Resistance & Exile

Composers in Exile

Schönberg was one of many composers (including Ernst Toch and Igor Stravinsky) who ended up in the warm climate of California, and like many others he found it difficult to adjust at first to a life outside Europe.

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Partisans

During World War II, many Jews defied their Nazi oppressors by actively taking part in an underground war of resistance. This partisan warfare, carried out by clandestine forces operating inside enemy territory, was widespread in the forests and marshlands of Eastern Europe.

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Beethoven's 5th Symphony

The opening motif of Beethoven's 5th Symphony became a powerful symbol for the Allied forces. Corresponding in Morse code to the letter 'V' for Victory, it was most famously made by Winston Churchill forming a 'V' with his fingers.

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Berlin Cabaret in Exile

The 1920s heralded a ‘Golden-Age’ of German cabaret (Kabarett), with clubs such as Max Reinhardt’s Schall und Rauch (Sound and Smoke) and Trude Hesterberg’s Wilde Bühne (Wild Stage) in Berlin, and Die Elf Scharfrichter (Eleven Executioners) in Munich offering hedonistic, avant-garde, risqué entertainment.

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Varian Fry and Alma Mahler-Werfel

Sometimes known as the American Schindler, Varian Fry rescued more than 1,000 people from Nazi persecution in France and Germany during 1940-41.                                                                                          

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Schönberg, Arnold

Emigrée
Compositeur

Berthold Goldschmidt

Emigrée
Compositeur

Emigre composer Berthold Goldschmidt (1903-1966) died in London at the age of 93. He had lived at the same ground floor flat since leaving Germany to flee the Nazis in October 1935.

Eisler, Hanns

Emigrée
Compositeur

Joseph Schmidt

Emigrée
Chanteur
Acteur
Chantre

When the war broke out Joseph Schmidt (1904-1942) fled to France then retreated to Switzerland. Although in possession of an American visa and well known, he was interned and, owing to a lack of medical attention, he died on 16 November 1942.

Shmerke Kaczerginski

Musicien
Partisan
Poète

Poet and partisan fighter Shmerke Kaczerginski (1908-1954) was a collector of Yiddish Shoah song. He was sent to the Vilna ghetto in early 1942 where he crafted songs to console prisoners and encourage resistance.

The Troubadours of the French Resistance

Partisan

Songs of the French resistance were collected by Paul Arma with his wife Edmée to rescue from obscurity the numerous songs that were written as acts of resistance during World War II, and to recognise the efforts made and dangers faced by their creators.

Résistance et exil

Berthold Goldschmidt

Emigre composer Berthold Goldschmidt (1903-1966) died in London at the age of 93. He had lived at the same ground floor flat since fleeing Germany.

Résistance et exil

Bohuslav Martinu

In 1939 the Czech composer Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959) tried to join the Resistance in France but was not accepted because of his age.

Résistance et exil

Compositeurs en exil

Résistance et exil

Kurt Huber

Kurt Huber (1893-1943) was a member of the Munich-based resistance group, die Weiße Rose. His execution in 1943 sent shock-waves throughout Europe.