To the Memory of Rachel Cytryn ne'e Rozencwajg hy"d

We Remember The Jewish Musicians!


Wincenti Smokowski (1797-1876): A Jewish Wedding (paragraph)

The Book | Conference | Table of Contents | Szmuel Fater | Issakhar Fater | Marysia Eisenstadt | Biographies 1 | Lexicon |  Biographies 2

A Message

יששכר פאטר ז"ל

2004-1912

נולד בדרובין ב-1912. למד ב"חדר" ואחרי כן בישיבה.

לאחר שהמשפחה עברה לזאקרוצ'ים (על יד וארשה), למד 5 שנים בסמינר בממלכתי למורים בוארשה.

את ידיעותיו הראשונות במוסירה קבל מאביו החזן, עמו כן למד בקונסרבטריון הממלכתי בוורשה. באוניבסיטת תל אביב הוסמך בהיסטוריה כללית ויהודית.

משנת 1935 היה פעיל בשטח המוסיקה המעשית כפדגוג, מנצח וחוקר מוסיקה יהודית. . עד פרוץ מלחמת- העולם השנייה עבד כמורה למקצועות היהדות ולמוסיקה בגימנסיה היהודית במלאבה. בשנת 1940, כפליט בבארנוביץ הסובייטית, עבד כמפקח להוראת המוסיקה במוסדות החינוך והתרבות בעיר זו. לאחר שחרורו ממחנה עבודה בסיביר, מונה למנהל אומנותי של "הלהקה הפולנית לזמר ולמילה" והיה מנהלה של הפילהרמונית הממלכתית בלנינאבאד אשר בטאדז'יקיסטן.

 

לאחר המלחמה שב לפולין ובמשך שנה ניהל את מחלקת התרבות של הוועד המרכזי של יהודי פולין בוורשה. בשנת 1947 עבר לפריס, משם לאנטוורפן ובשנים 1962-1952 גר בריו-דה-ז'אנירו (ברזיל). בכל המקומות עבד בבתי-ספר ובעיקר ניצח על מקהלות, בברזיל הקים מקהלה יהודית מפורסמת אשר בימים אלה חוגגת חמישים שנה להיווסדה.

 

ב-1962 עלה ארצה, השתקע בתל-אביב והתמסר לפעילות מוסיקלית, פדגוגית וספרותית.

 

יששכר פאטר פירסם את הספרים הבאים: 1) "געדענק", לזכר מרד גטו וורשה (1953). 2) "מוסיקה יהודית בפולין בין שתי מלחמות העולם" (1970), פורסם באידיש, עברית ופולנית. 3) "מוסיקה יהודית ובעיותיה" (1985) באידיש. 4) "קודש וחול במוסיקה היהודית" (1988) באידיש. 5) "בעולם המוסיקה והמוסיקאים" (1998) באידיש. 6) "נוסח אשכנז באומר ובזמר" (2002) באידיש.

 

פרופ' דוב סדן כרזב עליו: "הוא לא רק נאה דורש אלא גס בעל מעשים נאים בשטח המוסיקה, ביצירה, בהפקה ובפדגוגיה, הוא בעל זכויות רבות וחשובות בטיפוח המוסיקה הווקאלית והאינסטרומנטאלית היהודית ובהפצתה. הוא גם מוסיקולוג בעל בקיאות ומומחיות ופרסומיו המדעיים חיזקו ומחזקים את הידע במוסיקה בכל ענפיה".

 

בשנת 1994 זכה בפרס "איציק מאנגר" בעד תרומתו הרבה למוסיקה היהודית. מחקריו המוסיקולוגיים דנים בהתגלות המוסיקה היהודית בכל הזמנים מהעבר הרחוק ועד ימינו אנו, ומוכיחים את קיומו המיוחד במלוס היהודי. על-אף התמורות הפנימיות והשינויים החיצוניים אשר עברו על עמנו במשך דורות נשארו המלודיות נאמנות ליסודותיהן העתיקים.

