04/2/16

Happy Birthday, Edgar Hilsenrath!


goodreads: Edgar Hilsenrath (born [April 2] 1926) is a German-Jewish writer living in Berlin. His main works are Night, The Nazi and the Barber, and The Story of the Last Thought.

Hilsenrath was born in Leipzig. In 1938 his mother escaped with her two children to Siret (Sereth), in Romanian Bukovina, where they enjoyed a respite from persecution. At the time that he should have received an entrance card to higher education, he and his mother were interned in the ghetto of Cernăuţi (Czernowitz).

He began to write about the Holocaust after his liberation when he moved to Paris. Hilsenrath also lived in Palestine, Israel, and New York.

According to Dagmar C. G. Lorenz, Simon Wiesenthal Center, “Hilsenrath calls things by their proper names and portrays life first and foremost as physical existence, of whose details the reader is constantly made aware: birth, nursing, feeding, sex, and excretion accompanied by feelings of pleasure and pain. The rhetoric of politicians and political theory are shown to be the schemes of beings ultimately dependent on these bodily processes and subject to physical desires. Hilsenrath’s very approach is a protest against disrespect toward the mortal body, against the tyranny of the mind over matter.”

02/9/16

Czernowitz – Stadt der Dichter [City of Poets] by Amy-Diana Colin & Edith Silbermann

Cover_Czernowitz (2)Info-Buch_Colin, Silbermann

button(1)

Amy-Diana Colin’s (PhD, Yale) much-anticipated book “Czernowitz – Stadt der Dichter [City of Poets]”, the “History of a Jewish Family from Bukovina (1900-1948)” is now at the bookseller’s!

What a literary delectation, something for winter’s eve, but not only! From the blurb we learn: “The report of an exceptional contemporary witness: Edith Silbermann, nee Horowitz, from Czernowitz (Bukovina), actress, reciter, translator, Germanist, publicist, mediator between German and Jewish cultural traditions, narrates her turbulent family history and reports on her youth in Czernowitz before and during WW2. One chapter of this book is dedicated to Paul Antschel (Celan), Edith Silbermann’s friend from the early Czernowitz years until his death. It was for both, Paul and Edith, the first love of their youth. […]”

It is not just a literary delectation, it’s also a listening pleasure, since this precious book comes with two audio CDs including recordings from Edith Silbermann’s sophisticated recitation program. Read, listen and enjoy! It’s a special publication for Czernowitz lovers!

12/9/15

Alfred Kittner’s Handwritten CV in Romanian from the Year 1946

IMG_4100IMG_4099

I, Alfred Kittner, was born on November 24, 1906 in Czernowitz. My father, Heinrich Kittner (dead in 1932) was an accountant, my mother, Cecilia Kittner, born Kapralik, died in 1910, when I was barely 3 years old. I attended primary school and high school in Vienna, where my father lived during the First World War, and in Czernowitz. After graduating high school in 1925 and after attending for a year the Sciences Department of the Czernowitz University, I performed my military service as an infantryman in Satu Mare (1928-1929) and then I attended German Studies and German literature courses at Breslau University, where I began my literary career. In 1932, back in Czernowitz, I worked for a year in the accounting department of the Marmorosch-Blank Bank, and in 1933 I started as an editor with the “Der Tag”; (The Day) newspaper in Czernowitz, at which paper I worked as secretary, literary editor, spell-checker, reporter, etc. until 1936, when this newspaper became Czernowitzer Tagblatt. I worked in my former capacity at this newspaper as well, until it was suspended once the Goga-Cuza Cabinet came to power in 1939. This year I also published a volume of poetry. As a publicist, I always fought for the cause of democracy, against obscurantism, and I revealed, among other things, in my articles, the terrorist means and persecution applied by the Czernowitz police against the Communist prisoners. Throughout this time, I have been an occasional collaborator of literary magazines from Viena, Prague, etc.

In 1940-1941, after Northern Bukovina was annexed to the Soviet Russia, I worked as a librarian with the Regional Czernowitz Library, and as a censor of the foreign books, and I collaborated with the Moscow International Literature Magazine. In 1941, I was deported, having been black-listed as a democratic publicist, by the secret police of Gen. Antonescu. With my familyat Bug, after three torturous years in several extermination camps {Cariera pe Bug (Bug Quarry), Cetvertinovca, Demidovca, Obadovca} being freed by the victorious advancement of the Red Army, I returned to Czernowitz, where I restarted my former job at the Library. In the meantime, my brother in law was mobilized as a military medic and a captain in the liberating Polish Army, sent [invitations] for the entire family. This is how I ended up in Poland, from where I returned to my country after my brother in law was released from the military.

