Massive TW for holocaust stuff.
i'm glad to see the sscumbag being sent to where people might at least pretend to care about what he's done. Of course, the best justice would to be to build a #FascismProofWorld, which takes some more doing!
Today, I'm thinking about the music of holocaust survivor Ernst Busch, a Gay Communist from Kiel who was caught in 43, and was tortured and blinded by the Nazis, and by the grace of the Red Army, survived to sing again.
This is one of his, called "As long as the murderers live in the world". it's a song promising vengeance on surviving Nazis, sung in character as the ghosts of the dead. I don't think it's a particularly strong piece, largely because of the almost gleeful, melodramatic tone he's using. The thing is, I KNOW he could do sad songs better- listen to Suliko, Martyred in a Dungeon, Peat Bog Soldiers, or Wait for Me and you'll hear it too.
I was kind of baffled why this virtuoso didn't bring his a-game to this piece, arguably one of the most important of his post-war career. And that's when it hits me- this man who went through so much, expressed so much felt by so many, who fought his entire life for a better world, who stared down his country's bombs and sang for the people. this voice of us all, had to turn a switch and sing this as if it were a joke. He could express pain and rage just fine, but he couldn't here. Maybe, as Lin Manuel-Miranda wrote, this was a time when the words didnt reach, or they did and he had to put up some walls. He could express the suffering of billions, he could make his Prussian officer's voice low and wracked, and go from the gleam of a sabre to a slow outpouring of dark wine. I have always felt that he sings for me and for so many others, whether about lost love or about surviving fashy or marching to certain death in the struggle. And sometimes about winning in the cause of the workers and oppressed peoples, too.
What does it say that these words were too much for him to open up? How terrible must have his experiences been to blunt him like this?
I think we already know.
Anyway here's the song, I don't know who wrote it. The translation is mine, going for meaning, not rhyme or meter. Do listen to it- "not one of Ernst Busch's best" is still a long way from a bad song.
"Some night when the flames slither
And the conveyor belt stirs my ashes
I rise as maddened smoke from Dachau's chimneys
Down I fly and through the hall I dash
I want to avenge myself, come up behind
on those who think i'm nought but ash
How can I lie in peace in the earth,
So long as the murderers live in this world?
For hell is already full of sinners
Yet it's empty of certain architects
so my song chases down each devil
and brings them to face their crimes
Following them through the crowded masses
to punish swiftly by the light of our hatred
How can you appear so peaceful, o blue sky
As long as the murderers still live in this world?
Arise, oh murdered children of years past
the hangman's goons who slew you stand right there
Throttle them in their fine robes