The Marvellous Mr Maisel

Australia has adopted the IHRA definition of Antisemitism.
In his video announcing this, the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, highlighted  my dear friend and Litvak survivor, Phillip Maisel.
Here is the short video with the announcement:

Scott Morrison – IHRA – Phillp Maisel

Morrison IHRA Maisel

Source: youtu.be/bsG8B7MFMGI

 Phillip Maisel has  just turned 99 – a survivor from Vilnius.
His book – The Keeper of Miracles, was published in time for his 99th birthday.
Phillip filmed over 1000 interviews with survivors!
Phillip Maisel thought he?d lost his twin sister during the war. Finding her again by sheer chance is just one of the things for which this (nearly) 99-year-old is thankful.
Phillip was a friend of Hirsh Glik, the Litvak who wrote the Partisans’ Song, Zog Nit Keynmol, in 1943.
Glik was killed in Estonia in 1944.
Phillip has provided me with invaluable input for my own project – the We Are Here! Foundation.

WE ARE HERE! – For Upstanders – Founded by Eli Rabinowitz

WE ARE HERE! – For Upstanders – Founded by Eli Rabinowitz

For Upstanders – Founded by Eli Rabinowitz

Source: wah.foundation

Here is a short but powerful interview we did in 2017:

Why Zog Nit Keynmol is so important!

Why Zog Nit Keynmol is so important!

Phillip Maisel talks about Hirsh Glik and Zog Nit Keynmol. Melbourne, Australia 22 August 2017

Source: youtu.be/3vYDXOQ_lSk

Phillip telling Sholem Aleichem students about Hirsh Glik

Introduction to the Partisans’ Song : Phillip Maisel

At most Holocaust commemorations we sing the Partisans’ Song, Zog Nit Kein’mol, composed by Hirsh Glick. Hirsh Glick was my friend, and I was privileged to be the first, together with two others, to whom Hirsh read the words of the song.

My name is Phillip Maisel. I work as a volunteer at the Jewish Holocaust Centre where I am responsible for the testimonies’ department. I am a Holocaust survivor.

In 1941 I was managing a stationery store in Vilna when the Soviet Union occupied the city. At the same time Hirshke Glick was working in a similar store. I was 19; he was 21. Both of us were members of a Soviet trade union and  we attended a compulsory weekly Communist indoctrination meetings at 8:00 pm each Thursday evening. Hirshke and I became friends, and after each meeting we would walk along the banks of the Wilia River where Hirshke, already well known for his work as a poet, would discuss his poetry with me.

The two of us were young, and wanted to build a new world.

Hirshke was a very interesting person. He was quiet, dreamy and always very introspective. He told me that he would compose complete poems in his head, as it were, and write them down only when they were finished– and then never change a single word.

In June 1941 the Germans occupied Vilna. In September they created the ghetto. In the ghetto I maintained contact with all my former trade union friends, including Hirshke. He, however, was sent to work at a camp called Rezsche, but brought back later to the Vilna ghetto after that camp was liquidated. It was then that he wrote the Partisans’ Song, Zog Nit Kein’mol.

He first read it to three of us – in a cellar located in Straszuna Street.  I was present with my sister, Bella, together with Maishke, who had been the secretary of our trade union. We sat there and Hirshke read to us in the light of a candle placed on top of a box. He subsequently read the poem to fellow members of a literary society. The tune to which he then sung the words was composed by Russian Jewish composers, Dmitri and Daniel Pokrass.

On 1 September 1943, on the first day of liquidation of Vilna Ghetto I was deported to Estonia. I was attached to a mobile garage and was working as an automotive electrician for the Germans. The workshop travelled all over Estonia.. One day we were sent to a camp – Goldfilz – where I stayed for two nights and where Hirsh Glick was imprisoned. Even in camp he was respected as a poet. When we met, the first question I asked Hirsh was: “How can I help you?”  His response was: “I need freedom.” When I replied that unfortunately I could not give him freedom, he asked me if I could by any chance give him a spoon. In camp, a spoon was a treasure. It enabled him to eat his soup, the main meal in the camp. I gave him my spoon which had a sharpened handle and which could serve as a knife.

During his captivity Hirsh continued to compose songs and poems.  His death, however, was always shrouded in mystery. The historical records state that, In July 1944, with the Soviet Army approaching, Glick escaped, that he was never heard from again, and that it was presumed he had been captured and executed by the Germans, reportedly in August 1944. However, as a volunteer at the Jewish Holocaust Centre where I record Holocaust survivors’ testimonies, I interviewed a Mr Samuel Drabkin in 1993. He told me that he and his four brothers were in the camp with Hirshka. He described to me in detail how Hirshka perished. One night, he said, while returning from work to the camp, Hirsh and his fellow prisoners, among them Samuel Drabkin and his four brothers, noticed that there was a hive of activity in the camp and the Camp Commandant was drunk. Forty prisoners, including Hirsh Glick, entered a toilet block, climbed through the window, broke through the camp’s wire enclosure and escaped.  Estonian guards fired at them, and of the 40 escapees, only 14 survived. Hirsh Glick, however, did not survive: Mr Drabkin’s brother saw him shot and killed.

