Music in Westerbork.

Compared to other concentration camps ,Westerbork was ‘reasonably’ safe and life was less harsh there, But that is also what made it a more sinister place.

From 1942 to 1945, Westerbork was a transit camp (Durchgangslager) located in the Netherlands. As a transit camp, Westerbork served as a temporary collection point for Jews in the Netherlands prior to their deportation by the Germans to killing centers and concentration camps in the east.

Westerbork was originally established in 1939 by the Dutch before the German invasion of the Netherlands. It began as a refugee camp for German Jewish refugees who had fled Nazi persecution.

The Nazis created an illusion that all of the measures they had introduced for the Jews were only temporary. They even had a football league in the camp.

Music also played a big part in Westerbork. The picture at the start of the blog is of Jazz violinist Benny Behr. He is playing for some of the children of the camp. For them he would play uplifting children’s songs. Fr older people who would also play classical pieces.

Benny Behr was married to a non-Jewish woman, Wien Bouwina Sijtina Havinga. Because of that he enjoyed freedoms which other Jews did not have. But these freedoms were only temporary On August 1,1944 Benny ended up in Westerbork, where he remained until the camp was liberated in April 1945.

The Westerbork Serenade is the title of a love song written by Dutch singing duo,Nol (Arnold Siméon) van Wesel and Max (Salomon Meyer) Kannewasser aka Johnny and Jones, just before their deportation to Auschwitz in 1944. The play tells the true story of Jewish cabaret performers held by the Nazis in the Dutch transit camp of Westerbork, and portrays songs and vaudeville sketches that were actually staged in the camp revues. Some of Berlin’s greatest stars performed at Westerbork, thereby delaying their transport to death camps.

In 1943 Max,Nol and their wives were arrested and were send to the Westerbork transit camp.In the camp they performed once under the name Jonny und Jones because only the German language was allowed during performances. In 1944 they were sent on a day’s work assignment from Westerbork to Amsterdam, during which they managed to secretly record the song “Westerbork Serenade”.

The song starts off , with them singing that they don’t feel like themselves and that they aren’t great. Their hearts beat like the airplane demolishing yard, which was actually the job assigned to them in the camp, dismantling crashed warplanes.

This the translation of the lyrics

Hello we feel a little out of order,
To pull myself together is quite hard,
Suddenly I’m a different person,
My heart beats like the airplane wrecking yard.

I sing my Westerbork serenade,
Along the little rail-way the tiny silver moon shines
On the heath.
I sing my Westerbork serenade
With a pretty lady walking there together,
Cheek to cheek.
And my heart burns like the boiler in the boiler house,
Oh it never hit me quite like this at Mother’s place
I sing my Westerbork serenade,
In between the barracks I threw my arms around her
Over there
This Westerbork love affair.
And so I went over to the medic,
The guy says: “there is nothing you can do;
Oh but you will feel a whole lot better
After you give her a kiss or two
(But that you must not do…)”

Even in this dark period they managed to keep composure and a sense of humour.

On 4 September 1944 Van Wesel and Kannewasser were deported on one of the last transports from Westerbork to a number of concentration camps: Theresienstadt, Auschwitz, Sachsenhausen, Ohrdruf and Bergen-Belsen. They died of exhaustion during the last days of the war in 1945.

Transports were a traumatic experience for Jews in Westerbork. Witness testimonies mention confusion, distress, and brutality. For example, Dutch-Jewish journalist Philip Mechanicus, who kept a diary of life in Westerbork, described a transport that took place on June 1, 1943. He wrote:

“The transports are as nauseating as ever.… Men, quiet, stone-faced; women, often in tears. The elderly: stumbling, faltering under their burden, tripping on the bad road sometimes into pools of mud…. Whoever hesitates, whoever dawdles, is being assisted; sometimes herded, sometimes shoved, sometimes beaten, sometimes punched, sometimes persuaded by a boot, quickly shoved aboard the train…. When the cars are full, the prescribed number of deportees having been loaded, the cars are sealed…. The commandant signals the departure: a wave of the hand. The whistle sounds … a heart-rending sound is heard by everyone in the camp. The grungy snake, now fully loaded, crawls away.”

