Diana Blumenfeld

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Diana Blumenfeld (1903–1961) was a folksinger, pianist, and actress. She was born in Warsaw, Poland. In 1921 she studied piano in the conservatory and thereafter in Khrinivietska's Polish Dramatic School where she graduated in 1924.[1] In 1923 she married Jonas Turkow[2] and toured with his company, also with the Kraków Yiddish Dramatic Theater (1925-1926),[1] and (1924) Esther-Rukhl Kaminska's troupe in Vilna. Leaving to play in Warsaw's central theater, she became one of the most important figures in VYKT. She starred in the film Di Poylishe velder (The Polish fields)[3]

"Born in Warsaw in 1906, Diana Blumenfeld was one of the most talented and beloved musicians of the Warsaw ghetto. Although she had formally studied piano, it was as a singer that she was most successful, and her beautiful alto voice inspired some of Warsaw’s best songwriters to compose songs specifically for her. ... Such was her popularity that Mordechai Gebirtig sent her his new songs with the plea that she spread them throughout the ghetto."[4]

She and her husband escaped the liquidation of the ghetto, and attempted after the war to rebuild Polish-Jewish culture. In 1944 she helped organize a concert through the Association of Jewish Writers, Journalists and Actors. She sang on the Polish radio, touring displaced persons’ camps, and gave concerts for survivors.

Blumenfeld and Turkov left Poland in 1945 and toured Europe, North and South America, and Israel. Diana Blumenfeld died in New York in 1961.[4]

Selected recordings[1][edit]

  • A Brivele Der Mamen (Solomon Smulevitz)
  • Fisher Lid (Aliza Greenblatt)
  • My Yiddishe Momme (Jack Yellen - Lou Pollack & Jack Yellen)

Filmography[5][edit]

  • In die poylishe velder (1924) as Rachel
  • Tkies khaf (1929)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c http://yiddishmusic.jewniverse.info/blumenfelddiana/index.html
  2. ^ Fater, Isaschar (1970). Jewish Music in Poland between the Two World Wars, p 259
  3. ^ Zylbercweig, Zalmen, Leksikon fun Yidishn teater, Book one, column 178
  4. ^ a b http://holocaustmusic.ort.org/places/ghettos/warsaw/blumenfelddiana/ Music and the Holocaust
  5. ^ http://uk.imdb.com/name/nm2709113/