It has been said that Hirsh Glick wrote the Partisans’ Song while the Warsaw Ghetto uprising was taking place. I believe, however, that the song was actually written for a specific partisan – a young Jewish partisan girl with whom Hirshke was in love. But no matter. Hirshke’s song – the Partizaner Lid – sung so long ago  by Jews in the Vilna ghetto, has become the anthem of those of us who have survived the Shoah.

Zog Nit Kein’mol – es vet a poyk ton undzer trot: mir zaynen do! “Our step beats out the message: we are here!”

WE ARE HERE! Global Program For Upstanders

https://wah.foundation

WE ARE HERE! for Upstanders is a global program that promotes universal human rights and inclusive development. We are headquartered in Perth, Australia.

Using the stories of the Jewish Partisans, WE ARE HERE! seeks to inspire in young people the confidence and ability to stand up in the face of prejudice and oppression.

The website: https://wah.foundation 

This program is sponsored by a cultural grant from the U.S. Department of State.

PRESS: 

THE AUSTRALIAN JEWISH NEWS – 18 January 2019

J-Wire Australia
http://www.jwire.com.au/partisans-song-translated-from-yiddish-to-noongar/

The Partisans’ Song in Noongar: 

Audio:

More details on our website: https://wah.foundation

Holocaust educator and specialist Nance Adler of Seattle, Washington will visit Australia in August 2019. Nance will present to teachers, students and community leaders involved in education. We will also run workshops.

Nance’s Partisans’ Project and Lesson Plan have already been translated by our global team into Russian, Lithuanian, German, Polish and Spanish, and are available for free! https://wah.foundation/lesson/lesson-plan/

Professor Lynne Cohen, recently retired vice-chancellor of ECU – Edith Cowan University, has joined our project team. Lynne was also Head of the ECU School of Education in Western Australia

Our international team of educators and collaborators: https://wah.foundation/who-we-are/

Through our network of global collaborators, there are now 27 language translations of the Partisans’ Song. The Partisans’ Song portal: https://elirab.me/znk  

In YIDDISH, HEBREW, ENGLISH, POLISH, BELARUSIAN, RUSSIAN, GERMAN, SPANISH, CZECH, DUTCH, ITALIAN, ROMANIAN, FRENCH, SWEDISH, PORTUGUESE, NORWEGIAN, JAPANESE, FINNISH, SWISS GERMAN, SLOVAK, GREEK, AFRIKAANS, UKRAINIAN, SERBIAN, NOONGAR , ARABIC and XHOSA

Recently we arranged translations into Aboriginal Noongar, Arabic and Xhosa, and soon in Zulu, Mongolian and Ladino.

The Partisans’ Song will be sung in Noongar in July at Ellenbrook Senior High School, with planned national media coverage of this World Premiere! 

William Cooper

There is a strong theme connecting the Jewish Partisans and William Cooper, the Aboriginal leader who attempted to deliver his protest to the Nazi consulate in Melbourne on 6 December 1938, just after Kristallnacht. William’s petition was eventually accepted by Germany in 2017: http://www.jwire.com.au/uncle-boydie/

The Gandel Foundation, Melbourne has recently announced two scholarships in the name of William Cooper.

Uncle Boydie and Moshe Fiszman

Our Melbourne educator, Viv Parry, produced a movie, Ties That Bind, in 2017. Read more:  https://elirab.me/ties-that-bind/

This powerful nine minute documentary film features Uncle Boydie, grandson of William Cooper, and Moshe Fiszman, a Holocaust survivor. https://youtu.be/1N700Olmw-U

Ties That Bind is now part of the USHMM’s – The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s (in Washington) presentation.

We are writing a lesson plan for this documentary. This will be freely available to teachers and students around the world.

Our North Queensland collaborator, Barbara Miller, has written the book: William Cooper – Gentle Warrior 

William Cooper, Gentle Warrior

We are also expanding our global online collaboration classes with World ORT and other schools. World ORT is the world’s largest Jewish education and vocational training non-governmental organisation. Several lesson plans will be offered to a global audience.

ORT students recite Zog Nit Keynmol for Holocaust Remembrance Day

The Partisans’ Song in English recited for us by Freydi Mrocki: https://youtu.be/9gS7c4iNCI0

Our project features in a documentary on South African National Television in 2018:  https://youtu.be/NRcGcNGrYWo

Kristallnacht Cantata

The Kristallnacht Cantata by Ron Jontof-Hutter of Melbourne and Israeli composer, Alon Trigger.  Here is a 6 minute promo video: https://youtu.be/A3IlzEAwmIk. The full work will be about 35 minutes. This is based on this story of Ron’s grandfather, Otto Jontof-Hutter, and William Cooper:  https://www.jwire.com.au/kristallnacht-and-the-righteous-australian-aboriginal-william-cooper/  Otto and William never met or even knew of each other’s existence!

