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Kaddish: Reflections on the Holocaust in Music and Words

A visitor lights a memorial candle during the annual Names Reading ceremony to commemorate those who perished in the Holocaust at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. International Holocaust Remembrance Day is Jan. 27. Drew Angerer/Getty Images
59min : Kaddish: Reflections on the Holocaust in Music and Words

Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah) begins at sundown May 1 and ends at sundown May 2. Classical music host Mindy Ratner has gathered a collection of conversations with some of those touched directly by the tragic event. Listen now to Kaddish: Reflections on the Holocaust in Music and Words.

A dozen years before the beginning of World War II, the Nazis began what would become the unparalleled slaughter of Europe's "undesirables," most of whom were Jews. Millions would die, but there were survivors as well, each with a unique story. Classical music host Mindy Ratner has gathered a collection of conversations with some of those touched directly by the Holocaust and those conversations form the basis of Kaddish: Reflections on the Holocaust in Music and Words.

Mindy's guests include Theodore Bikel — actor, singer, social activist and master storyteller — who came to the Twin Cities in June 2013, and longtime radio professional Martin Goldsmith, plus members of our own community with stories and insights to share.

The music is especially poignant for Sunday's observance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and enhances the very special nature of the program.

Program Playlist

Maurice Ravel (arr. D. Hope): "Kaddish" from Two Hebrew Melodies
Daniel Hope, violin
from 'Forbidden Music' (Nimbus 5702)

Lukas Foss: "Elegy for Anne Frank" (1989)
Kevin McCutcheon, piano
Berlin Radio Symphony Orch/Christopher Wilkins, conductor
from Lukas Foss: Elegy for Anne Frank (Naxos 8.559438) (excerpt)

Paul Ben-Haim: Suite #2, Op 20b, mvt III: Nocturne (1936)
Gila Goldstein, piano
from Paul Ben-Haim (Centaur 2506)

Paul Ben-Haim: Pastorale variée for Clarinet, Harp and String Orchestra (1945)
David Drosinos, clarinet
Saint Petersburg Symphony Orchestra/Vladimir Lande, conductor
from Portals (Marquis 81423)

Stephen Paulus: Interlude: "Veil of Tears" from To Be Certain of the Dawn (2005)
Minnesota Orchestra/Osmo Vänskä, conductor
(BIS 1726)

Carlo Sigmund Taube: "Ein jüdisches Kind"
Anne Sofie von Otter, mezzo-soprano
Bengt Forsberg, piano
Ib Hausmann, clarinet
from Terezin/Theresienstadt (DGG 477 6546)

Hans Gal: Symphony #1, mvt III: Elegie
Northern Sinfonia/Thomas Zehetmair, conductor
from Kindred Spirits (Avie 2224)

Ilse Weber (music and text): "Und der Regen rinnt"
Anne Sofie von Otter, mezzo-soprano
Bengt Forsberg, piano
Bebe Risenfors, double bass
from Terezin/Theresienstadt DGG 477 6546

Hans Gal: Serenade for Strings (mvts I & III)
Symphony Nova Scotia/Georg Tintner, conductor
from Late Romantics * Neo-Romantiques (CBC 5167)

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco: Melancolia
Christopher Parkening, guitar
from The Artistry of Christopher Parkening (EMI 54853)

Krzysztof Penderecki: "Kadisz (Kaddish)" (mvt IV) (2009)
Cantor Alberto Mizrahi, tenor
Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Male Choir/Antoni Wit, conductor
from Penderecki: Magnificat/Kadisz (Naxos 8.572697)

Host Mindy Ratner MPR photo/Nate Ryan
Martin Goldsmith submitted photo
Victor Vital talks to host Mindy Ratner in the studio. MPR photo/Leah Garaas
Victor Vital shares his story with host Mindy Ratner. MPR photo/Leah Garaas
Victor Vital and host Mindy Ratner MPR photo/Leah Garaas
Manny Gabler submitted photo
Lucy Smith tells her story. MPR photo/Nate Ryan
Lucy Smith tells her story to host Mindy Ratner MPR photo/Nate Ryan
Lucy Smith and host Mindy Ratner MPR photo/Nate Ryan
Robert Fisch tells his story to host Mindy Ratner. MPR photo/Leah Garaas
Robert Fisch shares his story with host Mindy Ratner. MPR photo/Leah Garaas
Robert Fisch and host Mindy Ratner MPR photo/Leah Garaas
Nina Mosser talks to host Mindy Ratner MPR photo/Randy Johnson
Actor Theodore Bikel on a visit to St. Paul, Minn. Elaine Siegel
Classical MPR host Mindy Ratner and actor Theodore Bikel share a hug. Elaine Siegel
Directory of Jewish refugees in Shanghai, referenced by Manny Gabler in the audio. MPR photo/Elena See
Mindy Ratner (right) and Shanghai resident at Ohel Moshe Synagogue, which was built by Russian emigres, in 1927. Courtesy of Mindy Ratner
A close-up of "Little Vienna," the area of Hongkou neighborhood where Jews were forced to live during World War II. Courtesy of Mindy Ratner
Plaque reads: "The Designated Area for Stateless Refugees From 1937 to 1941, thousands of Jews came to Shanghai fleeing from Nazi persecution. Japanese occupation authorities regarded them as 'stateless refugees' and set up this designated area to restrict their residence and business. The designated area was bordered on the west by Gongplag Road, on the east by Tonghi road, on the south by Hulmin Road, and on the north by Zhoujiazui Road. -Hongkou District People's Government" Courtesy of Mindy Ratner
The municipality of Shanghai created this Huoshan park in the Hongkou neighborhood as a memorial to what were called "stateless persons" in reference to the Jews. Courtesy of Mindy Ratner
The building that currently houses the Shanghai Conservatory was originally built as a German Jewish social club. Courtesy of Mindy Ratner
"Little Vienna" street in Hongkou neighborhood, where Jews from other parts of the city were forced to live during the second World War. Courtesy of Mindy Ratner