I am pleased to announce a new web page, finished in time just before
the New Year 5764.
It is a virtual page of commemoration of Jewish Musicians in Poland
between the Two World Wars and in the Holocaust.
It is based on the book of Issachar Fater:
"Jewish Music in Poland between the World Wars"
Hakibbutz Hameuchad Publishing House Ltd., Tel Aviv 1992
Shalom ve'Shana Tova,
I am very thankful to Mr. Fater for giving me the honor to translate,
extract and post parts of this book in the Internet.
Nowadays all the world knows about one musician, which appears in the
lexicon of that book many years before he became a legend in a film, and
this is of course Wladislaw Szpilman, "the Pianist", in the well known
film of Roman Polanski.
But very few know about his father, the musician Szmuel Szpilman,
perished in ghetto Warsaw, or his uncle, Reuwen Szpilman, a pious Jew,
gifted with many musical talents, born in Ostrowice, father of 8
musician children and musical grandchildren, murdered in Treblinka...
These were part of a whole world of Jewish musicians, who graced this
earth with their music, classical and traditional, jazz and folklore,
singing and playing endless instruments, conductors, masters,
violinists, pianists, composers... Unfortunately most of them were not
as fortunate as Wladislaw Szpilman who survived the Holocaust, and their
music as their lives were cut off in the middle of creation and the
middle of life, by the Nazis and their collaborators.
The web site contains the table of contents of the book, 24 names of the
detailed biographies in the book, of the greatest musicians considered
by the author:
BEIGELMAN Dawid, BERNSTEIN Abraham Mosze, DAWIDOWICZ Abraham Cwi,
EISENSTADT Dawid, EISENSTADT Marysia-Miriam, FAJWISZIS Israel, GEBIRTIG
Mordechaj, GERSTEIN Jakub, GIMPEL Bronislaw, GLATSTEIN Jakub, GLATSTEIN
Israel, GOLD Henryk, HUBERMAN Bronislaw, KAMINSKI Josef, KIPNIS
Menachem, KON Chanoch (Henech), RUBINSTEIN Artur, SIROTA Gerszon, SLIEP
Abraham, SZERMAN Pinchas, SZLOSBERG Icchak, SZNEUR Mosze, TAUB Rabbi
Szaul Jedidja Eleazar and ZAKS Icchak.
As you can see from the above list, not all of these musicians were
murdered in the Holocaust. But the book laments the grand Jewish culture
which reached in Poland its highest climax and which was lost, destroyed
by the Germans in the Holocaust.
All these musicians were part of this great spirit, nourished and
developed in Poland in the first half of the 20th century. I have
translated one biography of Marysia (Miriam) Eisenstadt, as a mirror to
the young Jewish Polish generation of great talents and promise, so
cruelly destroyed in the prime of life.
The lexicon itself contains 368 names (a partial list) was compiled by
the author Mr. Issachar Fater from tens of books about Jewish music,
Jewish Theater and culture and from tens of Yizkor books, which the
author studied, during 15 years of his life...
The book was originally written and published in Yiddish and recently a
Polish version was also published in Poland.
I have extracted the details about the musician's musical subjects, his
years of birth and death, if available, his town of birth and town of
main activity. The book itself contains a biography about each musician.
I hope this memorial web page will help to inspire people to study and
remember the great Jewish-Polish heritage which was and is no more...