Karel Berman

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Karel Berman (14 April 1919 in Jindřichův Hradec, Czechoslovakia – 11 August 1995 in Prague, Czech Republic)[1] was a Jewish Czech opera singer, composer and opera director.


After extensive musical education, Karel Berman started his career as a bass singer of opera in Opava.[1] In March, 1943, Berman was deported to Theresienstadt, where he took part in cultural life as a singer, composer and director.[2] On 11 July 1944, for example, he and Rafael Schächter produced the "Four songs to words of Chinese poetry" by Pavel Haas for the first time.[2] In 1944 he composed Suite Terezin in three movements ('Terezin', 'Horror', and 'Alone'); a work which musicologist Bret Web described as "a rare in situ tone portrait of life in a Nazi camp".[3]

Later he was also imprisoned in Kaufering and Auschwitz.[2] He survived the camps and later became famous as an opera singer. In 1953, he joined the Prague National Theatre opera. Berman is also remembered as an opera director, having directed more than 70 operas.[4] He taught at the Prague Conservatory from 1961–71, and from 1964 at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.[1]




  1. ^ a b c Karel Čálek (2002). "Karel Berman". Velký křížovkářský slovník: A-N. Ottovo nakladatelství v divizi Cesty. p. 310.
  2. ^ a b c Herman Vandormael (2012). Kinderen van Theresienstadt: de laatste overlevenden van het concentratiekamp getuigen. Lannoo. ISBN 9789401404938.
  3. ^ Bret Web (2010). "Music". In John K. Roth, Peter Hayes (ed.). The Oxford Handbook of Holocaust Studies. Oxford University Press. p. 479.
  4. ^ Vrkočová, p. 18


  • Vrkočová, Ludmila: Slovníček hudebních osobností. 1999. ISBN 80-901611-5-4
  • Herbert Gantschacher Viktor Ullmann - Zeuge und Opfer der Apokalypse / Witness and Victim of the Apocalypse / Testimone e vittima dell'Apocalisse / Svědek a oběť apokalypsy / Prič in žrtev apokalipse. ARBOS-Edition, Arnoldstein - Klagenfurt - Salzburg - Vienna - Prora - Prague 2015, ISBN 978-3-9503173-3-6, p. 125, p. 139, p. 271, p. 286

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