Martin Roman

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Martin Roman (23 April 1910 – 12 May 1996) was a German jazz pianist.

At the time of the Reichstag fire in February 1933, Martin was stopped by SS men at the entrance to the huge Vaterland emporium in Berlin, where his band, the Marek Weber Band, was employed. He left for the Netherlands. In January 1944 Roman was transported to Theresienstadt concentration camp.[1]

In summer 1944 he was forced to participate in a propaganda film in Theresienstadt which the commandant Rahm had coerced the actor Kurt Gerron to direct. Roman appeared leading his Ghetto Swingers. When the filming was over Roman and Gerron were sent to Auschwitz, where Gerron perished.[2]

Like jazz drummer and guitarist Coco Schumann, Roman survived. Gerron and clarinetist Fritz Weiss of the Jazz-Quintet-Weiss did not.[citation needed]

Roman's "Wir reiten auf hölzernen Pferden" was recorded on the album Terezín - Theresienstadt, by Anne Sofie von Otter.


  1. ^ Cross currents: No.7 University of Michigan. Dept. of Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Michigan. Center for Russian and East European Studies - 1988.
    "In 1944 Martin Roman came to Terezin; he had played piano with the celebrated German orchestra, the Marek Weber Band, and because he was transported to the ghetto so late, had had an opportunity to follow the latest jazz developments.
  2. ^ F. C. DeCoste, Bernard Schwartz The Holocaust's ghost: writings on art, politics, law, and education, 2000 pg. 79.
    "Hiding out in Amsterdam in a rented room in 1943, Berlin swing pianist Martin Roman was rudely awakened by a knock on the door one morning."