The transport Mechanicus describes included 3,006 people. It arrived at the Sobibor killing center on June 3, 1943. Jules Schelvis, who had spent six days in Westerbork prior to deportation, was the only known survivor of this transport.

Looking back at the picture at the start of the blog. When you take it out of context, you might think it is a group of scruffy kids hassling a violin player. However when you put it in the context of Westerbork and the Holocaust, there is the realisation that most, if not all, of these kids listening to the music in Westerbork, will have been murdered shorty afterwards. And that knowledge breaks my heart.

sources

Home

https://westerborkportretten.nl/bevrijdingsportretten/benny-behr

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/westerbork

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Denazification of the German National Anthem.

Denazification was the process of removing Nazi ideology and influence from all forms of public life in Germany after World War 2.

This process does not seem to have happened on the German National Anthem, I think this was a great mistake. A national Anthem is not just a bit of music, it instill a sense of pride and belonging in people’s hearts and minds.

It is my opinion that the German National Anthem should have been changed after the war.

The “Deutschlandlied” – “Song of Germany”)- officially titled “Das Lied der Deutschen” (“The Song of the Germans”), or part of it, has been the national anthem of Germany since 1922.

The music is the hymn “Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser”, written in 1797 by the Austrian composer Joseph Haydn as an anthem for the birthday of Francis II, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and later of Austria.In 1841, the German linguist and poet August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben wrote the lyrics of “Das Lied der Deutschen” as a new text for that music. The melody used by the “Deutschlandlied” was still in use as the anthem of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until its demise in 1918. On 11 August 1922, German President Friedrich Ebert, a Social Democrat, made the Deutschlandlied the official German national anthem.

When the Nazis took control in 1933,only the first stanza was used, it was also used in conjunction with the “Horst-Wessel-Lied”

The first stanza or refrain has the following text(English Translation)

“Germany, Germany above all,
Above all in the world,
When, for protection and defense,
It always stands brotherly together.
From the Meuse to the Memel,
From the Adige to the Belt,
Germany, Germany above all,
Above all in the world!
Germany, Germany above all,
Above all in the world!”

Although they changed the anthem from the 1st to the 3rd stanza after the war, with the lyrics.

“Unity and justice and freedom
For the German fatherland!
Towards these let us all strive
Brotherly with heart and hand!
Unity and justice and freedom
Are the safeguards of fortune;
Flourish in the radiance of this fortune,
Flourish, German fatherland!
Flourish in the radiance of this fortune,
Flourish, German fatherland”

The melody remained the same and the 1st stanza is still an official part of the whole piece of music. In the recent past it has resurfaced by some far right extremists and Neo Nazis. This could have been avoided if they had changed the National Anthem in its entirety.

There were efforts between 1945 and 1950 to change the anthem, but it was not popular with the German citizens. So in 1950 they decided to stick with the anthem and to just change the stanza. I think they gave up too easy.

At least the East German government changed the anthem to .”Auferstanden aus Ruinen” risen from ruins.

For Germany to escape their constant association with Fascism and Nazism, I believe it is important for them to realize that changing the anthem will be an important step to that. Maybe they should adopt the former DDR anthem

sources

https://www.classicfm.com/discover-music/periods-genres/national-anthems/german-national-anthem-lyrics-world-war-two/

https://www.bundestag.de/en/parliament/symbols/anthem

https://www.classical-music.com/features/works/german-national-anthem-lyrics/

ROCKTOBER-Paranoid

Say what you want about Ozzy Osbourne, but he did perform and sing some truly classic Rock songs.

He was still a teenager when he joined Black Sabbath and was only 22 when they recorded ‘Paranoid’.

