Berlin memories

Berlin memories

Thank you for this article on the New Jersey cantors who sang in Berlin (“In Berlin, NJ cantors honor a lost musical legacy,” Jan. 31).

Sixty years ago, I sang in the choir at the Pestalozzistrasse Synagogue with Cantor Estrongo Nachama. The rabbi was an American citizen, Rabbi Peter Levinson. He was hired after the war. He was the chaplain for the American troops. With a good yiddishe kup, he realized that the “poor Jewish boys,” serving in the Army in Berlin, would benefit from contact with Jewish girls. He brought the German Jewish Youth group to the G.I. services every Friday night. As a result, about six marriages took place. My husband and I were one of those marriages.

A scene of the choral group performing at the Rykestrasse Synagogue was shown in an American movie with Cantor Nachama singing. I don’t remember the name of the movie.

Last year we visited Rabbi Levinson in a Berlin nursing home.

Ruth Lebowitz
Monroe Township

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