Passing the Torch: The Maccabees of Berlin

More than 80 years after Jewish sports associations were outlawed by the Nazis, hundreds of German athletes still proudly wear the Star of David on their jerseys

The Bar Kochba Berlin athletics team, 1925. Source: Bar Kochba-Hakoah News pamphlet

Not a day goes by that Israeli sports fans don’t read or hear the word ‘Maccabi.’ It is a name attached to dozens of Israeli teams in most sports played in the Jewish State. Much less familiar is the fact that there are still active teams in other parts of the world that proudly bear this name. Here we will tell the story of one of these – a little-known football (soccer) team from Berlin.

Indeed, in the year 2020, the Makkabi Berlin football team plays in the Berlin-Liga, a sixth-tier division which consists solely of clubs based in the German capital. True, this semi-professional organization doesn’t exactly pose a threat to the giants of German soccer, but it has a rich history which stretches back more than 120 years.

The team’s story begins with an event, or rather an idea, that sparked the creation of a long list of Jewish sports and athletic associations and clubs. In late August of 1898, Max Nordau stood at the podium of the Zionist Congress and called for the promotion of ‘Muscular Judaism’ (Muskeljudentum), an idea which envisioned the creation of a ‘new Jew’, typified by physical strength, which was, in his opinion, necessary in order to achieve the national revival of the Jewish people. Sometime later, at the end of October of that year, 48 young Zionists gathered in Berlin and founded an athletics club in the city, a true realization of Nordau’s ideas. They named the club ‘Bar Kochba’, after the legendary Jewish hero who led a revolt against Roman rule. During those years, Jewish clubs of the sort began to spring up like mushrooms after the rain. Most of them chose powerful Hebrew names like HaKoah (“The Force” or “The Strength”) and HaGibor (“The Hero”), or names of heroic figures from scripture such as Gideon and, of course, Maccabi (“Makkabi” in German).

Bar Kochba Berlin was originally established as a general athletics club, as was common in those days in Germany. It was the first of its kind – that is, the first Jewish athletics club in Germany. It was likely a reaction to, or perhaps a reflection of, the general development of athletic culture in Germany during those years. This was also the context for Nordau’s ideas; the Zionist leader didn’t necessarily picture 22 people chasing a ball when he spoke at the Congress in 1898. Only later did the club expand by opening individual departments dedicated to boxing, swimming, tennis, gymnastics – and football.

From the Hamburg Archive at the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People (CAHJP)

Most of the Bar Kochba Association’s successes were in gymnastics, while the football team generally took a backseat to the various other departments. The impressive achievements in gymnastics and boxing reinforced a Jewish sense of pride by showing that Jews were not inferior to their German neighbors. Jewish sports fans especially enjoyed watching the athletes proudly wear the light blue Star of David on their uniforms.

The Bar Kochba association soon became much more than a sports club. Its Zionistic activity grew, and the association published a periodical as well as a Zionist songbook. Young members of the association even formed the core of a Jewish defense force that helped protect the Jewish quarter in Berlin where Jews were harassed during and after WWI.

Sometime after the establishment of Bar Kochba, a HaKoah club was founded in Berlin, which shared its name with clubs in Vienna and other European cities. HaKoah Berlin focused mainly on football. Interestingly, a number of German refugees who had immigrated to Mandatory Palestine following the Nazi rise to power played under the Hakoah Berlin name as well.

A poster for a football match between Hakoah Berlin and Hapoel Tel Aviv on July 1st, 1933

In 1929, Bar Kochba and Hakoah merged to form a single Jewish Berlin club which was known from that point on primarily as Bar Kochba-HaKoah. The football team competed mainly in Berlin’s local leagues, up until 1933. In that year, the new Nazi regime moved quickly to cripple Jewish participation in sports. Jewish players were banned from all-German teams, and, having no other choice, joined the Jewish teams, Bar Kochba among them. Jewish football teams were forbidden from competing in national competitions resulting in the formation of separate Makkabi football leagues, which consisted of Jewish teams from all over Germany. Bar Kochba-HaKoah was notably successful under the new arrangement, winning a championship in its first year of competition. This feat was repeated three more times in later years.

