Category Archives: Literature

Unveiling Ceremony for Eliezer Steinbarg’s Funerary Monument on 08.10.1933

It is sad, children, in this wide giant world.It is bitter! Let’s at least enjoy a fable!

Moshe Altmann Memorial Plate on 23, Kobylanska Street (Herrengasse)

History Museum of the Romanian Jews, Bucharest

Links: Eliezer Steinbarg, Arthur Kolnik, Barbu Lazareanu, Jacob Sternberg, Moshe Altmann, Dr. Shlomo Bickel, Leib Malach

Photos: Courtesy of Edgar Hauster, Irene Fishler, Lydia Schmerler, Sergij Osatschuk, Iosif Vaisman

Happy Birthday, Alfred Schreyer!

This is Alfred Schreyer, born on 08.05.1922 in Drohobycz. Alfred Schreyer, who lost both his parents – his father was a chemist, his mother a pharmacist – to the Nazis and was himself at the camps Plaszów, Groß-Rosen and Buchenwald, is the only Jewish survivor still in Drohobycz who lived there during the occupation.
Most of the Jews from Drohobycz were murdered in the extermination camp Belzec, as Alfred Schreyer’s father, his uncle, his grandmother and an aunt. But 11,000 of them, among of them his mother, were also shot in the forest of Bronica, outside of town on the road to Sambor.
Drohobycz is a small town in the Austro-Hungarian province of Galicia. Located in the N.E. Carpathian foothills in the east Galician oil region, economically and culturally diversified, Drohobycz was one of the most significant centers of Jewish culture in Europe preceding WW2. And now?
Alfred Schreyer was a student of Bruno Schulz, the world-renowned writer and painter and a Polish Jew, who experienced the terror of German occupation in the Galician city of Drohobycz in 1941-42. He initially survived by painting murals for the children of the SS officer Felix Landau, on the nursery walls of the villa they had occupied. Bruno Schulz was shot and killed by the SS on November 19, 1942. Despite an intensive search after WWII, his murals were not found until February 9, 2001, when the documentary filmmaker Benjamin Geissler discovered the long lost pictures. In May 2001, representatives of Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial removed fragments of these murals from Ukraine, sparking an international controversy.
On November 19, 1942, the great Polish author Bruno Schulz left his home in the Jewish ghetto of Drohobycz – according to the generally accepted version of the story, he had gone to fetch a ration of bread – and was shot to death by a German SS officer. The author of two critically acclaimed short-story collections and a graphic artist of growing renown, Schulz had survived the Nazi occupation as long as he did under the protection of Felix Landau, a vicious Gestapo officer who fancied himself a patron of the arts…Click here to read the full thrilling story, edited by Benjamin Paloff for the Boston Review!
Im Gespräch: Alfred Schreyer. Wie haben Sie den Krieg überlebt, Herr Schreyer? Sobald das Scheinwerferlicht angeht, vergisst Alfred Schreyer sein Alter. Fast sein gesamtes Leben hat der achtundachtzigjährige Opernsänger an ein- und demselben Ort verbracht – und dabei in fünf Staaten gelebt….Click here for the outstanding interview with Alfred Schreyer, conducted by Helga Hirsch for the FAZ!

Dos Yidishe Shtolz

Jose Gutman

DOS IDISHESTOLTZ

JEWISH PRIDE

You must remember this,DIMUSTZIJDERMANEN

A bris is still a bris,AS A BRIS ISDOJ A BRIS UND

A chai is just a chai.A JAI IS DOJA JAI

Pastrami still belongs on rye,UND PASTRAMIGEHERTTZURYE

As time goes by.AS DI ZEIT GUEITARIBER

With holidays in view,AS SE CUMT TZU YOM TOV

A Jew is still a Jew,A YIDIS DOJAYID

On that you can rely.OIF DEN KENST DU FARTROIEN

No matter if we eat sushiA FILLEAS MEN EST SUSHI

As hours slip by.AS DI SHOIENGUEIN ARIBER

Old shtetl customs, never out of date.

DIALTESHTETEL MINUGUEN, GEIN NIT FORIBER

All those potatoes mother has to grate.

ALE DI BARBULES DI MAME DARFNOJRAIBEN

Honey, tsimus, latkes, chopped liver on our plate

HONIK, TZIMES, LATKES, GUEFILTE FISH

Guefilte fish, chopped liver, schmaltz and a

shpritz,

UND GUEHAKTE LEIBER SCHMALTZUND A SHPRITZ

The best that gelt can buy

DOS BESTE VOSGUELT KENKOIFEN

Some would send us to perdition,

ASAJVOLTEN UNS BAGRUBEN

But we’re strengthened by tradition,

OBER MIR ZENENFARSHTARKT BY TRADITZIE

That no one can deny.

UND DOS KEN KEINERZAJNISCHTUPZUGEN

We roam, but we recall our birthright,

MIR VANDERN, OBER MIR DERMONENZJJVU MIRZENEN GEBOIRN

As time goes by.AS DI ZEIT GUEITARIBER

Dreidels and chocolate, never out of date.

DREIDLS UNDCHOCOLAT, GUEIENENNISHTAUSDER MODE

Ancient Jewish stories that we all relate.

DIALTEIDISHE MAISES MIRALLEDERZEILEN

Blue-and-white gift wrap, everything that’s great?

VAIS UND BLUMIR VIKLEN EIN ALS VUS IS TAIER

And festive chazerai!

UNDIOMTEVDIKEJAZERAI

It’s still the same old Torah,

ES IST DOJ DI ALTE TOIRE

It’s still the same menorah,

UND DI ALTE MENOIRE

We’ve latkes still to fry.

UND DI LATKESMIR DARFEN BRUTN

It’s at yomtov when we feel most blessed,

ES IST IOMTEVVEN MIR FILMER ZAIJ GEBENSCHT

As time goes by.

AS DI TZEIT GEIT ARIBER