JEWS FROM ACROSS the Soviet Union told their personal stories through Yiddish songs in a collection that was thought to be lost forever, but is now part of a Grammy-nominated recording titled “Yiddish Glory: The Lost Songs of World War II.”
Preeminent Yiddish singer, songwriter, and scholar Psoy Korolenko teams up with Anna Shternshis, the Al and Malka Green Professor of Yiddish Studies at the University of Toronto, to bring these long-lost songs to life.
The concert and lecture program, “Last Yiddish Heroes: Lost and Found Songs of Soviet Jews during World War II,” will be held March 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the Douglass Student Center in New Brunswick. Sponsored by the Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life, the event is the annual Toby and Herbert Stolzer Endowed Program.
The history of these songs starts in the early 1940s with a group of Soviet Jewish scholars who, at great personal risk, set about collecting and protecting the songs for future publication. In the 1990s, the collection was discovered in the basement of the Ukrainian National Library, where it had been hidden by the Soviet government for about 50 years.
The concert and lecture program is drawn from Korolenko’s and Shternshis’ 2019 Grammy-nominated CD, “Yiddish Glory: The Lost Songs of World War II.”