 

תמיד יחסר לנו: לאמי צ'שיה ובניי ראובן ויובל וזכרונו ילווה אותנו לעד.

 

הדברים הובאו ע"י הבן שמואל (סמי) פאטר

 

פורסם בספר המלגות וההנצחה, הפדרציה והתאחדות יוצאי פולין בישראל עם בית לוחמי הגטאות, תשס"ד - 2004

 

 

 

Issakhar Fater:

"Jewish Music in Poland between the World Wars"
Hakibbutz Hameuchad Publishing House Ltd.

http://kibutz-poalim.co.il/

Tel Aviv, 1992 (Hebrew)
ISBN 965-02-0060-6


Cover: Yosel Berger

The book was written originally and published in Yiddish:

Fater, Issakhar: Yiddishe Muzik in Poiln: Tzvishn Beide Velt-Milkhamos / Jewish Music in Poland Between the Two World Wars. Tel Aviv, Welt-Federatzie fun Poilishe Yidn, 1970

The Lexicon of Jewish Musicians


Pupils and teachers of the Jewish Gymnasium in Mlawa. Seated are Dr. Rosenman (second from left), principal Icchak Hirszhorn (third), and Issakhar Fater (fourth).
(Source: "And I Still see Their Faces")

The book was also translated to Polish and published recently in Poland:
Issakhar Fater: "Muzyka Zydowska w Polsce w Okresie Miedzywojennym"
Oficyna Wydawnicza
Warszawa 1997
ISBN 83-86678-51-8
Book is available at the JHI in Warszawa: (among others):
The Jewish Historical Institute in Poland
ul. Tlomackie 3/5
Tel: 22/8279221
Fax: 22/8278372


The Jewish Committee after the War The author; Issakhar Fater (third to the right), Stefan Garajek to his left side and Haika Grossman to his right side.

In 2002 Issakhar Fater published a new book (in Yiddish):

Issakhar Fater: The Ashkenazi Version in Word and in Song, Tel Aviv 2002

Book is Dedicated to Wife Cesia on their 55 Wedding Anniversary


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Polish Jewish Music
International Conference
November 15-16, 1998, Los Angeles
Polish Music Center & School of Music,
University of Southern California


Issakhar Fater: Special Features of Jewish Music in Interbellum Poland

[Note: Paper translated by Maria Pilatowicz and read by USC graduate student, Eric Smigel.]

During the 19th century, music was the most neglected branch of art in Jewish cultural and social life. While there were numerous congresses about literature and theater, and many art exhibits, the Jewish community still lacked organized musical activities. The great musical revolution achieved in Russia by Joel Engel and his associates from the Jewish Music Society in Petersburg was possible thanks to good advice of non-Jewish musicians, such as Rimsky-Korsakov and his students who were convinced of the value of the Jewish musical heritage. Jewish contemporary music developed in three great musical centers: America, Palestine, and Poland. The musical traditions of each of these centers were different; each carried its own burden of foreign influences that needed to be controlled.

Jewish musicians in America sought integration. All that was characteristic for America was adapted by Jewish music; atonal Indian cantilenas, angular melodic contours, and modern harmony based on sonance became a stylistic source for such composers as Gershwin, Weill, or Bernstein. These Jewish musicians did not respect the tradition; they were indifferent towards the national history. In general, music in America may be described as opportunistic, not flowing from the depth of the soul, not fulfilling the spiritual needs of the people.

In the Palestine, from the time of "Chibat Zion" movement, Jewish music was a faithful reflection of the new life in the old/new country. At first, the music mixed famous styles, expressing enthusiasm and patriotism, religious and familial feelings. Joel Engel conducted many new elements, while preserving the national heritage - he created an original Hebrew tradition. However, younger generations of composers did not maintain close connections to the musical past. The Jewish folk music traditions were neglected and destroyed. Israeli cities had a musical life and enjoyed close ties with various countries of the world, but the artists ignored their heritage created in the Diaspora, including even liturgical music.

