happened during the war, and they were not getting many answers from their parents.Though American hippies were able to turn to their own history for ideals of labour and egalitarianism, Germans had no such luxury. Much of their history was tainted by association; the Nazis had appropriated swathes of German culture for their own purposes.
German folksongs were especially suspect. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the Volkslied was used to stitch together the patchwork principalities and
duchies that formed the new German nation. As with other newly-formed nations and nationalities in nineteenth-century Europe, belief in a common mythology
helped unify people. Previously disparate groups were brought together with tales
of a shared heritage. The "Landschaftliche Volkslieder", ‘‘folk songs of landscape’’, were
just one example of the integrationist project - an enormous forty-three-volume
anthology that attempted systematically to incorporate regional folk music into a
German folk song was thus inextricably bound upwith nationalism, and nationalism had a nasty aftertaste after the Second World War. ‘‘Ever since folk songs were taken over by the Nazis . . . few Germans have been able to sing them with a clean conscience,’’ musicians Hein and Oss Kröher wrote in 1969.
If the German folk song was "verboten" to the younger generation, they would need to take their cues from other traditions, and they did. Judaism was one of those traditions. The culture of the victims was not tainted by association with the Holocaust. Yiddish was somewhat understandable to the German ear. And besides, Yiddish was fun to sing.Why not embrace it?
An important member of the1960s Yiddish music scene was Hai Frankl. Frankl was a Jew who learned Yiddish later in life; he became popular in West Germany, and did much to popularise Yiddish songs on the western side of the Wall. Frankl was born in Wiesbaden in 1920 to a German-Jewish family. Just before the outbreak of war he escaped to Sweden, and, while there, he ‘‘frequently spent evenings with Eastern European Jews, and in long nights at the tavern learned Yiddish songs from them’’, according to Aaron Eckstaedt.
Hai’s father, Dr. Erich Frankl (born in Vienna on September 29, 1880) had been the manager of the porcelain factory belonging to his parents-in-law in Sophienau near Breslau. He served as an officer in the Austrian Army from 1914 to 1918. After 1939 he was a forced-laborer at the BEO Soap-Factory in Dotzheimer Straße in Wiesbaden.
On June 10, 1942, Erich Frankl and his wife Elli (née Schachtel in Charlottenbrunn /Silesia on August 12, 1896) were deported to Lublin and Majdanek – respectively to Sobibor – and murdered. Their daughter Hermine (born in Sophienau /Silesia on March 9, 1922) was able to reach Pyrford, England in a children’s transport and later moved to the USA.
Hai and his Swedish (non-Jewish) wife, Topsy, toured West Germany in the 1960s and 1970s, singing songs from the labour movement as well as Yiddish folk songs. (They never moved to Germany permanently.)
In 1981 the Frankls released a compilation of Yiddish folk songs, somewhat like Lin Jaldati’s, which helped spark widespread German interest in actually playing Yiddish music, not just listening to it.
Like Jaldati’s collection, the Frankls’ "Jiddische Lieder" presented songs in transliteration and translation, and also included a short history of the Jews of Europe, the Yiddish language, and Hassidism. Unlike Jaldati’s, the Frankls’ collection of songs was accompanied by music including
chords. It was a practical collection intended for actual use.
|5||Sog nit kejnmol||2:38|
|6||Schlof majn Kind||2:37|
|8||Ot asoj nejt a Schnajder||2:23|
|9||Jid, du Partisaner||1:22|
|12||Der Weg is schwer||2:50|
|13||Schpil-she mir a Lidele||2:18|
|14||Nigun 1 / Nigun 2||3:19|
|15||Mir lebn ejbig||1:37|
|16||Doss jidische Wort||3:24|
|17||Und du akerst||2:27|
|18||In salzikn Jam||3:21|
|20||Fun wos lebt a Jid||2:31|
|22||Lebn sol Kolumbuss||1:29|
|28||Sol schojn kumn di Geule||3:04|
Hai & Topsy Frankl – Jiddische Lieder (1988)
(256 kbps, cover art included)