Mittwoch, 22. Februar 2017

Lin Jaldati / Jalda Rebling / Eberhard Rebling - Für Anne Frank (LITERA 1981)

"The Diary of Anne Frank" is one of the most widely read books in the world but her time in hiding was just one part of this remarkable girl's short life.

Anne Frank is famous for the diary that she kept from 12 June 1942 until 4 August 1944.
She was born on 12 June 1929 in Frankfurt, Germany, and was the second daughter of Otto Frank and Edith Frank-Hollander. Her sister Margot was three years older. She enjoyed four happy years growing up in Frankfurt until the Nazi's came to power.

Of German Jewish descent, she and her family moved to Holland in 1933, where her father set up a business. By 1934, Edith and the two girls were living in Amsterdam, where they both attended school. From a young age, Anne showed an aptitude for reading and writing, while her outspoken and energetic personality shone through. When Holland was occupied by the Nazis in 1940, their heritage put the family under threat.

The family were subjected to the same rules as German Jews, namely Jewish children could only attend Jewish schools, they faced curfews, were not allowed to own a business and were forced to wear a yellow star. Otto transferred his shares in his company to a friend and resigned as director leaving the family with enough income to survive.

On her 13th birthday, Otto gave Anne an autograph book bound with white and red checked cloth and closed with a small lock. She proceeded to use this as her diary, with the first entries detailing how her family were segregated and discriminated against. In July 1942, her sister Margot received a call up notice from the Central Office of Jewish Emigration ordering her to report for a relocation to a work camp. This made the family move into hiding earlier than planned.

On 6 July 1942, Anne, her sister Margot and her parents went into hiding, along with four other families. Their hiding place, the annexe, was in a specially prepared space above the offices of their business.

Whilst in hiding, they were supported by a group of friends, who brought them food as well as anything else they needed.

Anne started each diary entry 'Dear Kitty' and what followed was an incredibly candid and eloquent account of her life in confinement. It expresses her fear, boredom and confusion at the situation she found herself in.

As well as giving the reader an insight into of what it was like to live under such extreme circumstances, it also shows Anne struggling with the universal problem of growing up.
Her diary ends in 1944 when the annexe was raided by the Nazi authorities. Anne and Margot were first sent to Auschwitz and then to Bergen-Belsen where they died of typhoid in 1945.

She was survived only by her father Otto. Anne's diary was kept safe by the family friend, Miep Gies, who gave it to Otto when he returned to Holland. When Anne was still alive she had expressed interest in having her diary published as a record of her experience. After her death, her father edited it, and it was first published in 1947.

'The Diary of Anne Frank' is an exceptionally popular and well known piece of writing. It has been translated into 67 languages and is especially popular with young people.

The album "Für Anne Frank" mixes songs, readings and documentary parts, performed by Lin Jaldati, Jalda Rebling and Eberhard Rebling and recorded live in 1980.

Lin Jaldati was a Dutch Jewish Communist Yiddish singer, who survived the Holocaust and was the last person to see Anne Frank alive. After the war, she and her husband, Eberhard Rebling, moved to East Berlin where she became the Yiddish diva of the Communist world, including a 1965 concert including Yiddish music in North Korea, and a 1983 concert in Yad Vashem, where she was a representative of her adopted home in East Germany. While primarily in Yiddish, the Yad Vashem concert included German-language anti-fascist songs by Hans Eisler, the first time German music was heard in the hallowed halls of Israel's Holocaust memorial.

Songs on the album:

Amol is gewen a jidele
Schejn bin ich, schejn
Schtiller, schtiller
's ls nischto kejn nechtn
's Dremlen fejgl ojf di zwajgn
Sog nischt kejnmal
Her nor, du schejn mejdele
Dos lid fun scholem
Ich bezeuge (Worte Pablo Neruda, Musik: Paul Dessau)

Lin Jaldati / Jalda Rebling / Eberhard Rebling - Für Anne Frank (LITERA 1981)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

7 Kommentare:

Feilimid O'Broin hat gesagt…

Many, many thanks for this hauntingly poignant recording and especially for making more of Lin Jaldati's (Rebekka Brilleslijper's) music available. I suppose one can assert that the DDR's encouragement of Yiddish culture after the war was to propagandize workers' culture and Communist internationalism; however, the first motive strikes me as being far from negative or oppressive, and even commendable, and the second not remarkably different from the West's post-war campaign to propagandize capitalism as allegedly integral to "democracy" and "individual freedom." Regardless, the support and encouragement of performances in Yiddish as part of the DDR's East Germany’s official musical culture stood in contrast to the Soviet Union's destruction of Yiddish culture, in accordance with Stalin’s .

Feilimid O'Broin hat gesagt…

mandates, through assassination, incarceration, show trials and execution of prominent Yiddish actors, poets, educators, and other members of the Yiddish intelligentsia for alleged and totally fabricated criminal and anti-state activities. The doctor's plot, the prosecution of Jewish physicians in Moscow for allegedly plotting to assassinate Soviet officials, is perhaps the best known example of Stalin's detestable campaign of scapegoating and persecuting Soviet Jews.