In contrast to these two centers, the best conditions for the development of Jewish music existed in Poland. Here, the music remained a natural continuation of the past; it was not influenced by artificial, academic factors (as in the U.S.), it was not permeated with a search for the foreign element (as in the Palestine). Folk song was a part of daily life of every Jewish home; Jewish people in Poland sang always and everywhere.


A performance in the Jewish gymnasium in Mlawa. Teachers Mieczyslaw Golab and Issakhar Fater are standing on the left. (Source: "And I Still see Their Faces")
Click to enlarge.

At the time when the first organizations were created to collect and preserve Jewish song in Petersburg and Moscow, Warsaw and Lodz already had Jewish concert organizations, e.g. "Hazamir" ("The Nightingale"), sponsoring a rich musical life. Even before World War I there were hundreds of choirs in many cities. Liturgical music had the highest position in society, but the development of music for theatrical performances was also quite impressive, especially since the time of the pioneering achievements of Abraham Goldfaden. In the Interbellum Poland there were many theatres and theatrical ensembles, each with its own orchestra. Many songs by Josef Kaminski, Isa Szajewicz, Henech Kon, and others became very popular. Various parties, groups and cultural societies initiated the creation of music schools, organizations, institutions, and courses. During the 30s these activities intensified, as Jewish musicians began to lose their jobs elsewhere and Jewish community organizations established Jewish concert series and orchestras. Nonetheless, the greatest wonder in the world of Jewish music in Poland was the Jewish audience filling the halls for an immense number of performances, concerts, opera spectacles and other musical occasions. Concerts given by cantors, symphonic orchestras and choirs became holidays, with halls filled to the brim. When discussions about "What is Jewish Music?" were conducted in America and in the Palestine, Jewish composers, conductors, and music lovers, as well as choirs and orchestras were thriving in Poland. On the shores of the Vistula they composed, arranged folk songs, gave concerts, and enjoyed the traditional Jewish melodies.

This Treasure of Jewish Music in Poland Should not be Forgotten!


Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Loneliness, 1933

Issakhar Fater: "Jewish Music in Poland between the World Wars"
Hakibutz Hameuchad,
Tel Aviv, 1992 (Hebrew)
ISBN 965-02-0060-6

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Table of Contents
Translated by Ada Holtzman

 

Page

Dov Sadan: in the Gates of Singing

7

Emanuel Amiran (Fugaczow): A Dream and a Memory

10

The Jewish Music in Poland Between the Two World Wars

12

David Eisenstadt

21

Maricia (Miriam) Eisenstadt

33

David Bajgelman

39

Abram Mosze Bernsztein

48

Mordechai Gebirtig (Bertig)

59

Henryk Gold  

76

Bronislaw Gimpel

80

Jakob Glatstein 

86

Israel Glatstein

95

Jakob Gersztein

101

Abram Cwi Dawidowicz

108

Bronislaw Huberman

117

Jcchak Zaks

130

Rabbi Szaul Jedidia Elazar Taub

138

Gerszon Sirota

142

Abram Slajep

149

Israel Faiwiszis

156

Yosef Kaminski

165

Chanoch (Henech) Kon

173

Menachem Kipnis

182

Arturo Rubinsztein

189

Icchak Szlosberg

197

Mosze Szneur

205

Pinchas Szerman

216

"We Shall Tear up the Chains, We Shall Break the Fences" Jewish Music in the Holocaust

222

Jewish Musicians in Poland - the Lexicon

235

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FATER Samuel Icchak - Biography
(1888-1942)
Translated from Hebrew by Vera Golan

Cantor and composer. Born in Makow Mazowiecki, he was raised in a national religious home. He was a yeshiva student and was singing with cantors. Later on, he studied with Eliezer Brochowicz, in Nowy Dwor near Warszawa, and became one of the lyricists of his great choir, in the course of time, most of its scholars becoming reputed cantors. His students learned solfeggio, harmony, prayer  scores and Jewish studies. Icchak Samuel Fater was part of a group of scholars who read books and who, from time to time, were traveling to Warszawa in order to attend a beautiful concert of the Philharmonic orchestra. When he felt the place in Nowy Dwor was becoming stifling and limited ,  he left for the great and open world.                                        

He stayed in Bialystok with the conductor Jakob Berman, and later on in Kovno, at the Great Synagogue. But wherever he stayed, he never parted from the Gemara and modern literature.

