Tuesday, 21 August 2012

August 12 1952, revisited

I've posted a time or two about August 12 1952, and the Five Leaves commemoration. Those who want to know more are welcome of course to read our book, From Revolution to Repression, by Joseph Sherman, but anyone wanting a summary of the event will find this YouTube does the job: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIQaRPvQJL8.
Gennady Estraikh is the speaker and the event was indeed our commemoration. I'll later post the music from the day, with Merlin and Polina Shepherd. One of Polina's own songs was her setting of a poem by David Hofsheyn, one of the murdered writers, but she startled the audience most by announcing her grandfather had been in the KGB.
We worked out that 145 people had been at the event, excluding the speakers, musicians and organisers, which was very encouraging given that it was the last day of the Olympics and so many people were out of London for the duration.
We are grateful to all the speakers, readers and musicians - those mentioned so far plus Robert Chandler, Helen Beer, Heather Valencia, and to the Jewish Music Institute who sponsored the event, and to Jewish Renaissance, Jewish Socialist, Morning Star, Yiddish London and others for their publicity.
The event was initiated by Myra Woolfson, who undertook most of the detailed and preparatory work for what turned out to be a great event and a fitting memorial, 60 years to the day after members of the Soviet Jewish Anit-Fascist Committee were killed by Stalin, including the cream of Soviet Yiddish writers.

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