Dovid Beyglman was born in March 1897 in Poland to a family of musicians. As a young boy, he moved to Łódź with his family. There, together with his father, he played in the orchestra of the Zandberg Theatre, becoming its musical director in 1912.  Alongside his work arranging songs and music for Yiddish operettas, he also composed original music.  During the First World War he continued to arrange music for operettas that were performed in Łódź and elsewhere, and toured with several performing groups all around Europe, South Africa and South America.

In 1928, Beyglman became the resident composer of ‘Ararat’, a Łódź satirical revue group with Moshe Pulaver as its director where he wrote many much-loved songs.  He also composed and conducted music for other Polish theatre companies such as the Yiddish Theatre Studio of Łódź’s ‘Hazamir’ Society which in 1932 performed ‘The Voyage of Benjamin the Third’ with Beyglman’s original music.  In 1939 he arranged a cycle of Abraham Goldfaden’s operetta numbers that brought out the best of Goldfaden’s work.

When the Second World War broke out, he went back to Łódź.  Together with Moshe Pulaver he established a small theatre in the ghetto where he composed prolifically, even writing his own lyrics.  One such song is Beyglman’s ‘Tsigayner Lid’ (Gypsy Song) which was published in Kaczerginski’s anthology which describes the tragedy of the Roma interned in Łódź. Two other songs first performed in the ghetto theatre and later published in Kaczerginski’s book are ‘Nit Kayn Rozhinkes un nit Kayn Mandlen’ (No More Raisins, No More Almonds)  and ‘Makh Tsu di Eygelekh’ (Close Your Eyes) – settings of lyrics by the poet, Isaiah Shpigl.      

Terrifically busy at the Culture House of the Łódź ghetto Beyglman conducted concerts (along with Teodor Ryder who conducted most of the Symphony Orchestra concerts in the Łódź ghetto), arranged music, and composed for and performed in many revues.  

Moshe Pulaver recalls in his memoir, how he and Beyglman worked every day on the ghetto stage directing an 18-person ensemble, a choir, and a dance group.   also documents several musical events for which Dovid Beyglman served as the musical director.  

Dovid Beyglman’s wife Andge Foderman died in the ghetto.  Beyglman was transported to Auschwitz in August 1944.  According to the writings of Jonas Turkov, he took his violin and his music with him, believing he would survive. He was murdered in Auschwitz in August 1944.  His son survived and went to America. 

Sources

Zylbercweig, Zalmen; , Volume 1 (p. 161) and Volume 5, (p. 3726-2729). Volume 1 New York 1931, Volume V  Mexico 1967

Kaczerginski, Shmerke; , New York, 1948

Flam, Gila; : Songs of the Lodz Ghetto, Urbana, 1992

Turkow, Jonas; (Silenced Stars) Volume 2, Buenos Ares, 1953    

Pulaver, Moshe; Geven iz a geto (There was a Ghetto), Tel Aviv, 1963