In 1910, Samuel Fater lived in Ciechanow where he directed the local Youth Zionist Choir.(Rivka Kahana: "The Jewish Struggle between Children and their Parents" - in the Memorial Book of the Ciechanow community). Later, he became a cantor in Drobyn near Plock, and until the war broke out, in Zakroczym near Warszawa. At the period of the nazi occupation, he was in the Warszawa ghetto and perished during one of the nazi Aktions.

Samuel Icchak Fater was a knowledgeable musician and bookworm. He was a gifted lyric baritone, who could reach the highest note in the tenor range. In his prayers, he was blending the classical teaching of Zulczer with the Jewish emotion of Zejdel Rubner. He conducted girl choirs of four voices and encouraged young musical talents. Among his students was the cantor from Wielun, Abraham Hutt. Samuel Icchak Fater's home was a meeting place for musicians and music lovers; there was a continuous stream of music lovers and passers-by coming and going, it was open house for everyone. All day, songs and melodies were bursting from his house windows and under the attentive eye of Samuel Icchak Fater, many youngsters were preparing musical scores for cultural events and theatres.

Samuel Icchak Fater created religious music as well as musical compositions for Yiddish and Hebrew poets. His solo recitatives for cantor, for cantor and choir have been copied by many cantors and his music set to the poem of Y.L. Peretz "Monisz" became a hit in the whole region. He was sending his compositions to cantors in the United States and Canada, this income becoming the partial basis for the livelihood of his family.

His pedagogic talents may be illustrated by an unforgettable episode: once while explaining what is a counterpoint , he wrote for me the six beats composing the "toreador" march of Carmen and ordered me to sing it, while he himself sang a number of notes from Wagner's march "Mejster Singer". Our dual singing was fabulous and this is how I learned on the spot what is a counterpoint. Samuel Icchak Fater did implement the modern religious music, influenced by the concept of Pinhas Minkowski. He considered his functions of cantor, composer and music teacher as a holy mission. He felt part of mankind and thanks to his noble character and his love for people, he was respected by all and his position as cantor of his town was rooted on firm ground.


The philharmonic orchestra of Warsaw, with 32 Jewish musicians!

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FATER Issakhar - Biography
(1912-)
Translated from Hebrew by Vera Golan
Pages 309-310

Born in Drobin, near Plock. Attended a heder and later a yeshiva. The family moved to Zakroczym, near Warszawa, where he spent five years in a secular seminar for teachers in Warszawa. In Israel, he studied at the Tel-Aviv University and obtained a degree in History and Judaism.

He got his basic knowledge of music from his father, a cantor. Issakhar Fater studied also at the state conservatory in Warszawa with professors Tadeusz Meisner and Stanislaw Nazoro.

In 1935, he became active as a pedagogue in the field of practical music, conducting and researching Jewish music. Until the beginning of the Second World War, he worked as a teacher of Judaism and music at the Jewish autarchic gymnasium in Mlawa In this school, he founded a choir that became famous in the whole region and was regularly praised by the Polish Ministry of Education.

In 1940, he was a refugee in the Soviet Baranovice, worked as an inspector for the teaching of music in the education and culture institutions of this town.

After being freed from a labor camp in Siberia, he was nominated as the cultural director of "the Polish Company for Song and Word" and became the director of the State Philharmonic Orchestra of Lenintabad in Tadjikistan.

After the war, he returned to Poland and, for one year, managed the department of culture at the Jewish Polish central committee in Warszawa. In 1947, he moved to Paris and from there to Antwerp. In the years 19951-1962, he resided in Rio de Janeiro. In all these places, he worked with the local Jewish schools and conducted choirs that reached high levels of culture and musicality.

