Photography by Ian L. Sitren

Ghetto Tango

Something I discovered in my research for a project on the Yiddish Theater; something I did not know existed, “Ghetto Tango”. From a description from the collection “Ghetto Tango: Wartime Yiddish Theater”

“The Jews torn from their homes and crammed into the ghettoes of Lithuania and Poland included young and old, laborers and college students, teachers, doctors, lawyers — and musicians. In the Warsaw ghetto, in Lodz, Vilna and the rest of the unofficial cabarets sprang up. Orchestras and choruses pieced themselves together as well. Musicians, both professional and amateur, began writing and performing as well as adapting popular music of the time. Much of their music reflected or satirized their bleak circumstances and bolstered the spirits of the audiences. Incredibly, not only were these ghetto night clubs visited by Nazi authorities and German soldiers, but they were photographed by Nazi propaganda units.”

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