As the title suggests, this song is about a man who is paranoid. The driving guitar and bass create a nervous energy to go along with Ozzy Osbourne’s desperate vocal. Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler, who wrote the lyric, explained the song’s meaning to Mojo magazine June 2013: “Basically, it’s just about depression, because I didn’t really know the difference between depression and paranoia. It’s a drug thing; when you’re smoking a joint you get totally paranoid about people, you can’t relate to people. There’s that crossover between the paranoia you get when you’re smoking dope and the depression afterwards.”

Although this was the first Black Sabbath-penned single, the band’s debut single was actually a cover of Crow’s “Evil Woman Don’t Play Your Games With Me” a few months before the “Paranoid” release. “Paranoid” was much more successful. It was released six months after their self-titled first album and had a huge impact in their native UK, going to #4 and becoming one of their signature songs.

It is the first single from their second album with the same title, while the B-side is the song “The Wizard”. It reached number 4 on the UK Singles Chart and number 61 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The group never charted again in the UK Top 10, but that wasn’t a problem since album and ticket sales more than made up for it. Many UK rock bands, including Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, put little emphasis on singles.

sources

https://www.songfacts.com/facts/black-sabbath/paranoid

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranoid_(Black_Sabbath_song)

ROCKTOBER-Edge of Seventeen

It is very hard for artists, who are part of an iconic band, to breakthrough as a solo artist. Stevie nicks was able to handle it(maybe that’s what Destiny’s child meant when they asked “Can you handle it?}

Stevie Nicks only became a singer for Fleetwood Mac by chance. The band as looking for a new guitarist after Peter Green left, and they approached Lindsey Buckingham. He agreed provided his girlfriend, Stevie Nicks, could join too. The rest is Rock N Roll history.

When she went solo in earnest 40 years ago, the woman who had been integral to Fleetwood Mac’s transformation into the world’s biggest band carved out an identity as a star in her own right. She didn’t just make a chart-topping album, Bella Donna, but came up with a stunning anthem that only seems to grow more popular with age.

“Edge of Seventeen” was released as the third single from the album on February 4, 1982.The lyrics were written by Nicks to express the grief resulting from the death of her uncle Jonathan and the assassination of John Lennon during the same week of December 1980. The song features a distinctive, chugging 16th-note guitar riff, drum beat and a simple chord structure typical of Nicks’ songs. The song’s title for the single release was “Edge of Seventeen (Just Like the White Winged Dove)”. In the United States, “Edge of Seventeen” just missed out on the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 11. Despite this, it became one of Nicks’ most enduring and recognizable songs and has been covered by several artists.

The most successful rendition was done by the aforementioned ‘Destiny’s Child’ The distinctive riff from the song was sampled in their 2001 hit single “Bootylicious”, with Nicks making a cameo appearance in the accompanying music video.

sources

https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20210820-edge-of-seventeen-an-anthem-that-stuns-each-new-generation

https://www.songfacts.com/facts/stevie-nicks/edge-of-seventeen

ROCKTOBER-Wake me up when September ends.

This is probably my favourite Rock song of the 21st century. It is often associated with 9/11 and it became symbolic after Hurricane Katrina, where it was dedicated to victims of the disaster.

It was released on June 13, 2005, as the fourth single from Green Day’s seventh studio album, “American Idiot”. The song was written by front man Billie Joe Armstrong about his father Andrew, who passed away in 1982 when Billie Joe was 10 years old.

I think the song resonates with many people, who have lost a father or a loved one. The song’s music video, directed by Samuel Bayer, depicts a couple broken apart by the Iraq War, which was intended to convey the song’s central theme of loss. I understand what they tried to do with that, but I think the story line of the video distracts from the lyrics and actual meaning of the song.