In 1962, he immigrated to Israel, settled in Tel-Aviv and devoted his activities to music, pedagogy and literature. As from 1934, Issakhar Fater published many articles in various newspapers: critics and contributions regarding Jewish music in different countries: in Warszawa" "Khazanim Welt" ("World Cantors"), in Paris "Undzere Wort" ("Our Word"), in Rio de Janeiro: A Yiddishe Phrese" ("Yiddishe Phrase") , "Aunda and Amos", in Sao Paulo "Neier Moment" ("New Moment"), in Tel-Aviv: "Letzte Neues" ("Last News"), "Nowiny Courier", "Di Goldene Keit" ("the Golden Chain").

He published numerous researches , books like: "Remember" in memory of the ghetto Warszawa uprising, 1953, "Jewish Music in Poland between the Two World Wars", in Yiddish, also translated in Hebrew), 1970, "Jewish Music and its Problems" ( in Yiddish), 1985, "Sacred and Profane in Jewish Music" (in Yiddish), 1988.

"He is not only practicing what he preaches but is the composer of beautiful works in the world of music, creativeness, production and pedagogy. He is endowed with an artistic talent, developing and spreading Jewish vocal and instrumental music. He is a versed and experienced musician and his scientific articles reinforced and still do our knowledge of music in all its diversities" (Prof. Dov Sadan).

...."Issakhar Fater has always been attentive to tradition when conducting choirs and used extreme cautiousness concerning singing material, musical adaptations and interpretations and, thanks to that, was able to obtain from his choirs not only the purest diction and musicality but soulful Jewish warmth and emotion. His dynamic and creative personality contributed to the development of national aesthetics and brought a new spirit and substance to the cultural life of Jews in the neighboring settlements." (extract from notes presented by judges of committees distributing awards).

In his musical research, Issakhar Fater was searching the revelation of Jewish music from far-away times until today and he revealed the exceptional Jewish melos in spite of the internal exchanges and external changes, which influenced our people throughout generations, the melodies remained faithful to their ancient origins, and even the new elements that pervaded did free themselves from their strangeness and became an integral element of the Jewish melodic popular treasure.

Issakhar Fater accompanies the development of Jewish music through its various courses and phases. He requests from its creators to penetrate all the aspects of Jewish spirituality.


1937: Choir of the Jewish Gymnasium of Mlawa, Poland. Seated 2nd row: the conductor Issakhar Fater, R. D'Argota, Dr. L. Rozman

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MARYSIA (MIRIAM) EISENSTADT

The Ghetto Nightingale

1921-1942

Translated from Hebrew by Ada Holtzman
I thank Oron Schwartz for his help in the translation of this biography.

Pages 33-37

I believe there is no book about Warsaw under the Nazi occupation, in which the name Marysia (Miriam) Eisenstadt is mentioned in a thrill of holiness. In all the official descriptions, in diaries of memoirs, in various documents and records, her name appears together with others who bought themselves eternal glory and their deeds were engraved in the horrified history of our People - the Holocaust - not only in golden letters, but mainly and may be especially - by letters of blood.

"Like a meteor with special light in the sky, the phenomenal singer Marysia (Miriam) Eisenstadt, daughter of David Eisenstadt, the unforgettable choirmaster of the choir of the "Great Synagogue" of Warsaw. She was murdered in one of the Aktions (Aktzia, Akcja) of the liquidation of ghetto Warsaw", registered Dr. Emanuel Ringelblum in his report regarding the cultural activities in the ghetto. This report was smuggled to New York by the underground to be preserved there in YIVO - (the Jewish Scientific Organization).

In his book "Destruction and Rising, the Epic of the Jews in Warsaw"(Palestine 1946), Meilech Neustadt writes about Miriam: "In every show of her shows, crowds used to fill the large "Femina" theater on Leszno Street, which contain thousand seats. Also her father with the symphonic band he founded gave concerts there. Miriam used to be the soloist in the permanent symphonic band under the maestro Szymon Folman and Marian Neuteich. The permanent accompanist was Ignacy Rozenbaum, a world famous artist. From time to time Miriam also participated in concerts organized by the underground".

