Bringing The World Home To You

© 2024 WUNC North Carolina Public Radio
120 Friday Center Dr
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
919.445.9150 | 800.962.9862
91.5 Chapel Hill 88.9 Manteo 90.9 Rocky Mount 91.1 Welcome 91.9 Fayetteville 90.5 Buxton 94.1 Lumberton 99.9 Southern Pines 89.9 Chadbourn
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

“Lost” Yiddish Songs of World War II

More than two million Soviet Jews were killed during the Holocaust, yet their lives and experiences are not well documented in Holocaust history. 

Historian Anna Shternshis first took on the topic of Jewish life under Stalinas an oral history project, but while she was researching, she came across an unexpected archive. Shternshis discovered a collection of more than 150 Yiddish songs that detail the Holocaust as it happened.

The songs were recorded and collected by ethnomusicologists during the war, but had been confiscated and hidden by the Stalin regime. After uncovering the archive, Shternshis joined forces with singer-songwriter Psoy Korolenko to bring the tunes back to life in a joint concert and lecture program. The two performed in Chapel Hill yesterday.Host Frank Stasio talks with Anna Shternshis about her research, and Psoy Korolenko performs live in studio.

Here's a video of a live lecture and performance by Anna and Psoy in Toronto:

Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist, host, creator, and executive editor of "Embodied," a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships & health.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
More Stories