In 2019, Billie Joe spoke to Howard Stern about the song’s title and phrase, explaining, ​“I think it’s something that just stayed with me; the month of September being that anniversary that always is just, I don’t know, kind of a bummer. But it’s weird: when things happen like that when you’re that young, it’s almost like life starts at year zero, or something like that.”

When asked if he still thought about his late dad when performing Wake Me Up When September Ends, Billie Joe replied, ​“Yeah. I think about him every day, really. I kinda avoided writing about him for many years, and then finally having a breakthrough like that felt good. It wasn’t like a negative emotion so much, but it was just kind of like honouring him.”

So this Rocktober blog is not only dedicated to the music I love so much but also to my dad, who died 10 years and 2 weeks after this song was released. 16 years has gone so fast

source

https://www.kerrang.com/the-news/green-day-fans-remind-the-internet-not-to-post-wake-me-up-when-september-ends-jokes/

ROCKTOBER-Zombie

When the Cranberry Saw Us were formed in 1989, they did not know that the changing of the name and lead singer would have such an impact on the band.

When the lead singer Niall Quinn was replaced by Dolores O’Riordan, and the name was changed to The Cranberries, the path was open to global success for this Limerick band.

Their 1st album “Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?” with the hit singles ‘Dreams’ and ‘Linger’ did get the attention of many music fans.

But it was with the song “Zombie” taken from their second album “No need to argue” that the band established themselves as a genuine, bonafide rock band.

It is a protest song written by Dolores O’Riordan in memory of the two young victims who were killed in the 1993 Warrington bombings, Johnathan Ball and Tim Parry. Three-year-old Johnathan Ball was killed when two bombs hidden in litter bins detonated on a busy shopping street in March 1993. Tim Parry, aged 12, died five days later.

O’Riordan, who was on tour at the time, found herself deeply affected by the tragedy.

“I remember seeing one of the mothers on television, just devastated,” she told Vox magazine in 1994.

“I felt so sad for her, that she’d carried him for nine months, been through all the morning sickness, the whole thing and some… prick, some airhead who thought he was making a point, did that.” The singer was particularly offended that terrorists claimed to have carried out these acts in the name of Ireland.

“The IRA are not me. I’m not the IRA,” she said. “The Cranberries are not the IRA. My family are not. “When it says in the song, ‘It’s not me, it’s not my family,’ that’s what I’m saying. It’s not Ireland, it’s some idiots living in the past.”

Unfortunately Dolores died on January 15.2018. But she left behind a legacy for generations to come.

The American heavy metal band Bad Wolves recorded a cover of “Zombie” in 2017 while they were working on their debut album Disobey. The band’s singer Tommy Vext slightly altered the lyrics, inserting a reference to drones and replacing

The band also added two extra stanzas to the end of the song which were not present in the original. However, Vext said that “we weren’t sure it if was going to make it onto the record. The song is a masterpiece and a massive hit. Some art is sacred — you become afraid to do a rendition of it”.

On Christmas Eve 2017, Waite, the manager of Bad Wolves sent a text message to Vext that said O’Riordan had offered to “sing on it”. Vext described the situation: “it was a dream come true”,[166] while the others musicians “almost didn’t believe it

Bad Wolves released the cover on 18 January 2018, 3 days after Dolores’s death, without Dolores’s voice as a tribute to her.

sources

https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-42702781

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zombie_(The_Cranberries_song)

Playing music for Mengele and the SS.

Gustav Mahler is one of the most famous classical music composers and conductors of all time. Yet, his music was considered as degenerate by the Nazi regime, and was therefore banned in Germany and all the occupies territories. It was not because Mahler was a bad composer but because he was Jewish.

However the Nazis had no issues being musically entertained by Mahler’s niece, Alma Rosé. In fact Alma was selected to play in and conduct the Women’s Orchestra of Auschwitz.

The orchestra was formed in April 1943 by SS-Oberaufseherin Maria Mandel, supervisor of the women’s camp in Auschwitz, and SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer Franz Hössler, the women’s camp commandant. The Nazis wanted a propaganda tool for visitors and camp newsreels and a tool to boost camp morale.

