The Inextinguishable Symphony: A True Story of Music and Love in Nazi Germany

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9780471350972: The Inextinguishable Symphony: A True Story of Music and Love in Nazi Germany
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Advance Praise for the Inextinguishable Symphony "A Fascinating Insight into a Virtually Unknown Chapter of Nazi Rule in Germany, Made all the More Engaging through a Son's Discovery of His Own Remarkable Parents." -Ted Koppel, ABC News "An Immensely Moving and Powerful Description of those Evil Times. I couldn't Put the Book Down." -James Galway "Martin Goldsmith has Written a Moving and Personal Account of a Search for Identity. His is a Story that will Touch All Readers with Its Integrity. This is not about Exorcising Ghosts, but Rather Awakening Passions that no One Ever Knew Existed. This is a Journey Everyone should Take." -Leonard Slatkin, Music Director National Symphony Orchestra "For Years I've been Familiar with Martin Goldsmith's Musical Expertise. This Book Explains the Source of His Knowledge and His Passion for the Subject. In Tracking the Extraordinary Story of His Parents and the Jewish Kulturbund, Martin Unfolds a Little-Known Piece of Holocaust History, and Finds Depths in His Own Heart that Warm the Hearts of Readers." -Susan Stamberg, Special Correspondent National Public Radio "[A] Strong and Painful Book, Well-Written, Well-Researched, Moving, and Very Instructive." -Ned Rorem, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Composer

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Writing this book must have required enormous courage; reading it is overwhelming, especially for anyone personally connected to the events it describes. Martin Goldsmith, best known as the host of NPR's Performance Today, is the American-born son of two German-Jewish musicians who escaped the Holocaust. He anchors the Holocaust to the story of his own family, whom he never knew because most of them perished in Hitler's death camps. Goldsmith accompanies them through their lives in Nazi Germany, with its ever-tightening persecution and repression of the Jews, and on their nightmarish journey to the gas chambers. He follows his parents through their early musical training, their blossoming love, courtship, and marriage--making them seem like a normal, happy young couple--to their miraculous rescue and escape to America.

The book's linchpin is the Jewish Culture Association ("Jüdische Kulturbund"), in whose Berlin orchestra his parents met. Established by prominent Jewish leaders in 1933, after a "purge" of all Jewish Civil Servants, the Kulturbund flourished for eight years, with the permission and under the constant, increasingly repressive surveillance of the Nazis, who exploited it as a propaganda tool. Spreading from Berlin to other cities, its musical and theatrical presentations, lectures, and films offered employment to thousands of Jewish artists and the only cultural oasis to its Jewish audiences. In 1941, Germany's preoccupation with the war and the "Final Solution" rendered it superfluous, and it was dissolved.

But Goldsmith also furnishes the proper historical context for his uniquely individual, human account of the 20th century's most inhuman period. After a chillingly detailed description of the grass-roots rise of Nazism, he focuses on particularly horrifying events: the infamous 1935 Nuremberg Laws and the devastating 1938 pogrom, "Kristallnacht." The tragedy of the 937 refugees, including Goldsmith's grandfather and uncle, who were refused disembarkation first in Cuba, then in Miami, illustrates the world's customary indifference to "other" people's misfortunes. Nobody paid attention when, as early as 1922, Hitler declared that his first priority on coming to power would be the extermination of the Jews.

Goldsmith's factual, reportorial style increases the sickening horror, and he reminds us frequently that he is writing about his own family. Though his story's outcome is never in doubt, he generates real suspense--a measure of his skill, despite his unfortunate habit of hinting at the future. The Kulturbund has been accused of encouraging the Jews to ignore the desperate circumstances outside the theater, and therefore the imminence of their danger. Goldsmith refutes this. For most of them, emigration was impossible because, apart from the natural fear of pulling up roots, leaving everything behind, and starting a new life, they had nowhere to go. Moreover, how could anyone foresee the depth of the impending horror? It was, and still is, beyond the human imagination.

Goldsmith writes with insight and aching honesty about the survivors' guilt and its numbing effect even upon the next generation. But his parents also taught him to love music and appreciate its meaning in people's lives, and he talks about it with real knowledge and understanding. (However, someone should have corrected his opening reference to Siegmund's sword in Die Walküre, which is made of steel, not gold.) This is a brilliantly written, important, unforgettable book. --Edith Eisler

From the Inside Flap:

