Welcome to my performance of Holocaust songs on my 1935 Joseph Bausch viola, a relic of the Holocaust. Each piece expresses events of ghettos and concentration camps, as well as the composers' feelings of longing, suffering, and hope.
The original owner of the viola perished in the Holocaust. Fortunately, her instrument lives on, musically honoring those whose lives were forever changed during WWII.
Interfaith Holocaust Service  –  Westside Presbyterian Church, Ridgewood, NJ  –  May 11, 2011
Ani Mamim
Emblematic Holocaust Song
Composer: Reb Azriel David Fastag
Ani Mamin (I Believe) is based on the 13 Articles of Faith written by Rabbi Moses ben Maimon (1135-1204), known as Moses Maimonides. Holocaust victims sang this song while interned in the Warsaw ghetto, on death marches, and throughout war-torn Europe.
Dachau Song
Tamara conducts interfaith choir
Text by Jura Soyfer, Music by Herbert Zipper
Dachau Song is being performed by an Interfaith Choir during a Yom HaShoah Commemoration on May 1, 2011 at Westside Presbyterian Church, Ridgewood New Jersey. Dr. Tamara Freeman is conducting. Soyfer and Zipper worked side by side as horses pushing carts of heavy stone. They collaborated to create Dachau Song, a spirited martial-style piece that would bolster the morale and physical strength of the inmates. Sei ein Mann, Kamerad, bleib ein Mensch, Kamerad, mach ganze arbeit pack an Kamerad, denn arbeit, arbeit macht frei! Be a man, Kamerad, stay humane, Kamerad, do all your work seize it now Kamerad, for work frees us in the end!
Nit Keyn Rozhinkes, Nit Keyn Mandlen
Origin: Lodz Ghetto
Composer: Isaiah Shpigl, David Beyglman
No More Raisins, No More Almonds negates the hopeful and peaceful pre-war lullaby, “Raisins and Almonds. Poet Isaiah Shpigl survived the Lodz ghetto and Auschwitz. Beyglman was a well-known composer for Yiddish Theater before the war. He died in the gas chambers of Treblinka.
Holocaust Music Lecture-Recital – Temple Israel, Ridgewood, NJ – Spring 2011
Ghetto
Origin: Vilna Ghetto
Composer: Kasriel Broydo
Kasriel Broydo (1907-1945) was a director of theatre revues and concerts in the Vilna ghetto. In January 1945, Broydo was transferred to Germany and was forcibly drowned in the Baltic Sea. Ghetto exclaims, Geto! Dikh fargesn vel ikh keyn mol nit! Ghetto! In my memory you'll never die!
Vu Ahin Zol Ikh Geyn
Origin: Warsaw Ghetto
Composer: S. Kortnayer & Oscar Strock
Where Shall I Go? was written before WWII and was popular in the ghettos and displaced persons camps. S. Kortnayer, a Yiddish actor and the song's lyricist, died in the Warsaw ghetto in 1942. The song asks, Vu ahin zol ikh gyn, ver kon entfern mir? Vu ahin zol ikh geyn, az farshlosn z'yede tir? Tell me where shall I go, who can answer my plea? Tell me where shall I go, every door is barred to me.
Moes Moes
Origin: Warsaw Ghetto
Composer: unknown, recorded by Schmerke Kaczerginski
Shortly after the war, three surviving inmates of the Warsaw ghetto shared Moes Moes with Schmerke Kaczerginski, the editor of Lider fun di Ghettos und Lagern published in 1948. The Yiddish word, moes, comes from the Hebrew ma-ot, meaning coins or small change. The song advises the ghetto residents, Moes, moes, moes iz an eydele zakkh. Money, money, money is the best thing.
Coolies
Orgin: Warsaw Ghetto
Text by Sh. Sheynkinder, Music by Froy Goldberg
Warsaw residents were compared to Chinese rickshaw runners (Coolies) after the only streetcar was taken out of the ghetto. Sheynkind was a journalist and social worker in the ghetto. The song quips, Shneler, kuli, ayl zich tsu. Shneler, kuli, pliz. Shneler, kuli, pliz. Faster, coolie, hurry up. Faster, coolie, please. Faster, coolie, please.
Oyb Nit Keyn Emune
Origin: Treblinka
Composer: unknown
Oyb nit keyn emune in got borukh-hu, vos zhe toyg mir ales vos ikh tu? If I do not have faith in God blessed be He, what's the use of everything that I do?
M’khol Masada
Origin: Warsaw Ghetto
Text by Yitskhok Lamden, Music by Israel Fajwiszys
M’khol Masada was composed in 1935. It recounts the Jewish resistance and sacrifice under Roman attack, which foretold the horrors of the Warsaw ghetto. Fajwiszys's children's chorus in the Warsaw ghetto performed this piece, bringing a bit of happiness to its residents. The song cheers, Hadlek makhol alei Masada, al af hakol. Light up the dance there on Masada, in spite of all.
Copyright © 2011 Tamara Freeman.  All Rights Reserved.