Jonas Turkow writes about the circumstances of her death in his book: "Farloshene Shtern" ("Extinguished Stars", Buenos Aires 1953): "It is possible that Miriam Eisenstadt, as a young woman, flourishing and beautiful, could have been saved (even temporarily) if she would accept to separate from her parents. But she was so close to them that without them she did not wish to live even a single moment. And while the Germans separated between her and her parents on the Umschlagplatz (the deportation platform), and Dawid Eisenstadt - the Jewish famous great compositor and conductor, the music master of virtue - was pushed with his wife to the condensed cattle wagon compressed with hundreds of victims condemned to terrible death, while Miriam was pushed with another group, she disconnected herself from the group and run to join her parents. Because all the deportation was destined to Treblinka extermination camp, to the Gas chambers and one destiny befell on all the victims inside it - Miriam did not wish to separate from her parents in their last minutes of life. With all her might she burst to the group of her parents and on the threshold of the wagon, German bullet hit her, ending her short blooming life, which contained so much hopes and success."

Miriam was known by her nickname "The Ghetto Nightingale" and in her shows she charmed the listeners. Her voice had supernatural force and interpretation with which she electrified the audience. The softness of her voice, her hearty descending portamento's from one note the other, emerged not only from her diligence but also from the many talents she was gifted with, rouse in her listeners indescribable enthusiasm. She was able to embody a typical Jewesses and emphasized in a popular Jewish song the Jewish melos, the Jewish sigh in its utmost expression, and in the same time be magnificent and elegant in performing the most difficult arias from "Madame Butterfly" or "La Traviata".

Miriam was perfect not only in performing material which was well studied and exercised, but she had also initiative, resourcefulness and the talent of creation. She could be trusted upon, that also in free improvisation (ad libitum), she would not disappoint her audience.

In addition to all her talents, Miriam was very beautiful and lovely, amicable, nice to talk with, modest and with pleasant manners. It is no wonder that in her shows she impressed everybody with he shining and noble personality and won always admiration and appreciation.

Miriam Eisenstadt was born in the year 1921. Already in her early childhood she distinguished herself with her musical talents but her father did not want her to become a "wonder kind". She received very serious musical education, and her piano teacher was a known Polish musician, the pedagogue of the Chopin High School for Music, Professor Zbigniew Dziwicki.

She received her general education in the well-known girls' gymnasium "The Jewess" on Dluga Street, school where many of the girls of the Zionist intelligentsia studied. She excelled in her studies and distinguished also by her social activities; she belonged to the committee of the students counsel for mutual aid and she participated in nearly all the social activities initiated by the Gymnasium; helped weak students in their homework and organized performances which were aimed to collect funds for the mutual aid fund.

Miriam planned cultural balls and also performed personally in festive parties which parents and guests attended. The gifted musician, the conductor Jakub Glatstein, who was a music teacher in "Yehudia" ("The Jewess") girls school valued a lot the activities of Miriam and not once did he praise her enormous contribution to the Gymnasium.

She studied how to play the piano systematically, but the singing attracted her and she loved it dearly. When she played she accompanied herself by humming and even, singing, even when she played sonnets or more serious compositions, very difficult to perform by human voice. But Marysia never encountered any difficulties at all. Her voice, lyric coloratura soprano with, was deep and high as if emerge from the abyss and rises to the endless skies. In addition to that, her voice was soft and elastic so that she produced the cadences and the more difficult passages clean and smooth. She was also an excellent solfegist. The most difficult intervals and Chromatic and complicated passages came easily to her even when she did not use the piano. She always asked permission from her father, to move from the piano to singing, but he was determined that Miriam would become a piano player virtuoso and not a singer.

