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‎12 Adar I 5784 | ‎21/02/2024

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Silent Tears: Poetry of Holocaust Survivors Set to Music

Silent Tears: Poetry of Holocaust Survivors Set to Music

ENGLISH CORNER, CON LINDA JIMÉNEZ – This week’s trivia question:  Why did Dan Rosenberg decide to translate the poems into Yiddish before setting them to music?

Dr. Paula David is a gerontologist and social worker in Toronto, Canada. In the 1990s while she was working at Toronto’s Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care she met a group of Holocaust survivors and realized that she would have to take a unique approach to their care. To provide a space for them to openly speak about their trauma, she created a survivors group. Paula heard their stories, which she turned into poems. 

Dan Rosenberg is a radio producer and presenter in Toronto.  He worked on the Yiddish Glory Project, which we did a program on a few years ago.  His latest project is Silent Tears, a CD of songs which are based on poetry and stories from women who survived the Holocaust, but often kept these details secret for decades.  It includes some of the poetry from Paula David’s project, which has been adapted into Yiddish and set to music, as well as songs inspired by the book Buried Words by Molly Applebaum, a 92-year-old survivor from Poland who was able to elude the Nazis by being hidden by a farmer, buried in his barn, for two years.

This week we are speaking with Paula and Dan about the Silent Tears project, and the poetry and stories that inspired it. Payadora is a tango band based in Toronto. The music for Silent Tears was composed by their violinist, Rebekah Wolkstein.

Silent Tears

Sabina’s Letter: Some of Us Must Survive

Radio documentary about Molly Applebaum and Buried Words