoah testimony online through the Holocaust Oral History Collection website, created by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Oral History Division in the Institute of Contemporary Jewry. It was launched last Thursday to overlap with the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass.

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Click here to access these testimonials

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Filed under Holocaust in the news, Holocaust testimonies, Other primary sources (not Yiddish), Yiddish materials 4: primary sources

Film Review: ‘Aftermath’

[from Variety website]

Wladyslaw Pasikowski’s controversial drama about the 1941 massacre of Jews in a Polish village frames Holocaust atrocities in problematic genre terms.

by Ronnie Scheib

Inspired by Jan Gross’ book “Neighbors,” about the 1941 massacre of a Polish village’s Jewish population by their Catholic neighbors,Wladyslaw Pasikowski’s “Aftermath” retools the material into a fast-paced “backwater burg with a dark secret” quasi-horror film, complete with spooky lighting, ominous music, unexplained phenomena and hostile townfolk. The idea of framing Holocaust atrocities in contemporary genre terms, although intriguing, is not without its perils, and the secret, when revealed, looms too large to fit within the plot’s parameters, creating strange disconnects between form and content. Having unleashed a firestorm of controversy in Poland, “Aftermath” will be received Stateside as simply another fictionalized Holocaust revisitation.

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New opera links Jewish, German legacies of Holocaust

[The Baltimore Sun]

Baltimore poet wrote libretto to ‘Lost Childhood;’ Wagner’s great-grandson was an inspiration.

On the night of Nov. 9, 1938, a well-orchestrated anti-Jewish pogrom erupted throughout Germany and Austria. Synagogues, businesses and homes were attacked, lives were lost. The vicious destruction continued into a second night.

The amount of broken glass afterward led to an infamous name for the incident — Kristallnacht. Through the shards could be detected the seeds of the Holocaust.

This Saturday, 75 years after Kristallnacht began, an opera about the legacy of the Nazi era will be performed in concert form at the Music Center at Strathmore.
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Filed under Holocaust in the news, Other resources