On the 27th of January 2015, the day of the liberation of Auschwitz 70 years ago, I was in invited to sing songs from the ghettos and concentration camps. At this commemoration of the Holocaust in Rome, I was introduced to Francesco Lotoro who has dedicated his life to the research of songs and music written in the concentration camps. There is a huge collection and it needs to be remembered for eternity.
Especially as a postwar German native, married to a Jewish man here in New York for 20 years, I am eternally sensitive and tortured by the history of the Holocaust. It is my responsibility and utmost ethical longing to honor the culture of the Jewish people and stimulate the dialog about the terrible past. This is a mission that I had adopted already in 1987 when I became the protagonist of the big recording series on DECCA 'Entartete Music' that presented the Jewish composers and their music catalog banned by the Nazis. With SONGS FOR ETERNITY, this mission continues and finds its most touching extention.
My research continued and I was overwhelmed by the stories behind each of the songs written in the ghettos and concentration camps. I finally studied a most unique book, a song collection by Vevel Pasternak from 1948, that gathers heartbreaking songs from the ghettos and concentration camps, as well as the songbook of Ilse Weber, finally published by her husband in Israel in the 90's long after he survived Auschwitz. Both music collections were given to me by my dear friend Orly Beigel, who is half Mexican, half Israeli, and the child of a Holocaust Survivor.
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