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Yiddish Glory: Lost and Found Songs of Soviet Jews During World War II

Wednesday, February 21, 2018,

  • Location: Sarratt Cinema

During the World War II, ethnomusicologists in the Soviet Union risked their lives collecting songs of the Holocaust, including from Jewish soldiers in the Red Army and other survivors.  Following the war, the researchers were arrested by Stalin, their work confiscated, and they died thinking the collection was lost forever.  

 A few years ago, University of Toronto professor Anna Shternshis was doing research for her new book on Jewish daily life under Stalin's totalitarianism, and found the collection buried in a former Soviet archive.  Most of these songs have never been heard or performed in over seven decades. The songs detail the Holocaust as it happened, and often deal with revenge on a visceral level.  There is even a song in the collection that was written by a 10-year-old orphan who lost his family in the Holocaust. 

Their  Lecture/Concert, gives listeners a chance to hear the live performance of these songs in Yiddish, complete with English and Russian language sub-titles, and to hear the stories about each one of them