Home > History, Louis Lewandowski, Music > Walking the Fine Line

Walking the Fine Line

Apropos of my most recent post, Josh reflected a bit tonight on what it means to walk the fine line between knowing that there is Holocaust history, and calling attention to it through our presence in Berlin this week. He told us that the song “Ba Mir Bistu Sheyn,” made popular by the Andrews Sisters, was a chart-topper in Germany in the 1930s until the Nazis realized it was based on a Yiddish song rather than a German one and banned it. He noted that we are going to sing pieces on our programs that were composed by German Jewish composers who much pre-dated World Wars I and II, and others who left in the 1930s — but, Josh notes, no reason to directly articulate why. People will just know.

I sense that this is how much of our experience will be in Berlin. We will know the history, but we will not have to speak it out loud. Some things are just part of the common culture, and don’t need to be articulated.

As I might have said previously, I think our attendance at this festival, more than anything, is an expression of our support for the modern German community. In particular, our attendance shows our support of the German Jewish community, which is currently seeing a renaissance among Orthodox and Liberal Jews alike. Yes, friends, there is a thriving Jewish community in Germany; and not just American ex-pats at that. I’m sure that’s something I’ll be happy to write about when we meet it.

Stoked for traveling! Three days until take-off!

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  1. dot k.
    December 12, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    sounds like a fantastic trip!! i wish you a safe and wonderful journey.

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