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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Arnold Schoenberg

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Compositore

Composer Arnold Schönberg (1874-1951) together with Berg and Webern, are known as the Second Viennese School. His revolutionary musical technique of dodecaphony (twelve tones) was his signature creation.

Berthold Goldschmidt

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Compositore

Emigre composer Berthold Goldschmidt (1903-1996) 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.

Hanns Eisler

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Compositore

Marxist composer Hanns Eisler (1898-1962) was in Vienna in January 1933 when Hitler became German Chancellor. Eisler stayed true to his Communist ideals, fleeing Nazi Germany in the 1930s and America in the 1940s.

Joseph Schmidt

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Cantante
Attore
Cantore

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.

British Internment and Music

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Compositore

Hans Gál (1890-1987) enjoyed professional success prior to 1933. When the Nazis came to power, he served as director of the Mainz Conservatory but was dismissed and his work was banned from both performance and publication.

Paul Arma

Compositore
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Paul Arma (1905-1987) is a crucial figure in the history of French Resistance music, both because of the songs he composed and because of his efforts to preserve the enormous body of music created during the war. Arma saw Resistance songs not just as sources of hope and acts of wartime courage, but also as important artefacts to be saved.

Partisans

Partigiano

During World War II, many European Jews defied their Nazi oppressors by actively resisting. This partisan warfare, carried out by clandestine, irregular forces operating inside enemy territory, was particularly widespread in the dense forests and marshlands of Eastern Europe.

Shmerke Kaczerginski

Musicista
Partigiano
Poeta

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

Partigiano

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.

Resistenza ed esilio

Anthems for France

Political regimes use hymns as symbols of their values and aspirations. While France was divided by the war, it adopted three anthems between north and south.

Resistenza ed esilio

Berthold Goldschmidt

Emigre composer Berthold Goldschmidt (1903-1996) died in London at the age of 93. He had lived at the same ground floor flat since fleeing Germany.

Resistenza ed esilio

British Internment and Music

In September 1939, the British government established tribunals to evaluate the potential security risk of all UK resident German and Austrian nationals.

Resistenza ed esilio

Compositori In Esilio

Per molti compositori ebrei, l’ascesa al potere del Nazismo portò ad una scelta drastica: restare e sottomettersi, oppure trasferirsi in terre lontane.

Resistenza ed esilio

György Ligeti

[Translated to "Italiano" by "deepL"] L'educazione musicale del compositore austro-ungarico György Ligeti (1923-2006) fu interrotta quando fu mandato ai lavori forzati dal regime di Horthy.

Resistenza ed esilio

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.