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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 32Jews and Music-Making in the Polish Lands$
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François Guesnet, Benjamin Matis, and Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781906764739

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906764739.001.0001

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‘My Song, You Are My Strength’

‘My Song, You Are My Strength’

Personal Repertoires of Polish and Yiddish Songs of Young Survivors of the Łódz Ghetto

‘My Song, You Are My Strength’
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 32

Joseph D. Toltz

Liverpool University Press

This chapter investigates the songs in Yiddish and Polish remembered by survivors of the łódz ghetto. It draws on interviews with two teenage survivors of the łódz ghetto who settled in Australia after the war in order to document and preserve personal musical experiences and memories of Jewish Holocaust survivors. It also references long and established literatures on examining witnesses and testifiers in Holocaust and trauma studies that speaks at length of delicate dynamics and ethical responsibilities of representation. The chapter analyzes the claim that sonic experiences remain in memories of people and travel with them throughout their lives, providing moments of nostalgia, evocations of past connections, ties to culture, friends, and family, and frames of reference. It explains how memories of dark, distant, and problematic times are enabled and returned to resonate in the present lives of testifiers and witnesses.

Keywords:   łódz ghetto, Australia, Jewish Holocaust survivors, trauma studies, sonic experiences

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