Set amid the growing tyranny of Germany's Third Reich, here is the riveting and emotional tale of G?nther Goldschmidt and Rosemarie Gumpert, two courageous Jewish musicians who struggled to perform under unimaginable circumstances-and found themselves falling in love in a country bent on destroying them. In the spring of 1933, as the full weight of Germany's National Socialism was brought to bear against Germany's Jews, more than 8,000 Jewish musicians, actors, and other artists found themselves expelled from their positions with German orchestras, opera companies, and theater groups, and Jews were forbidden even to attend "Aryan" theaters. Later that year, the J?dische Kulturbund, or Jewish Culture Association, was created under the auspices of Joseph Goebbels's Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. Providing for Jewish artists to perform for Jewish audiences, the Kulturbund, which included an orchestra, an opera company, and an acting troupe, became an unlikely haven for Jewish artists and offered much-needed spiritual enrichment for a besieged people-while at the same time providing the Nazis with a powerful propaganda tool for showing the rest of the world how well Jews were ostensibly being treated under the Third Reich. It was during this period that twenty-two-year-old flutist G?nther Goldschmidt was expelled from music school because of his Jewish roots. While preparing to flee the ever-tightening grip of Nazi Germany for Sweden, G?nther was invited to fill in for an ailing flutist with the Frankfurt Kulturbund Orchestra. It was there, during rehearsals, that he met the dazzling nineteen-year-old violist Rosemarie Gumpert-a woman who would change the course of his life. Despite their strong attraction, G?nther eventually embarked for the safety of Sweden as planned, only to risk his life six months later returning to the woman he could not forget-and to the perilous country where hatred and brutality had begun to flourish. Here is G?nther and Rosemarie's story, a deeply moving tale of love and the remarkable resilience of the human spirit in the face of terror and persecution. Beautifully and simply told by their son, National Public Radio commentator Martin Goldsmith, The Inextinguishable Symphony takes us from the caf?s of Frankfurt, where Rosemarie and G?nther fell in love, to the concert halls that offered solace and hope for the beleaguered Jews, to the United States, where the two made a new life for themselves that would nevertheless remain shadowed by the fate of their families. Along with the fate of G?nther and Rosemarie's families, this rare memoir also illuminates the Kulturbund and the lives of other fascinating figures associated with it, including Kubu director Kurt Singer-a man so committed to the organization that he objected to his artists' plans for flight, fearing that his productions would suffer. The Kubu, which included some of the most prominent artists of the day and young performers who would gain international fame after the war, became the sole source of culture and entertainment for Germany's Jews. A poignant testament to the enduring vitality of music and love even in the harshest times, The Inextinguishable Symphony gives us a compelling look at an important piece of Holocaust history that has heretofore gone largely untold.

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Book Description John Wiley & Sons, New York, 2000. Hard Cover in Dust Jacket. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. Photos (illustrator). First Edition. BRAND NEW 2000 First Edition HARDCOVER book in original dust Jacket . Brand New from 2000 publisher; Never opened , Never read , Never marked . Book size: 6-1/4" wide x 9-1/4" tall x 1-1/4" thick; 346 pages with index , illustrated with some matte black & white Photographs. Martin Goldsmith, senior commentator at NPR National Public Radio, has written a poignant book on the enduring power of music and love during World War Two . In the spring of 1933 Germany 's National Socialism under Adolf Hitler was brought to bear against the Jews, and more than 8000 Jewish musicians, actors, and other artists found themselves expelled from their positions and unable to work. Jews were even forbidden to attend 'Aryan' theaters. Later that year, the Jewish Culture Association, the " Judische Kulturbund " was created under the auspices of Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's minister of "Public Enlightenment and Propoganda". Providing for Jewish artists to perform for Jewish audiences, it became an unlikely haven for them, while at the same time giving the Nazis a propaganda tool with which to try to fool the rest of the world that the Jews were being well-treated in the Third Reich. During this period, 22 year old flutist Gunther Goldschmidt was expelled from music school because of his Jewish roots. While preparing to try to flee to Sweden, he was invited to fill in for an ailing flautist with the Frankfurt Kulturbund Orchestra. There, during their rehearsals, Gunther met the dazzling Rosemarie Gumpert , a woman who would change his life. But Gunther left for Sweden as planned . only to return six months later, risking his life to return to the woman in Nazi Germany whom he could not forget. This is their story - a moving tale of love and resilience in the face of terror and persecution as the Holocaust was begun in Germany, told by their son. From Frankfurt , to the concert halls, and eventually to the United States where the two made a new life, this rare memoir also illuminates others of their associates, including Kubu director Kurt Singer, and more. This book is : " The Inextinguishable Symphony - A True Story of Music and Love in Nazi Germany " , by Martin Goldsmith. First Edition Hardcover book in DJ, published by John Wiley & Sons, New York, 2000 *** Secure packing for Safe shipping since 1965 *** Size: 6-1/4 x 9-1/4 x 1-1/4 ". Seller Inventory # 90902

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