When she had a proper mood, she used to sing to herself, or before her closest friends. These were concerts from the Jewish and classical music. Her father used to sit near the organ which was standing in one of the large hall and started accompanying her in his playing. Marysia used t start with the sentimental songs of Shubert, moved to arias and finish in canto's singing. She floated in higher spheres and was happy from the fact she could give the audience things most dear to her heart. We used to be silent then and wonder about the enigma, from where did she get such a fine and rich repertoire. I shall never forget the evening, in such a performance, she sung "the Night" of Anton Rubinstein (1829-1894), the elegy of Jules Massenet (1842-1912) and the famous chanson which was heard by the Polish famous tenor Jan Kypora, "Aye, Aye, Aye".

Slowly slowly it became clear to Eisenstadt that Marisia aspires to be a serious opera singer. Finally he decided to help her in fulfilling her dream - elaboration of her voice to perfection - and he himself, whose only very few got he privilege to study from him and his enlarged knowledge of the profession - started to dedicate himself to this cause, passionately and with fatherly devotion. When the time would come, he meant to send her to Italy, and by then, he did his utmost himself. He entered her into the treasures of the artistic song, and she took control of Shubert vocal music, of Mendelssohn and Shumann as well and became an expert in the best of the romantic period and at the same time she did not stop her interest in the folklore popular Jewish song. She was acquainted with tens of the songs of Menachem Kipnis and Mark Warszawski and she sung with enthusiasm also the work of Zajwil Kwartin: "God, the Rock of Israel" or "Look at the sky and see" of Jose'leh Rozenblat (1880-1933).

Marysia Eisenstadt absorbed the spiritual atmosphere of her parents' home. It was the atmosphere of the Jewish European culture. The problems of literature, art, theater and music were her daily spiritual food, and the national Jewish renaissance filled her whole being. She can definitely would be considered as the most beautiful and best young Jewish generation who grew up in Poland between the two world wars.

This is how Marysia Eisenstadt had been until the outbreak of World War II in September 1939. Only a few months after she received her matriculation certificate, while she was walking in the streets absorbed in her dreams and plans for the future - and already many German bombs fell and destroyed Jewish Warsaw - and with her young life. Her image, which was all made of poetry, singing and movement, always full of life, was now secluded itself in doubts, mourning and in fear. She felt in advance the terrible tragedy, which was approaching.

One evening in December 1940, the family members sat together and discussed the actual problem: to escape or not? Marysia's healthy mind demanded clearly: leave everything and run to the borders, as did already thousands of Jews. Also her father was inclined to that direction. It is probably the ancient wandering instinct, which rouse inside him, and like in his young period, when he wandered in the willows of Ukraine with the people of the theater - he wanted now to try his luck and go wherever his feet will lead him. Because it was obvious that worse than then, it would not be possible! But mother had a different stand. She, always the serious one, tent dweller (stay at home), the devoted wife and Jewish Mother, "Is it Possible" she claimed, "here we sit safe in a corner of our own. Whenever we exit of our home, we would become immediately homeless wanderers who seek a place for the night rest. Would we be able to cross borders, wander in the roads no roads and search for a new home? Leaving home means destruction!"

Mother ruled. The destiny of the family was sealed. Maniusia, as her parents called their only beloved daughter, was obliged from that moment to assist in winning bread to the family. She became a professional singer and her reputation conquered Jewish Warsaw. From the first moment she understood that her vocation is a mission, as if she was destined by the tragic fate to lament and to cry over the shocking struggle of the largest Jewish community on earth, to gain another hour of life. The masses of Jews also saw in her singing a mission, which meant to sweeten the last minutes of life of the miserable people. Marysia understood very well that in her singing she brings soul aspiration and hope to the broken and suffering hearts of the Jews of ghetto Warsaw. Her each and every concert became an act of heroism, because she already knew that she and her listeners were doomed to a most cruel death which will arrive sooner or later.

In her Jewish human education, in her noble manners, in her many various talents and in her strong deep power of will to study and always progress, in her lively life and dynamic power of absorbing the cultural values of Europe and the spiritual treasures of our past - Miriam Eisenstadt was a true mirror of the young Jewish generation who grew up in the golden era of the Polish Jewry between the two World Wars. She may be considered as the symbol of the new Jewish generation which grew and matured in Poland and which growth and nourishment were tragically cut off while still so young.