In 1937, with the isolation of Jewish teams in Germany at its peak, the Bar Kochba-HaKoah football team went on tour to Israel. The visit was barely covered by the local Hebrew press and the Jewish press in Germany paid only scant attention. Nevertheless, the team’s players were to play approximately four matches in six days, and, in between games, attend numerous receptions and ceremonies held in their honor. The results were hardly impressive: Bar Kochba-Hakoah managed only two wins, two more games ended in draws while three matches resulted in defeat. Being cut off from proper competition in Germany had taken its toll.

About a year and a half later, following the organized violence of Kristallnacht, all Jewish sports clubs in Germany, including Bar Kochba-Hakoah, were officially shut down.

Bar Kochba-HaKoah Berlin players during the team’s visit to Mandatory Palestine, 1937

And yet, this was not the end of the road for Germany’s first Jewish sports association. German immigrants and survivors reestablished the Bar Kochba-HaKoah community here in Israel, celebrating its anniversaries and issuing a newspaper sponsored by the association. Meanwhile, Jews who returned to Germany sought to reestablish their beloved clubs, resulting in the formation of Makkabi Berlin in 1970, generally regarded as the successor organization to both Bar Kochba and Hakoah.


The new club was in fact formed as a merger of a number of sports departments bearing historic Jewish names: Bar Kochba Berlin in athletics, HaKoah Berlin in football and Makkabi Berlin in boxing. One of the organization’s former coaches was none other than Emmanuel Scheffer, manager of Israel’s legendary national football team that played in the World Cup. And so, even now, we find teams of men, women and children out on the grassy fields of Berlin, wearing blue uniforms and Stars of David on their chests. These days, the Makkabi Berlin men’s team is sitting comfortably in the top half of the city’s local Berlin-Liga. Makkabi Berlin also fields teams in basketball, volleyball, artistic gymnastics, swimming and even chess. The association can proudly boast around 500 active members, more than 120 years after a group of young Jews founded the first Jewish athletics association in Germany.


This article was written with the help of Yuval Rubovitch, Professor Moshe Zimmermann and Ronen Dorfan.


Further reading:

Bar Kochba Berlin, One Hundred Years – A Personal Story“, by Adin Talber, an article appearing in the book Between Two Homelands: The “Yekkes”, edited by Moshe Zimmermann and Yotam Hotam, Jerusalem: Merkaz Shazar; 2005 (Hebrew)

Muscular Religion. Sport, Nationalism, Judaism., edited by Moshe Zimmermann, Jerusalem: Carmel; 2017 (Hebrew)


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The Vilna Gaon Makes a Surprise Appearance

Archivists at the Lithuanian State Historical Archives were surprised to discover a famous figure while examining historic 250 year old records from Vilnius

Rabbi Elijah, son of Solomon Zalman, the Vilna Gaon

In 1764, Stanislaw Poniatowsky, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, enacted a number of far-reaching political reforms with the aim of reinforcing his control over the country. Unfortunately, Poland had a much bigger headache to contend with during this period… Eight years later, the combined armies of Prussia, Austria and Russia invaded and carved great chunks out of the country, in what proved to be just the first of three divisions of Poland. By the end of the process, history had accorded Stanislaw a title he’d much rather have done without – that of last King of Poland and last Duke of Lithuania.

Stanislaw’s reforms brought an end to the central autonomous Jewish government known as the Council of Four Lands, (Lithuania was effectively the fifth land governed by the body). The Council had acted as the highest supra-communal authority of Polish Jewry since the beginning of the sixteenth century, at a time when Poland represented the world’s largest center of Jews. The council’s main purpose was to divvy up the government levy on the country’s Jewish minority among the various communities, ensure the taxes were collected and hand them over to the authorities. (Until the modern era, taxes weren’t levied on individuals, but on the segment of the population to which each individual belonged, whether a guild, a church or, in the case of the Jews, the community or Kahal.) The administration of this communal tax was in many ways the most significant expression of Jewish autonomy in Poland.

