Here for the first time is a stirring collection of 110 rare songs from the Holocaust in sixteen languages with singable English translations, songs of resistance, despair, rage, hope, and even humor, written in the face of utter evil. The very existence of these songs raises haunting questions. Who composed them? Who sang them? Who listened? The lyrics, along with extensive historical notes and insightful survivor testimony in
this groundbreaking volume, provide moving answers.
Musicologist Jerry Silverman has compiled an expansive collection of Holocaustera songs-in Yiddish, German, Hebrew, Spanish, French, Dutch, Italian, Ladino, Serbo-Croatian, Greek, Norwegian, Czech, Polish, Russian, Hungarian, and Englishwhich he situates within a vivid historical framework. This volume comprises then work of concentration camp prisoners and inhabitants of the ghettos of Eastern Europe as well as subversive European cabaret music, anti-Fascist anthems inspired by the Spanish Civil War, Red Army songs, and songs of Resistance fighters.
Silverman conducted exhaustive research that included interviews with survivors and visits to international archives. In some cases, where the original music has been lost, he has set the words to music usingmtraditional melodies or his original compositions. Included are songs of prewar Germany, of ghettos and camps during the height of the murderous “Final Solution;’ and of postwar reflection by such balladeers as
Pete Seeger, Janis Ian, Si Kahn, and Tom Paxton.
Jerry Silverman is a musicologist, teacher, guitarist, folksinger, and author of many books on music including Immigrant Song Book, Songs and Stories of the American Revolution, and Just Listen to This Song I'm Singing: African-American History Through Song.
8.5 x 11, 342 pages, 27 black and white illustrations