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The Biographies
Pages 21-221

N0.

SURNAME

Name

MUSICIAN

YEARS

TOWN

Page

1

EISENSTADT


Dawid Eisenstadt

Musician, Conductor, Pedagogue, Compositor

1890-1942

Nasielsk / Warszawa

21

2

EISENSTADT


Marysia-Miriam Eisenstadt

Singer, "the Ghetto Nightingale"

1921-1942

Warszawa

33

3

BEIGELMAN


Dawid Beigelman

Vilonist, Musician, Conductor

1887-1945

Ostrowice / Lodz

39

4

BERNSTEIN

 Abraham Mosze Bernstein

A famous and important Cantor (Khazan)

1866-1932

Szack / Wilna

48

5

GEBIRTIG


Mordechai Gebirtig

Jewish Folklorist "Troubadour"

1877-1942

Krakow

59

6

GOLD


Henryk Gold

A Musician

1902-1977

Warszawa

76

7

GIMPEL


Bronislaw Gimpel

A Musician, Violinist

1911-1979

Lwow

80

8

GLATSTEIN


Glatstein Jakob

A Teacher, Conductor

1895-1942

Lublin / Warszawa

86

9

GLATSTEIN


Israel Glatstein

Songs Writer and a Composer

1894-1942

Gostynin

95

10

GERSTEIN


Jakub Gerstein

A Singer, Composer

1882-1942

Wilna

101


Jakub Gerstein Choir in Wilna

11

DAWIDOWICZ


Abraham Cwi Dawidowicz

A Conductor

1877-1942

? Near Grodno / Kalisz / Warszawa

108

12

HUBERMAN


Bronislaw Huberman

A Violinist

1882-1947

Czestochowa / Warszawa

117

13

ZAKS


Icchak Zaks

A Musician, Teacher, Conductor

1887-1942?

Radomsk / Lodz / Warszawa

130

14

TAUB

Rabbi Szaul Jedidja Eleazar

Chassidic Musician

1886-1947

Ozarow / Demblin-Modrzyc /Otowck

138

15

SIROTA


Gerszon Sirota

A famous Cantor

1877-1943

Warszawa

142

16

SLIEP


Abraham Sliep

A Musician, Teacher, Choirmaster

1884?-1942

Wilna

149

17

FAJWISZIS


Israel Fajwiszis

A Musician, Teacher, Conductor / Writer of Zionist Pioneer Songs

1887-1942

? Galicia / Lodz

156


Fajwiszis choir in the ghetto

18

KAMINSKI


Josef Kaminski

A Violinist

1903-1972

Odessa / Warszawa / Tel Aviv

165

19

KON


Chanoch (Henech) Kon

A Musician, Theater Composer

1890-1972

Lodz / Kutno / Warszawa

173

20

KIPNIS


Menachem Kipnis

A Folklorist Researcher, Singer

1878-1942

? Wolyn / Warszawa

182

21

RUBINSTEIN


Artur Rubinstein and the author Issakhar Fater

A Pianist

1887-1982

Lodz

189

22

SZLOSBERG


Icchak Szlosberg

A Conductor, Composer

1877-1930

Russia

197

23

SZNEUR

Mosze Szneur

A Musician, Conductor

1885-1942

Charson / Warszawa

205

24

SZERMAN


Pinchas Szerman

A famous Cantor

1887-1942

Staszow / Warszawa

216


Marc Chagall: the Blue Violinist

Lexicon of Jewish Musicians
A Partial List

Pages 237-346

Translated, Extracted and Compiled by Ada Holtzman, September 2003

The original text short biographies of each musician. I shall a copy someone is interested in a certain musician's biography. Ada Holtzman email: ada01 "at" netvision.net.il (replace "at" by @to avoid sp)

The Lexicon of Jewish Musicians

We Remember, We Shall not Forget!


Yosel Berger 1964

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Last updated October 23rd 2008