A panorama of Vilnius (Vilna) and drawings of various sites in the city, including the Jewish quarter, painted in 1901 by Nathan Ben-Zion Chavkin, the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People. Click to enlarge

The Polish government generally mistrusted the statistics provided by the Jewish supra-communal authorities, assuming they underestimated the true number of Jews in order to minimize taxation and suspecting that some of the money collected was kept back for Jewish communal purposes. Once the 1764 reform had been enacted, the council was dissolved and the authorities began collecting taxes directly, on the basis of the size of the Jewish population. The number of Jews was estimated on the basis of a general census taken between 1764 and 1766. At the time, the Jews were not thrilled by to the whole idea of the census, but today it’s regarded as crucial resource for the history of Polish and Lithuanian Jewry in the last third of the eighteenth century. Census documents are scattered over the archives of all the various states whose territory was then part of the Kingdom of Poland, and copies of many of them can be found in the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People.

Vilnius today


The Lithuanian State Historical Archives in Vilnius houses numerous censuses, including examples from the early 1760s, as well as later censuses, and a wonderful collection of BMD (birth, marriage and death) records from the important Jewish communities that populated the region.

The census provides researchers with plenty of useful sociological information, including the average size of families, the number of widows in the community, as well as its members’ occupations. As family names were still not compulsory in Poland when it was taken, it’s not easy to trace individual families in the records, but for genealogists able to puzzle their way back this far, it provides a wealth of detail.

In certain instances, a careful search will award the researcher with great findings that will warm the heart of anyone interested in Jewish heritage, especially those of Litvak origin.

The census page from 1765 mentioning Eliasz Zelmanowiz and his family, courtesy of the Lithuanian State Historical Archives. Click to enlarge


We will focus here on the census taken in Vilnius (then: Wilno) in 1765. The census was arranged according to streets. A few pages are dedicated to one of the main streets of old Vilnius – Niemieckiey (meaning ‘German’ in Polish) Street, now known as Vokiečių Street, an area highly populated by Jews at the time. On one of the pages dedicated to the right side of the street, we find one Eliasz Zelmanowiz, his wife (ZONA) Chana, his son (SYN) Zelman, his daughter (CÓRKA) Basia (=Batia), as well as the servant Nechama. The name of the paternal head of the family, combined with the names of the other family members, reveals that we are dealing with Rabbi Elijah, son of Solomon Zalman, better known as the Vilna Gaon!

Rabbi Elijah, son of Solomon Zalman, the Vilna Gaon


The Gaon was 45 years old at the time. He lived in Wilno and dedicated his life to the study of Torah, but did not serve in any official position in the community. Of his eight known children, only two are mentioned here. Some of them passed away as infants, others were not born yet, and two of the older girls may have been married at the time.

The census sums up that this household consists of four members, as well as one servant. It is interesting to note the fact that the servant also bears a Jewish name – Nechama.


Source: LVIA, Fond Nr. 11, Inventory Nr. 1, File Nr. 1014, page Nr. 7 v. [a microfilm copy can be found at the CAHJP: HM3-204.02]

This census can be accessed through the LVIA website.


The @ the Source training program is bringing together in Jerusalem a group of heritage professionals from the Baltic states. The National Library of Israel and the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People used this opportunity to invite genealogists and other interested parties to an event titled  “Litvak Roots” which presented the rich palette of historical and genealogical sources stored in the National Archives of Lithuania and Latvia, as well as insight into communal and personal histories brought by expert scholars: Professor Shaul Stampfer and Ilya Lensky, director of the Jews in Latvia Museum. The event included a question and answer session with the panel of presenters.

This document was presented at the event, as well as many other important sources for the history of the Jews in Eastern Europe in the 18th-20th Centuries.


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Postcards from Auschwitz


Postcards from Auschwitz

"Dear wife, I am healthy and I work as a tailor...kind regards and kisses" This chilling correspondence was sent from Nazi concentration camps

A postcard written by Paul Spitzer, a prisoner at Monowitz camp, a subcamp of the Auschwitz complex. The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People

Sender: Sajden Efroim, Birkenau Labor Camp, House 1, Upper Silesia

Adressee: Mr. Sznajd, Karl, Vienna, Zeitenstetngasse [Seitenstetten] 2

Date of arrival: Feb. 1st 1943


Mr. Sznajd, Karl

…I inform you that I am working as a tailor and that I am doing fine and that I am healthy and I hope to receive your reply soon.

Kind regards to the Berger Family


Brief, laconic messages, short on detail, with only minimal expressions of affection…

These postcards and letters were written by Jewish prisoners being held at different Nazi camps within the Auschwitz complex. The writers were attempting to contact their relatives in Vienna.