In October 1945 I became a librarian with Arlus [Association for closer Ties with the Soviet Union – Asociația Română pentru strângerea Legăturilor cu Uniunea Sovietică] Library, in which capacity I work even to this day, and in January of this year, I began to work as a radio anchor.

[Translation by courtesy of Elena Iuga]

10/7/15

Marion Tauschwitz – Author of the Year 2015

ausschnitt

Autorinnenvereinigung e.V.: Die Autorin Marion Tauschwitz, bekannt durch Bücher wie ,,Hilde Domin – Dass ich sein kann wie ich bin‘‘ oder ihr neustes Werk ‚‘‘Selma Merbaum – ich habe keine Zeit gehabt zuende zu schreiben‘‘, welches schon jetzt zur Weltliteratur zählt, wurde von der Autorinnenvereinigung einstimmig zur Autorin des Jahres 2015 gekürt. „ Als Autorin verkörpert Marion Tauschwitz das, was die Autorinnenvereinigung von ihren Mitgliedern erwartet: Engagement, nicht nur beim Schreiben sondern auch im Alltag, im Politischen“, erklärt Ute Hacker die Entscheidung des AV-Vorstands. Tauschwitz, geboren 1953 in Freiberg, studierte Germanistik und Anglistik in Heidelberg, wo sie bis heute lebt und arbeitet. Bevor ihre Karriere als Autorin & Schriftstellerin begann, arbeitete sie unter anderem als Gymnasiallehrerin und Dozentin. Als engste Vertraute und Mitarbeiterin der Lyrikerin Hilde Domin war Tauschwitz in der Lage, eine vielbeachtete Biografie über sie zu schreiben. Ihre neueste und sehr bewegende Biografie über die ukrainische Dichterin Selma Merbaum, die mit nur 18 Jahren in einem deutschen Zwangsarbeitslager ums Leben kam, wurde durch jahrelange Recherche zu einer spannenden, wissenschaftlich fundierten Biografie. Darüber hinaus schreibt Tauschwitz sowohl Novellen wie auch Essays. Seit geraumer Zeit ist Marion Tauschwitz Mitglied in der Autorinnenvereinigung e.V., von der sie jetzt einstimmig zur Autorin des Jahres 2015 ernannt wurde. Das internationale Netzwerk für deutschsprachige Autorinnen und Schriftstellerinnen aus verschiedenen Genres setzt sich für mehr weibliche Präsenz in der Literatur ein. Die Mitglieder geben öffentliche Lesungen und halten Vorträge zu literarischen Themen. Überdies veranstaltet die AV jährlich den Goldstaub-Wettbewerb in den Genres Lyrik und Prosa, vergibt Projektstipendien und kürt die Autorin des Jahres, um nur ein paar ihrer Schaffensfelder zu nennen. Für diesen Anerkennungspreis werden jährlich viele Autorinnen und Schriftstellerinnen, basierend auf ihren herausragenden Leistungen nominiert. So erging es Marion Tauschwitz. Marion Pelny, ebenfalls Autorin und Beirätin der Autorinnenvereinigung, schlug sie nicht nur wegen ihrer bemerkenswerten Veröffentlichungen, sondern auch wegen des damit verbundenen politischen Engagements vor. Der Vorstand stimmte dem voll und ganz zu und wählte Marion Tauschwitz einstimmig. Die offizielle Vorstellung und Preisverleihung wird im Rahmen der Jahrestagung der Autorinnenvereinigung e.V. am 24. Oktober in Göttingen stattfinden.

ADDITIONAL LINKS:
http://marion-tauschwitz.de/
http://www.autorinnenvereinigung.eu/verein/news.html

09/2/15

Bershad Orphanage Poem by Edith (Ditta) Pomeranz

From Ruth Glasberg Gold
The writer, Ms. Edith (Ditta) Pomeranz was a volunteer at the Bershad orphanage during the war. The poem is in German — it is so difficult to translate a poem, but I do hope someone will attempt it for those who cannot read German…
Ruth

