Lin Jaldati, the stage name of Rebekka Brilleslijper, survived most of the war in the Dutch Underground only to be finally betrayed and deported to Auschwitz. After liberation, she moved to the German Democratic Republic with her husband, the German pianist and musicologist Eberhard Rebling.
After their move, the couple helped build an East German socialist phoenix rising from Nazism’s ashes through music. Jaldati’s work reminds us of the central role Yiddish played in memorializing the Holocaust and in envisioning a more peaceful future in Germany, Europe, and around the world.
In the aftermath of the Second World War, as a Nazi death camp survivor and postwar immigrant to the German Democratic Republic, she became a global Yiddish singing sensation.
Jaldati was a key player in shaping Holocaust memory in East Germany, where Soviet-inspired cultural politics about war commemoration intersected with Germany’s role as the perpetrator of war crimes. Jaldati’s Yiddish music sits at that junction.
Based on his groundbreaking research in archives on three continents, historian David Shneer and musician Jewlia Eisenberg have transformed the story of Lin Jaldati into a new, 70-minute mixed media project currently traveling the globe in the footsteps of Jaldati’s own tours. They bring Jaldati to life through a compelling narrative, rare photographs, archival footage, as well as live performances of her repertoire, including Yiddish songs she originally sang for Holocaust survivors in DP camps, peasants in Indonesia, factory workers in North Korea.