A letter from Efroim Sajden, a prisoner at Birkenau, to Karl Schneidt of the Vienna Jewish community. The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People. Click to enlarge
Schneidt’s reply to Sajden. The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People. Click to enlarge

The postcards were all addressed to a contact in the Jewish community of Vienna, Karl Schneidt (variously spelled as Schnied, Schneit or Sznajd), who was usually asked to pass on word to relatives of the sender, though Schneidt was not always successful in this.

Though few Jews remained in Vienna, the community’s “Jewish Council of Elders” (Ältestenrat der Juden in Wien) was still a functioning entity, right up until the end of the war (many of those who remained were half-Jewish or married to non-Jews).

Perhaps the most striking feature of this correspondence is that which is left unsaid. These letters and postcards passed through Nazi censors. It was clear to all that no mention could be made of the atrocities taking place in their immediate vicinity.

Most of the writers cited here were prisoners at the Monowitz subcamp in the Auschwitz complex, which provided slave labor for a number of German factories built nearby. The correspondence is part of the Vienna Jewish Community Archive held at the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People at the National Library of Israel.

Karl Schneidt wrote the following response to the letter from Efroim Sajden cited above:


Dear Mr. Seiden,

I am happy to hear that you are working and that you are doing fine. Sadly I cannot forward your regards to the Berger family for I do not know their address. If you need anything else, please let me know and I shall see if I can send it to you.

Best regards


Below is a letter written by Leibisch Sperber, a prisoner at Monowitz.


Dear Mr. Schneit

 Thank God I am healthy and I am doing well, hoping the same for you.
What news do you have? What are my relatives up to? Hope that you are fine, I thank you for everything and please stay healthy.

Many kind regards




Schneidt responded:


Dear Mr. Sperber,

Thank you for your letter, I am happy to hear from you again.
Attached to this letter is a package that has been sent to you with best regards from your cousin Minna.
I do not know the address of your relatives, therefore I cannot find out how they are.

Best regards


Sperber was later murdered at Auschwitz, in August of 1943.


Leibisch Sperber’s letter from Monowitz Camp. The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People. Click to enlarge
Schneidt’s response to Sperber. The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People. Click to enlarge


Here is a letter from Paul Spitzer, who enquires about Schneidt himself.


Dear Mr. Schneid!

…I inform you that I am in good health and hope to hear the same from you. I would be happy if you could tell me about yourself.

With best regards


Paul Spitzer

Monowitz Labor Camp


Schneidt would later respond:


Dear Mr. Spitzer, 

I am happy to hear from you again. Please do not hesitate to write me, if you want to know something, just ask.

Until then best regards

Paul Spitzer’s postcard. The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People. Click to enlarge
Two nearly identical replies by Schneidt. The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People. Click to enlarge

Paul Grünberg wrote and told of how he was allowed to receive food packages.


Dear Mr. Schneidt!

I inform you that I am healthy and I would like to hear the same from you. I may receive food packages of up to 60 Shillings and up to 250 grams.

Kind regards and thank you

Paul Grünberg


Schneidt’s reply:


Dear Mr Grünberg,

Attached to this letter is a package that has been sent with best regards from Mister Reiss to you. You forgot to tell me in which time intervals you are allowed to receive those packages and if you have any wishes regarding the content.
Please answer my questions when it is possible for you.

Until then best regards


A scan of Grünberg’s letter is displayed at the Austrian exhibition at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland. Grünberg passed away in Vienna in 2018.

Paul Grünberg’s postcard. The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People. Click to enlarge
Schneidt’s reply to Grünberg. The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People. Click to enlarge

Abram Tenenbaum, a prisoner at Birkenau, wrote directly to his wife in Vienna.


Dear wife, 

I am healthy and I work as a tailor.

With kind regards and kisses



The response, however, came from Schneidt. It is unclear if Mrs. Tenenbaum ever received her husband’s letter.


Dear Mr. Tenenbaum,

I am happy to hear from you, that you are working and that you are doing fine and that you are healthy. If you need anything, write me. 

Best regards

Abram Tenenbaum’s letter to his wife. The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People. Click to enlarge
Schneidt’s reply. The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People. Click to enlarge

The letter below was written by Isidor Bretholz


Mr. Schneid! 

