Welcome to a new edition of "For The Record." This time we focus on a new and historical release titled “Yiddish Glory: The Lost Songs of World War Ii.” Released on the Six Degrees Records label, this disc contains the work of several different performers including Russia’s Roma violinist Sergei Erdenko, Russian vocalist Psoy Korolenko, pianist and violinist Artur Gorkeno, classical guitarist Mikhail Savichev, accordionist Alexander Sevastian, clarinetist Shalom Bard, trumpeter David Buchbinder, and vocalists Sophie Milman, Sasha Lyrje, and Isaac Rosenberg.

The group performs 18 Jewish songs composed back during what many think was one of the darkest periods of Jewish history. These songs have never actually been formally performed and recorded before this. The original Yiddish songwriters reportedly died in WWII.

The material on this album harkens back to World War II. It was in the midst of this war that several scholars, headed up by the now late ethnomusicologist Moisei Beregovsky decided to save the songs composed by war refugees, Jewish Red Army soldiers, survivors, and victims of Ukrainian ghettos. After the war ended, the group of researchers was taken into custody during Stalin’s infamous anti-Jewish purge.

The research was confiscated.

They died thinking their work was lost forever to history. Following the rediscovery of the songs in unlabeled boxes in the United States National Library sometime in the early 2000s, the material has been brought to life for the first time in three-quarters of a century.

These songs give voices to the Jewish women, children, and refugees whose lives were destroyed by the violence of World War II.

The works reveal the personal perspectives of common people who were not professional musicians, singers or poets. The Yiddish ballads are steeped in raw emotion.

The tracks here convey multiple feelings and universal concepts including (but not limited to) bravery, despair, resistance, revenge, hope, and humor. One cut, composed by a 10-year-old orphan, tells the story of the loss of his family in the Tulchin ghetto.

Yet another piece was written by a teenager imprisoned in a concentration camp in Pechora.

Track list:

  1. “Afn Hoykhn Barg”
  2. “Shpatsir in Vald”
  3. “Yoshke Fun Odes”
  4. “Kazakhstan”
  5. “Mayn Pulemyot”
  6. “Shelakhmones Hitler”
  7. “Taybls Briv”
  8. “Misha tserayst Hitler's Daytchland"
  9. “Chuvasher Tekhter”
  10. “Mames Gruv”
  11. “Babi Yar”
  12. “Tulchin”
  13. “A Shturemvind”
  14. “Fir Zin”
  15. “Kazakhstan reprise”
  16. “Nitsokhn Lid”
  17. “Homen's Maple”
  18. “Tsum Nayem Yor 1944”

Note: Song titles are translated on the CD cover.

Included with the CD is a booklet featuring song lyrics, pictures of all the original documents, and more. Overall, this compilation provides historical, musical testimonies of numerous German atrocities against Jews, such as the massacre in Babi Yar, Tulchin and other locations in Ukraine.

With a release date of February 23, 2018, this project offers listeners the very first opportunity to hear the songs of Soviet Jews previously thought to have been silenced by Stalin and Hitler.

Check out 'Yiddish Glory: The Lost Songs of World War II' and enjoy the 'Purim Gifts For Hitler'