Rosé’s arrival at the camp’s railway siding was in bitter contrast to her previous engagements in nearby Krakow, Poland, just a 45-minute drive away. She had appeared there at least twice – as a violinist appearing with her former husband, the Czech violin virtuoso Váša Příhoda, and in 1935 as a conductor of her celebrated women’s orchestra, the elegant Wiener Walzermädeln which she founded and led throughout Europe.

The orchestra had 20 members by June 1943; by 1944 it had 42–47 musicians Its primary role was to play (often for hours on end in all weather conditions) at the gate of the women’s camp when the work gangs left and returned. They might also play during “selection” and in the infirmary.

They would rehearse for up to ten hours a day to play music regarded as helpful in the daily running of the camp. They also held a concert every Sunday for the SS.

For the orchestra’s concerts the women wore blue pleated skirts, white blouses and lavender-coloured kerchief head coverings.

Anita Lasker-Wallfisch was a cellist in the orchestra and she recalled in her memoirs, and in a documentary called “We want the light” the orchestra being told to play Schumann’s Träumerei for Josef Mengele.

According to one report of a concert in the bath-house, a number of SS women were joking and interrupting the performance in which Alma Rosé was playing a solo. She stopped and angrily said: ‘Like that, I cannot play.’ Silence followed; she then played, and no one disciplined her.

Alma Rosé was even able to convince the Nazis to spare her musicians from selections for the gas chambers. When mandolin player Rachela Zelmanowicz was in the infirmary with typhus,which would be a death sentence for any other prisoner,Josef Mengele was prepared to send her to the gas chambers. “What’s with this one?” he asked during his rounds. “She’s from the orchestra.”

Mengele continued on his way without any further discussion. As a member of Rosé’s orchestra, Zelmanowicz was untouchable even by him. Her life was spared.

Alma Rosé died suddenly on 5 April 1944, possibly from food poisoning, after a birthday celebration for a kapo

On 1 November 1944, the Jewish members of the women’s orchestra were evacuated by cattle car to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany, where there was neither orchestra nor special privileges.Three members, Charlotte “Lola” Croner, Julie Stroumsa and Else, died there.

sources

https://holocaustmusic.ort.org/places/camps/death-camps/auschwitz/camp-orchestras/

https://www.facinghistory.org/music-memory-and-resistance-during-holocaust/birkenau-womens-camp-orchestra

https://www.thestrad.com/alma-rose-the-violinist-who-brought-music-to-auschwitz/341.article

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0074r0r

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ROCKTOBER-Young Elvis

No Rock blog could be without mentioning the King of Rock ‘N’ Roll ,Elvis Presley. He may have been one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century. But it wasn’t always the case.

When he was just 10 years old he tried to become a star by entering a talent show. It was on October 9th 1945, just a few months after World War 2. Maybe the world wasn’t ready yet for him.

Standing on a chair at a microphone, he sang “Old Shep” at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show, held in Tupelo. The show was broadcast over WELO Radio, though no recording of it now exists.

Some reports say that he came second and won a prize of five dollars in fair-ride tickets. Interviewed years later, however, Elvis recalled that he came fifth and his most vivid memory of the day was receiving “a whipping from my Mama” for misbehaving.

A photograph taken of some of the contestants seems to bear out his recollection of the result. Wearing glasses, Elvis is standing empty-handed next to two other youngsters, both proudly clutching a trophy.

His next known public performance was on 6 November 1948 when he played guitar and sang Leaf On A Tree as a farewell to his fellow students at Milam Junior School in Tupelo. The poverty-stricken Presleys then packed their belongings into a trunk, strapped it to the roof of their 1939 Plymouth car, and headed for Memphis, Tennessee, in search of a better life..

