Monthly Archives: August 2015

All Languages Are Hybrids|אַלע שפּראַכן זענען מישלינגען

[From The Yiddish Forverts]

איך פֿאַרנעם זיך מיט שפּראַך כּמעט מײַן גאַנץ לעבן, דער עיקר, מיט לשון ייִדיש. און וויפֿל איך זאָל זיך נישט אַרײַנלאָזן אין ענגליש, טראַכט איך, אַז אויף ייִדיש קלינגט עס בעסער. אַלע שפּראַכן זײַנען מישלינגען און דאָס מוז מען גלײַך עטאַבלירן בײַם סאַמע אָנהייב פֿון לערנען אַ שפּראַך. דאָס גלייבן, אַז עס זײַנען פֿאַראַן שפּראַכן וואָס זײַנען מער געהויבן, וויכטיקער, מער פּרעסטיזשפֿולw איז נישט מער ווי אַן אויסגעבלאָזן איי, נישט באַזירט אויף קיין שום אַבסאָלוטע לינגוויסטיש־עמפּירישע פֿאַקטאָרן.

מען קען אַמאָל אָפּשאַצן אַ שפּראַך לויט איר עלטער, אָדער לאָגיק, לויט איר מוזיקאַלישקייט אָדער ראָמאַנטישער גענייגטקייט; מ’קען זי באַקרוינען ווי די שפּראַך פֿון געטער, אָדער אַ שפּראַך, וואָס לייגט זיך גרינג אויף דער צונג; אַ שפּראַך, וואָס איז מעכטיק אָדער אָנמעכטיק, אָבער קיין איין שפּראַך פֿאַרדינט זיך נישט מען זאָל זי גרינגשעצן, מאַכן צו קליין־געלט, אָדער אויסשטעלן זי אויף לײַטיש געלעכטער, ווי עס טוען עס די אַמעריקאַנער קאָמעדיאַנטן, ווען עס קומט צו ייִדיש.

די מענטשן וואָס רעדן אַראַביש, זײַנען אונטערן אײַנדרוק, אַז זייער קלאַסישע שפּראַך איז די שענסטע און די לאָגישסטע פֿון אַלע, מיט אומפֿאַרגלײַכלעכער גראַמאַטישער סימעטריע און לעקסישער רײַכקייט. דאָס קלאַסישע אַראַביש איז געקניפּט און געבונדן מיטן קאָראַן, און במילא מיט זייער גלויבן. דורך זייער שפּראַך דערוואַרטן זיי צו דערגיין דורך ניסים־ונפֿלאות צום סאַמען תּוך־אמת פֿון איסלאַם.

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Ironic Inversions: Rare Soviet Yiddish Songs of WWII

[From In Geveb]

At the international symposium “Global Yiddish Culture: 1938-1949,” held at the University of Toronto this spring, singer-songwriter Psoy Korolenko of Moscow and U of T Professor Anna Shternshis brought to life lost Yiddish songs of the Holocaust in an all-new concert and lecture program.

During and immediately after World War II, the Kiev Cabinet for Jewish Culture, led by philologist Elye Spivak and folklorist Moshe Beregovski, began collecting and transcribing original songs composed by Soviet Jewish Holocaust refugees and survivors. But in 1949, before the Cabinet could publish their collection, these rare Yiddish artifacts were confiscated by the Soviet government and hidden from the public. Until recently, that is, when Shternshis found the collection while doing research at the Manuscript Department of the Ukrainian National Library. Shternshis then teamed up with Korolenko to reinterpret and present these songs to new audiences. The Toronto conference was their first time performing this old-new repertoire. Shternshis opened the program by unfolding the dramatic story of this major postwar Soviet collection project, as unfamiliar to many academics in the house as to the rows of community members. As Shternshis told the story of the Cabinet and the Soviet Jews whose songs they recorded, Korolenko interpreted select archival lyrics on vocals and keyboard.

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New landmark for this site: 20,000 hits

Today we reached 20,000 hits on this site’s stats. This is another landmark for the site, and great, given how young the site is!.

Here are some of the recent country hits (click on each thumbnail):

 

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Lo Real/Le Réel/The Reel at Edinburgh festival review – Israel Galván’s dance of despair

[From The Guardian]

ca1e5024-9c72-458e-8385-d05a6720bc13-2060x1236Festival theatre, Edinburgh
You can feel the force of the anger in the flamenco dancer and choreographer’s fragmented show about the Gypsy victims of the Nazis.

Among the incalculable horrors of the Holocaust, one of the less well-known facts is that up to half a million Gypsies were among those persecuted and killed. It’s a tragedy that flamenco choreographer Israel Galván has long wanted to address on stage, but also one for which he feared dance might be inadequate. If Lo Real is partly about ethnic cleansing, it’s also partly about the artist’s despair of making sense of it.

