The first performance of the Grammy-nominated concert, Yiddish Glory: The Lost Songs of World War II premiered in Israel this week.
Yiddish studies professor Anna Shternshis discovered a collection of lost Yiddish songs at the Ukrainian National Library in Kiev while researching a book about Yiddish culture in the Soviet Union during the Holocaust. The trove of songs — all very fragile, some typed, but most hand-written on paper — were created during the darkest chapter of European Jewish history.
Those lost lyrics, written by Soviet Jews during the Second World War, were set to music by poet-musician Psoy Korolenko and the recording received an enormous amount of international media attention from Canada, the US, Austria and beyond.
The people who sang these songs all dreamt of Israel, but nearly none got to see it created. They couldn’t make it, but their music made it. — Anna Shternshis.
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