Songs of the ghettos, concentration camps, and World War II partisan outposts
Songs of Jewish Displaced Persons
Lyrics by: Henry Baigelman
Music by: Stranski
Performed by Adrienne Cooper with Zalmen Mlotek, piano
Survivors in the displaced persons camps hungered for culture and were eager to restore a sense of normalcy to their lives. Entertainment played an increasingly important role as survivors joined together to form theatrical and musical troupes, some of which toured extensively through the occupied zones of Germany. Born in Lodz, Poland, to a family of professional musicians and trained on violin and saxophone, Henry Baigelman performed with the Lodz Ghetto Orchestra under the direction of his eldest brother Dovid, a noted composer and conductor.
After the war, Baigelman, together with seven fellow surviving musicians from Lodz, formed the touring jazz band The Happy Boys. The band was renowned for its lively arrangements and agreeable mixture of prewar hits, light classics, Jewish selections, and original songs about the lives and concerns of Jewish displaced persons. Baigelman and his wife Gita immigrated to the United States in 1949.
Live recording at USHMM conference “Life Reborn: Jewish Displaced Persons 19451951,” Washington D.C., January 16, 2000. USHMM recorded sound archive.