How can people smile under tears

Smile with tears

The Yiddish song was described by Joseph Roth in his essay "Jews on the move" 80 years ago as a "painful song", "that" smiles through tears "". "Once you've heard it, it sounds like it for weeks ..." It was a living part of the old, former East Jewish shtetl and ghetto culture that still touches us today. When listening to these songs, the floating figures of Marc Chagall or the careful drawings and lithographs by Anatoli Kaplan for Yiddish folk songs come to mind.

In order to be able to perform these songs convincingly, the presenter not only has to sing them, but also feel them. Lin Jaldati was such an interpreter, who was able to move her audience through her gesture and often dance accompaniment, because she experienced the songs deeply.

I love this music and have a large number of sound recordings and song books with Yiddish folk songs and instrumental music (klezmer) in a wide variety of interpretations. Of course, this also includes Lin Jaldati. For many years I have attended her concerts, which were always an experience with the sensitive piano accompaniment by her husband Eberhard Rebling and later with the participation of their daughters Kathinka (violin) and Jalda (vocals). Many GDR citizens will still fondly remember it. Lin Jaldati sang not only the traditional Yiddish folk songs, which could be dancing, funny and happy, but also wistful and plaintive, but also lesser-known Yiddish workers', fighting and ghetto songs from more recent times. She especially loved the songs of the folk poet Mordechaj Gebirtig from the Krakow ghetto, whose best-known "S brent!" Was an anticipation of the pogrom of November 9, 1938. It was above all Lin's merit for making this moving accusation against the Nazis known worldwide through her interpretation.

In the resistance against the German fascists, many new fighting and ghetto songs were created, which could also be found in their repertoire, including the well-known Yiddish partisan song by Hirsch Glik "Sog nischt keynmol, as du gejst dem lastn weg".

Lin Jaldati was born on December 13, 1912 in the Jewish quarter of Amsterdam as Rebekka Brilleslijper. Together with her sister Jannie, she survived the hell of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. A few years before her death in August 1988, she gave me notes with memories from the years of imprisonment in Auschwitz, of how the song and singing together gave the imprisoned women from several countries the courage to survive in the barracks in the evenings. She herself sang Yiddish songs, other women French and German, and everyone felt confident in the possible preservation of their human dignity, evoked by the music, the song.

"The song helped us," she wrote at the end. “To remain human, to survive. By singing I was able to give courage and a little strength to my fellow prisoners and myself in the darkest of times, in hell. "

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