Several orchestras around the world have shown a strong interest in performing the work. 

Please contact me at eli@elirab.com
Eli Rabinowitz: bio https://elirab.me/about

About Me

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Projects For Your School:
https://elirab.me/znk

Learn The Partisans’ Song

Recite or sing the Partisans’ Song in your home tongue, or in a language you have learnt. Make a video, which can be as creative as you wish or just a simple recording. 

The Power Of Words

The background and context

The ‘Partisans’ Song’ – Zog Nit Keyn Mol – written by Hirsch Glik, 22, in the Vilna Ghetto in 1943, is one of the most powerful songs of resistance and defiance ever written.

Today, 75 years on, long after the demise of Hitler’s murderous regime, the partisans’ song is now sung worldwide to mark the Jewish spirit of resistance.

Words – Michael Cohen, Melbourne MC – Freydi Mrocki
https://youtu.be/SvNoyReKxO0

KEY WORDS FROM THE POEM

“Zog nit keyn mol, az du geyst dem letstn veg…….Never say that you have reached the end of the road……

Mir zaynen do! WE ARE HERE!

“This says that although it looks like the last moments of the life of the Jewish people, it is not, and where the blood was shed, will begin a new, a heroic and a wonderful Jewish life!” https://youtu.be/koA7fpGxRgw

(Quote: Cantor H Fox, LA)

Beis Aharon School, Pinsk, Belarus
https://youtu.be/yN3QGZkmGjY

Herzlia & Highlands House – The Partisans’ Song

On 8 February United Herzlia Schools hosted an international online collaboration on The Partisans’ Song Project

Herzlia High School, Cape Town, South Africa

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Event being flimed for TV

Schools that participated in the online collaboration:

  1. Host: Herzlia Middle School, Cape Town
  2. St Petersburg School (#550) ORT de Gunzburg “Shorashim” (Russia)
  3. Moscow School (#1311) “Tekhiya” (ORT) (Russia)
  4. Kiev Educational Complex “ORT” (#141) (Ukraine)
  5. Odessa School “ORT” (#94) named after Z.Zhabotinskiy (Ukraine)
  6. Kishinev ORT Technology Lyceum named after Herzl (Moldova)
  7. Vilnius ORT Shalom Aleichem gymnasia (Lithuania)

My welcome

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Video: Herzlia Ensemble sings Zog Nit Keynmol

Herzlia Online ZNK 2018

Source: youtu.be/nMOdyq-BXGY

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Watching in Sydney, Australia

Miriam Lichterman, survivor

Herzlia school captains

Herzlia – thanks given in Russian

With Ivor Joffe, Lydia Abel, Ivor Lichterman, Miriam Lichterman, Mark Helfrich, Steve Sherman

With thanks to:

Irina Silaeva (Shemyakina)  co-ordinator  “Organization for Educational resources and technological training”  (ORT-Russia)

Mark Helfrich – Herzlia

Ivor Joffe – Herzlia

Steve Sherman – Living Maths

Heather Blumenthal – Spirit Sister

Lydia Abel – Cape ORT

Miriam Lichterman & Ivor Lichterman

Lesley-Ann Knoll

Full collaboration video:
Zog Nit Keynmol – – An international Collaboration
Zog Nit Keynmol – – An international Collaboration

Source: youtu.be/ZFyhsbmsZYI

The Concert at Highlands House

The notice board

 

Lesley-Ann Knoll’s welcome

Mark Helfrich

With the Herzlia Vocal Ensemble

Miriam & Ivor Lichterman

Video – Zog Nit Keynmol 
With survivor Miriam Lichterman and her son Ivor, visiting from Toledo OH.
Zog Nit Keynmol – in Cape Town with Miriam Lichterman

The Partisan Song WE ARE HERE! The Herzlia Vocal Ensemble Highlands House Cape Town 8 February 2018

Source: youtu.be/GKKZgimSOtE

With Ivor Joffe

The Residents

Miriam Lichterman & Philip Todres

Lydia Abel & Miriam Lichterman

With inlaws Len & Ruth Reitstein

Lesley-Ann Knoll

Residents viewing The Partisans’ Song video

The new video
Yom Hashoah 2018 – A video for your community

Yom Hashoah 2018 – A video for your community

Give meaning to the significance and context to the Partisans’ Song, written by Hirsh Glik 75 years ago. Please ensure that your children and grandchi…

Source: youtu.be/Yq7SrTNZPaI

About Us | United Herzlia Schools

About Us | United Herzlia Schools

Herzlia is a Jewish community school and a leader in education in the Western Cape. Herzlia is one of the top feeder schools to UCT. About Us.

Source: www.herzlia.com/about-us/

World ORT | Worldwide Jewish Educational NGO

World ORT | Worldwide Jewish Educational NGO

World ORT

World ORT is the world’s largest Jewish education and vocational training non-governmental organisation. Specialized in Technology.

Source: www.ort.org

 

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