Because I have not heard from my family for some time, I want to tell you my requests. I have been at the Monowitz labor camp for three months where I am healthy and doing fine. I ask you courteously to send me standard reading glasses and ask you to answer me immediately.

Thank you in advance and best regards



Schneidt sent the following response


Dear Mr. Bretholz, 

I have received your letter but sadly I am not able to send you glasses without you letting me know what type you need and if you are short-sighted or far-sighted. Please answer me these questions and I hope that I will be able to get you the glasses. If there is anything else that you want, please let me know and I will see if I can make it possible.

Best regards

Bretholz’s letter. The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People. Click to enlarge
Schneidt’s reply, which Bretholz never received. The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People. Click to enlarge

Bretholz never received Schneidt’s letter. He was murdered at Auschwitz on February 22nd 1943, nine days before Schneidt sent his reply.


Many thanks to Carl-Philipp Spahlinger, an Action Reconciliation Service for Peace volunteer at the CAHJP for his help in translation, to Udi Edery for his wonderful photographs and to Dr. Yochai Ben-Ghedalia of the CAHJP for his assistance in the preparation of this article.


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The Chad Gadya Melody That Survived the Holocaust

Shmuel Blasz was murdered at Auschwitz, but the original melody he wrote for the beloved Passover song lives on

חד גדיא

Shmuel Blasz's version of Chad Gadya, the Music Department at the National Library of Israel

Hungary, 1940-1942

Shmuel L.:

Shmuel Lazarovich, a young Jewish man in his early thirties, is recruited to the Hungarian Labor Service. He leaves his wife and children behind. The Hungarian military has no interest in Lazarovich and his Jewish brethren, who are forced to take on difficult and arduous labor tasks.

Shmuel B.:

Shmuel Blasz, a Jewish musician, is also recruited to the Hungarian Labor Service. Blasz, who works alongside Lazarovich, teaches his new friend his own original melody, a Hungarian version of the famous “Chad Gadya” Passover song. One of the two jots down the notes on a random sheet of paper, thus preserving Blasz’s composition. Later on, during a short vacation in his home village of Hőgyész, Lazarovich places the notes in a side cabinet in his home.


“Chad Gadya” – a Hungarian version composed by Shmuel Blasz


Shmuel Lazarovich (right) during his time with the Hungarian Labor Service


Hungary, 1944

On the 19th of March, 1944, the German army invaded Hungary. Many Hungarian Jews perished, including Shmuel Blasz and Shmuel Lazarovich’s wife and children. Shmuel Lazarovich himself was sent to the Dachau concentration camp.


Shmuel Lazarovich wearing a prisoner’s uniform at Dachau


Hőgyész, Hungary, 1945

As a holder of a certificate attesting to his being a Yugoslav, Shmuel Lazarovich was allowed to return to his home in Hőgyész. Wearing a German soldier’s hat emblazoned with the symbol of the Wehrmacht, he received a warm welcome from the Swabian villagers who greeted him. Lazarovich hurried to his house to check if everything was in order. The wooden cupboard in which he had concealed his Jewish ceremonial items remained intact. He opened the cupboard and saw his complete set of tefillin and his Talit (prayer shawl) just as he had left them. Next to them lay a Passover Haggadah, with a single brownish sheet covered in musical notes inserted between its pages. This was the music composed by Shmuel Blasz for his Hungarian version of Chad Gadya.


Listen to Shmuel Blasz’s Hungarian version of “Chad Gadya”:


Israel, 1964

Following the war, and after many hardships, Lazarovich remarried. Until 1956, he continued to live in Hőgyész where he served as a cantor, shochet and mohel. Later, he was asked to move to Budapest and serve in similar positions for the local community. In 1964 he immigrated to Israel and settled in Bnei Brak where he lived for nearly two decades. In 1983, Shmuel Lazarovich passed away, leaving behind a daughter – Judith.


Shmuel Lazarovich. Photo: Gabriel Laron


Israel, the National Library, February 2019

Gabriel Laron, Shmuel Lazarovich’s nephew, approaches the Music Department at the National Library, offering to donate a manuscript of the notes to Shmuel Blasz’s Chad Gadya melody. The original manuscript had been preserved for many years by Judith Lazarovich – Shmuel Lazarovich’s daughter – who had passed away a few years earlier. Following her death, the manuscript was handed over to Gabriel Laron.