On a starkly lit stage, Galván and his cast – two female dancers and a dozen singers and musicians – have the look of a displaced Gypsy community pitched between suffering and survival. Specific references to the work’s historical context are minimal: Galván raises his arm in a Nazi salute, then lets it fall into a flamenco curve; a woman dances between iron rails, as if tracing the train route to her death. There’s old movie footage of a Gypsy dancing for uniformed Nazis. And when the live dancers also perform traditional flamenco, the fact that they are accompanied by references to adverts for bleach and pest control underlines the point that even if the Nazis saw the Gypsies as exotic entertainment, they also considered them vermin.

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Study of Holocaust survivors finds trauma passed on to children’s genes

Contentious but interesting article:

[From The Guardian]

New finding is first example in humans of the theory of epigenetic inheritance: the idea that environmental factors can affect the genes of your children.

Genetic changes stemming from the trauma suffered by Holocaust survivors are capable of being passed on to their children, the clearest sign yet that one person’s life experience can affect subsequent generations.

The conclusion from a research team at New York’s Mount Sinai hospital led by Rachel Yehuda stems from the genetic study of 32 Jewish men and women who had either been interned in a Nazi concentration camp, witnessed or experienced torture or who had had to hide during the second world war.

They also analysed the genes of their children, who are known to have increased likelihood of stress disorders, and compared the results with Jewish families who were living outside of Europe during the war. “The gene changes in the children could only be attributed to Holocaust exposure in the parents,” said Yehuda.

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Researchers open ‘neglected chapter’ of Ukraine’s Holocaust history

[From The Guardian]

Project commemorating the killing of Jews reveals tensions between Soviet and modern Ukrainian historical narrative.

One day during the Nazi occupation of western Ukraine in the second world war, a young Jewish woman slipped out of the ghetto in the town of Rava Ruska to buy some butter in the market.

On her way, she was spotted by a German officer, who ordered her stripped naked, made the seller smear her body in butter, and then had her beaten to death with sticks.

This story was one of thousands relayed to a team of researchers led by Patrick Desbois, a French Catholic priest who has spent years investigating one of the most under-researched parts of the Holocaust.

Killings in western Ukraine were not carried out using the industrialised methods of Auschwitz and other death camps. Instead Jews were rounded up and shot, one by one. Sometimes they were kicked or beaten to death. No records were kept, so keeping track of numbers and locations is difficult.

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Hochkarätiges Festival der jüdischen Kultur [High-calibre Festival of Jewish Culture]

[From Deutschlandradio Kultur]

The Yiddish Summer Weimar has now become a permanent fixture on the international festival calendar. For 15 years, there are four-week learning and Concert Festival – and that’s why is the motto is also “Yiddishkayt [in Yiddish lit.: “Yiddishness and/or Jewishness”] Revisited”.

Lunch break in the Ottmar Gerster Music School  in Weimar. The chairs set out in a circle in the auditorium are empty. A man sits at the piano and plays, just for himself. It is Ilya Schneyveys from Riga, professor of Klezmer music. Even as a child he came into contact with the Yiddish language.

“It was the same for my grandfather and my mother. I understand Yiddish because I’ve played a lot of Yiddish music; I haven’t sung so much, but accompanied a lot. I’ve been occupied with Yiddish music for 12 years, or so.”

Since 2006, Ilya has been coming every year to Weimar, to teach and to inform himself about new developments.

Click here to continue reading in the original German or click on “Beitrag hören” to listen to the programme

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Eine Forschungsreise in Sachen jüdische Musik [A Research journey into Jewish music]

[From Deutschlandradio Kultur]

In Lviv, formerly Lemberg, where 120,000 Jews lived before the Holocaust, and only 800 after 1945.

The cantor Shulamit Lubowska has brought the music of Jewish composers to the Philharmonic in Lviv. During the Soviet era, issues such as the Jewish past were taboo – but now Jewish-Ukrainian songs are to be made audible again.

The Jewish cantor Shulamit Lubowska stands on the stage of the Philharmonic in Lviv. She is one of the soloists, who were on tour in the Ukraine with the Weimar Chamber Choir of the Academy of Music a few months ago .

On the program: music of Jewish composers such as Israel Goldstein, Louis Lewandowski, a Kiddush by Kurt Weill, an Aramaic prayer by Maurice Ravel, works by Meir Finkelstein and many others.

“We want to bring these very consciously Jewish songs to the stage,” says Jascha Nemtsov, a professor of Jewish history of music in Weimar. His goal is to collect Jewish-Ukrainian songs from archives, to explore them and let them be heard once again.

Click here to read in original German

To listen to the programme click on “Beitrag hören” to listen to the programme after clicking on link above

 

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Draft lecture schedule for 2015-16

Please note that this is a draft schedule; there will be some changes in the next few weeks but all changes will be finalised in time for the publication of the module handbook in late September.

schedule 2015-16

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