On January 8,1946,Elvis received his first guitar for his birthday; he had hoped for something else, by different accounts, either a bicycle or a rifle. Over the following year, he received basic guitar lessons from two of his uncles and the new pastor at the family’s church. The rest is Rock N Roll history.

On July 18, 1953, he paid $3.98 for a recording studio time at the Sun Studio in Memphis, a recording studio that was also home to the Sun Records label. Elvis recorded a double-sided acetate demo single, though he was not yet signed to the Sun Records label. On the A-side, he recorded “My Happiness”, For the B-side, he recorded “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin”.

source

https://www.onthisday.com/articles/elvis-comes-fifth-in-talent-show

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ROCKTOBER-I love Rock ‘n’ Roll

You’re a teenager, you are still experimenting with different types of music. One day you turn the TV, tune in to the Dutch music show TopPop, and you see this lady with a guitar, There are a few drumbeats at the start and then a kick ass guitar riff. You are hooked, you found the music you like. That’s basically how I started my lifelong addiction to Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, and it was all because of a lady called Joan Jett.

“I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” is a rock song written by Alan Merrill and Jake Hooker and first recorded by the Arrows, a British rock band, in 1975.

It was originally recorded and released by Arrows in 1975 on Rak Records, with Merrill on lead vocals and guitar and Mickie Most producing. Merrill wrote both the music and lyrics but gave a co-writer credit to Hooker as part of settling a debt. In an interview with Songfacts, Merrill said he wrote the song as “a knee-jerk response to the Rolling Stones’ ‘It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It)’.” This version was first released as a B-side, but was soon re-recorded and flipped to A-side status on a subsequent pressing of the record. Arrows performed the song in 1975 on the Muriel Young-produced show 45, after which Young offered Arrows a weekly UK television series, Arrows, which was broadcast on ITV starting in March 1976.

Joan Jett saw the Arrows perform “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” on their weekly UK television series Arrows while she was touring England with the Runaways in 1976.She first recorded the song in 1979 with two of the Sex Pistols, Steve Jones and Paul Cook. This first version was released on vinyl in 1979 on Vertigo records as a B-side to “You Don’t Own Me”. In 1981, Jett re-recorded the song, this time with her band, the Blackhearts. This recording became a U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number-one single for seven weeks, being the only one for the band.

The rest as they say is history. To those of you who had to endure the many hours of rock music I played throughout the years, you can blame Joan Jett for that.

Finishing up with the aforementioned performance om TopPop.

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I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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ROCKTOBER-November Rain

I know I am a bit early, it is only early October so why talk about November Rain. I am of course talking about the epic song by Guns N Roses with the title “November Rain”

Slash states in his autobiography that an 18-minute version of “November Rain” was recorded at a session with guitarist Manny Charlton (of rock band Nazareth) in 1986, before the recording sessions for Appetite for Destruction began. There were actually a few demo versions of the song. A 10 minutes Piano version.

It was also tried out as a far shorter acoustic guitar demo, lasting just over five minutes.

Neither version made the cut to get on to “Appetite for Destruction”. It would take another 5 years before the song would be released. It was released as a single in 1992 from their third studio album, Use Your Illusion I (1991).

At 8:57 minutes long, it is the second-longest song on the album, the longest being the 10:14 “Coma”. It is the third-longest song by Guns N’ Roses, behind the 9:24 “Estranged” from Use your illusion 2

It is the longest song ever to reach the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. The song’s composition was influenced by Elton John’s 1973 opus “Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding”

The music video, directed by Andy Morahan,[17] portrays Rose marrying his then-girlfriend Stephanie Seymour and later grieving at her funeral, intercut with a live performance in Los Angeles’ Orpheum Theater.[18] It is one of the most expensive music videos ever.

With a budget totaling around $1 million, the “November Rain” video ranks among the most expensive music promos ever made. While it might not have had the same career-boosting impact of the “Welcome To The Jungle” video, at the time of its release, “November Rain” quickly became MTV’s most-requested video of all time.

source

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I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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