Laron himself was even recorded in the Sound Archive studio, so that the songs which were sung in his childhood home could be documented and preserved.

During the recording process, he told of another Hungarian song he had learned from his uncle: “The story takes place in 1882, in a village in northeast Hungary. A maid, who had apparently quarreled with her (non-Jewish) masters, took a walk along the banks of the Tisza River, where she either committed suicide or fell to her death.

“It was the eve of Passover. The local Christians claimed the Jews had killed the girl because they wanted to use her blood to make matzot. The body was found but there were no signs indicating that the girl was murdered. Her mother refused to identify her and claimed it was not her daughter. The local prosecutor, who was anti-Semitic, forced the shochet‘s son to admit he had witnessed the murder while peeking through the keyhole of the synagogue. The trial lasted many years. The shochet, the rabbi, and other members of the community were sent to prison, tortured and punished. A Hungarian nobleman who advocated on behalf of the Jews was able to prove that the shochet‘s son was too small and short to see what was happening through the keyhole. Things eventually escalated to the point where only the intervention of Emperor Franz Joseph finally put an end to the trial… Many years later, my uncle heard the tale being sung by a female servant in a house he was staying in.”


A Hungarian Folk Song:


And now back to Chad Gadya and Shmuel Blasz’ melody. Laron, Lazarovich’s nephew, did not know any details about Blasz’s identity. A search of internet sources led me to an article published in the United States in 2011, titled: “Holocaust survivor to hear live performance of father’s music“, as well as two additional articles “Springs Holocaust survivor hears father’s music for first time since WW II” and “Giving Voice to History: Shoah-Era Scores Get First Hearing“.

Eva Egri, a ninety-year-old Holocaust survivor, was able to give new life to pieces of music written by her father Shmuel Blasz. Blasz was a composer and the chief cantor at the synagogue in Eger, Hungary. Egri managed to survive the war and made her way to the United States after many long, difficult years. For about six decades, she preserved many of her father’s manuscripts which had ended up in her hands. In 2011, Samuel Blasz’s compositions were performed in New York and later in Florida.

I tried unsuccessfully to contact Egri and other family members. Eventually, Professor Nachum Dershowitz referred me to Judy Merrick, who knew Blasz’s daughter and had also performed and directed some of his works. She confirmed that this was the same Shmuel Blasz.


Berlin, Germany, December 2019

Nur Ben-Shalom is a Jewish-Israeli clarinetist living in Berlin. “When you perform a composition you never know what will happen. You start something, throw something into the air and don’t know how it will end,” he told me. In a sense, this is the story of Blasz’s Chad Gadya melody – words and notes that have moved between different places and time periods, music that has been given new interpretation, beyond what the original composer could have imagined. Ben-Shalom heard the story of the melody and decided to give it a new life. He extracted the notes from a scan of the manuscript (which appears above) and arranged the song for a chamber music ensemble including clarinet, violin and piano.

“I’ve performed in different parts of the world, with ensembles and orchestras, and nothing has given me such special satisfaction as reviving this kind of piece,” he said. “There is a very strong connection here which is difficult to explain, a connection to tradition, a connection to history, a musical connection. It’s a special feeling to be able to revive the stories of Jews who were part of this culture, who were valued, and to tell their stories in Germany of all places.”

Ben-Shalom arranged the song in two different versions; one is slow and lyrical and the other is faster, with a Klezmer feel to it. The piece was performed at a Protestant church in Berlin before an audience of 1,300 people. When I asked if this represented a contradiction – performing a work by a Jewish composer who was murdered in the Holocaust in a Christian church – he answered: “I think it’s a statement. When the head of the church in Germany comes and says: ‘I want to perform Jewish music in the church’ – that’s a strong statement. The church in Germany is a powerful force with a significant influence on culture in Germany.”





“And there is also something special about dealing with the source material. After the concert, people approached me, asking questions about Shmuel Blasz and Shmuel Lazarovich, wanting to know more. I had printed the scan of the notes and people were examining it. People asked for the arranged version. I have no control over what will happen from here on out. The music will live on. Someone else will arrange it in one way or another. The story will be told and suddenly Samuel Blasz will be resurrected. “


Thanks to Gabriel Laron, Anat Wax and Elena Kampel for their assistance in preparing this article.


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