Meinen Kindern aus dem Berschader Kinderheim

Ihr Kinder vom Orfelinat
Die ich so tief ins Herz geschlossen
Für die, seit ich gewesen in Berschad
So viele Tränen hab vergossen.
Euch schreib ich ein’ge Zeilen heut
In Liebe und mit Zärtlichkeit.
Wer weiß, wohin der Schicksal Euch zerstreut
Und ob zu Ende ist schon Euer Leid.
Ihr Kinder, meine teuren, lieben
Habet vergessen gar am Ende, die
Die Euch gelehrt, für Euch geschrieben
Lieder, Stücke und wohl manche Poesie.
Henny Granierer, Du mein Sorgenkind
Die Du so schön gesprochen hast und klug,
Behandelt endlich Dich das Schicksal lind
Gelitten hast Du wirklich schon genug.
Milu und Leibale, Ihr Künstlerpaar
So talentiert und noch so klein
Vielleicht werdet Ihr mal nach Tag und Jahr
Wirklich mal große Künstler sein.
Hawale Buchman Zigeunerin kleine
Geruht haben Deine Hände nie.
So fleißig wie Du, war wirklich mehr keine
Du scheutest niemals vor Arbeit und Müh.
Pyragowski Willi, der Klasse Stern
Besuchst vielleicht heute die Schule nicht mehr
Daß Du – wie würde ich’s hören so gern –
Deine Lehrer auch heute begeisterst so sehr.
Auch möchte ich wissen, ob Du noch vereint
Mit Joszy Faust, unsern Langen,
Ob er auch heute noch Dein Freund
Weil Ihr einander so eng habt gehangen.
Im Geiste hör ich Dich, Mizzi Weistal,
Du singst so traurig, immer wieder.
Sag, liebe, kleine Nachtigall,
Singst Du noch jene traurigen Lieder?
Rossy Schermann, goldblondes Mädl,
Auch Du hast mir oftmals Freude gebracht,
Du hattest wohl einen holzigen Schädl
Doch hast Du dann alles besser gemacht.
Sternberg Luzer, Du junges Genie
Schreibst noch imer Gedichte und Dramen
Noch kenne ich Deine Tragödie
Bei der man geweint hat “Die Mame”.
Ruth Glasberg, Srul Rennert, Poldi Kirmayer
Geschwister Körner und die, die ich nicht genannt
Ihr seid mir alle, alle gleich teuer
Und meinem Herzen immer verwandt.
Euch allen hab’ich das geschrieben
Vergesst nicht, wenn das Leben und die Zeit
Uns wieder auseinandergetrieben
Daß Ihr alle meine Kinder seid.

Edith Pomeranz
(Hreaţca, 14-III-1945)

Here below is a photo of Ditta and her husband taken in Romania in 1948
DitaBubi1948

To My Children in the Bershad Children’s Home

A Poem by Edith Pomeranz, translated from German by Bianca Rosenthal

You children from the orphanage
Whom I enclosed so deeply in my heart
For whom since I have been in Bershad
I have shed so many tears.
Today I write to you a few lines
With love and with tenderness.
Who knows to where fate will displace you
And whether your suffering will have reached an end.
You children, my dear and beloved ones
Perhaps, alas, you have forgotten those
Who taught you, wrote for you
Songs, plays and most likely a lot of poetry.
Henny Granierer, you my child of sorrows
You, who spoke so beautifully and wisely,
Does fate finally treat you kindly
Since you already suffered enough.
Milu and Leibale, you two artists
So talented and still so young
Perhaps some time later
You will become great artists.
Hawale Buchman you little gypsy girl
Your hands never stood still.
As diligent as you was indeed no other girl
You never shied away from work and toil.
Pyragowski Willi, the star of the classroom
Perhaps you no longer attend school
That you—How much would I like to hear this–
Still enthrall your teachers.
I also would like to know, if you together
With Joszy Faust, our tall one,
Whether he still is your friend
Because you were such close friends before.
In my mind I hear you, Mizzi Weistal,
You are singing so sadly, again and again.
Tell me, you dear little nightingale,
Do you still sing those sad songs?
Rossy Schermann, golden blonde girlie,
You too brought joy to me many times
While having a stubborn mind
But then you did everything much better.

Sternberg Lazar, you young genius
Are you still writing poems and dramas
I still remember your tragedy
That made everybody weep “Die Mame”.
Ruth Glasberg, Srul Rennert, Poldi Kirmayer
Brothers and sisters Körner and all those that I did not mention
All of you, yes all, are equally dear to me
And always congenial to my heart.
I wrote all this for all of you
Do not ever forget, when life and time
Should separate us again
That you all are my children.

Edith Pomeranz
(Hreatca, 14-III-1945)