In her memoirs about her late husband, Osip, and the literary culture of the Soviet Union, Nadezhda Yakovlevna Mandelstam describes how horribly brutal the era of Stalin was for artists who did not toe the line or who supported ideologies that Stalin initially endorsed but subsequently capriciously rejected. Writings his government and, at times, even he personally endorsed and even praised wee then used as evidence of anti-Soviet activities and their authors were incarcerated or executed. The DDR was no utopia; however, in its propaganda efforts, as it would subsequently do when

Feilimid O'Broin hat gesagt…
Dieser Kommentar wurde vom Autor entfernt.
Feilimid O'Broin hat gesagt…

misrepresenting the relationship between Vietnam and China, the West painted all Eastern European allegedly Communist regimes with the same broad brush of brutal anti-Semitism. Granted the DDR’s anti-Zionist and anti-cosmopolitan campaigns during the 1950s were consistent with a Communist doctrine that too often became anti-Semitic in practice by linking prominent Jews with American, Israeli, and “internationalist” plots against Communist states; however, unlike Stalin’s Soviet Union, the DDR did not suppress Yiddish-speaking artists whose work conformed to the same guidelines it imposed on all artists.

In brief, the DDR embraced artists whose work celebrated a pre-war Jewish culture but, after initially accepting the establishment of a Jewish state, became vehemently opposed to Israel as a Zionist state while officially distinguishing being opposed to Jews, anti-Semitism, and being opposed to Israel, anti-Zionism. After the six-day war in 1967, the DDR openly supported and gave military aid to the PLO and Syria, and regarded Zionism and fascism as ideologies that were similar in their “racism” and discriminatory practices based on race. The problem of opposition to Israel inadvertently or covertly encouraging antisemitism was and remains a problem with which the left in the Bundesrepublik, present-day Germany, and other countries have had and have to contend. More cynically, one can assert that the DDR’s support of Jaldati’s and other artists’ performance was a ploy to publicly show the world how different it was from pre-war Germany.

Feilimid O'Broin hat gesagt…

As long as Jaldati and other Jewish artists stated that the DDR encouraged Yiddish, and by extension, Jewish culture, they were not accused of the “rootless cosmopolitism” that was leveled as a denunciation against East German Jews who endorsed Zionism and supported the state of Israel. Still, Jaldati’s and other Yiddish-speaking artists careers in the DDR represent a necessary, even if only minor, corrective footnote to the West’s simplistic overview regarding all member countries of the Easter Block and show that Hungary and Czechoslovakia were not the only allegedly Communist states that occasionally deviated from Stalinist doctrines.

I find it ironic but appropriate that Jaldati sings in Yiddish to remember Frank. It is ironic because Frank loved and wrote in the Dutch language and, as you note, her family had immigrated to Holland from Germany. They spoke German and, after moving, Dutch, not Yiddish, and lived as German and Dutch citizens fully integrated in the respective cultures. Frank’s father, Otto, had served in and risen to the rank of lieutenant in the German army during the first World War. The Franks were not residents of shtetl in central or eastern Europe and were not especially religious; however, being Jewish, they were to be destroyed in Hitler’s Europe because they existed. Yet Yiddish is an appropriate language by which to remember Anne and that time because it emphasizes that her fate was determined by her being Jewish. Still, if the readings were not included, Jildati’s beautiful voice could unintentionally belie the horror to which Anne Frank and other Jews were subjected and, consequently, sends chills up my spine. Even to write that one "enjoy"s the recording seems somewhat distasteful if one overlooks that it is a memorial.

I enjoy so much of what you post and look forward to each posting but, at the same time, their inherently political nature always compels me to reflect and think. Thank you again for the post and for the ongoing effort of keeping this blog going. .

Feilimid O'Broin hat gesagt…

By the way, for anyone interested, there is a fascinating article in "Pakntreger", the magazine of the Yiddish Bookcenter in which Jalda Rebling talks about her parents, their music, and about living in the DDR. The article acknowledges that after the six-day war in 1967, the DDR government “[excised] Yiddish from official East German musical culture and her mother did not perform in the DDR from June 1967 until 1975, aside from a November 9 commemorative concert in 1968.” In addition, “German translations of Sholem Aleichem disappeared and were not reissued by East German publishing houses for nearly 20 years.” Notwithstanding, the article always includes the following:

When Jalda speaks about German unification in 1990, her face turns somber. For many East German Jews, unification brought on the disintegration, not only of the Communist state, but also of the Jewish cultural life that had been built by stalwart activists like her parents. As the East German state went bankrupt, the Yiddish Cultural Festival that Jalda had shepherded nearly died, saved only by UNESCO funding. A few years later, Yiddish music had become an institution in the unified Germany, for better or worse. The dynamism of German unification gradually rendered invisible the Jewish cultural life that Jalda Rebling, Lin Jaldati, and others had promoted …

… On November 9, 1990, a unified German Jewish community commemorated Kristallnacht together for the first time. An official ceremony was held, in Hebrew, in the Rykestrasse Synagogue, the main synagogue on the eastern side of Berlin. Speakers included the president of the German Parliament, the long-standing chairman of the West Berlin Jewish Community, the president of the Western Academy of the Arts, and the rabbi of the West Berlin Community, whose hazan sang for the occasion. Still, Rebling points out that East German Jewry, now subsumed into the official West German Jewish community, was absent from the proceedings: “Those who had filled this synagogue with Jewish life, Shabbat after Shabbat, for decades, were reduced to the role of showing the guests around the house, holding doors open for them, and being spectators.” So Jalda did what any good Yiddish stage performer would do. She commemorated Kristallnacht as she had always done: “On that same November evening, we remembered Kristallnacht in our own way, at the Gethsemane Church.”

Here is the link for the article, which is far better written than anything I can write and, unlike my comments, is also free of typos:

zero hat gesagt…

I wish to thank you for your always interesting thoughts! It´s an intellectual enrichtment to read your reflections about history, politics and culture. And also thank you for the link to the magazin.

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