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 (09-007.04-F) -  Shelf Number: MDV 145

No streaming derivative is available.

Date: December 20, 2005

Participants: Bengelsdorf, Sergo. Interviewed by Dov-Ber Kerler, Moisei Lemster, Dovid Katz.

Location recorded: Chișinău, Chișinău Municipality, Moldova

Language: Yiddish, Russian

Culture Group: Jews, Yiddish-speakers, Moldovans

 Recording Content:   

This recording is the continuation of a formal interview with Sergo Bengelsdorf. (Part 2 of 3. See MDV 144 and MDV 146)

00:00:00 Bengelsdorf speaks about his family and addresses Yiddish dialects. His mother was born in Sławatycze (Yiddish: Slovotitch), Poland and his father was born in 2:43, Poland. Bengelsdorf's father moved to Argentinia and did a tailor apprenticeship and also attended a local Yiddish drama circle. He then addresses his father's move to Birobidzhan in the 1930s and his involvment in the Birobidzhan Yiddish Theater. Bengelsdorf explains how his father went to study with Solomon Mikhoels in Moscow for four years, before returning to Birobidzhan in 1934. Bengelsdorf's mother moved to Palestine and worked as maid in a Jerusalem hospital. She then returned and studied at the Jewish workers' faculty at Moscow State University. Durin that time, Bengelsdorf mother met his father and they then moved to Birobidzhan together.
00:08:04 Bengelsdorf provides personal information and talks about Stalinist persecution of the late 1930s. Bengelsdorf states that his mother evaded persecution due to her pregnancy and his father left Birobidzhan during this period.
00:10:55 Bengelsdorf provides personal information and speaks about his education. He attended a music high school for seven years, until 1951, and learned how to play the piano. He also studied at a Yiddish school at the age of five until it was closed down in 1949. Bengelsdorf then attended a music institute in Chabarovsk, Russia, for four years. Bengelsdorf then began studying at the Sverdlovsk Conservatory in 1955. He also mentions that his mother was imprisoned in the early 1950s and released 1956.
00:15:06 Bengelsdorf addresses the postwar Stalinist terror in the late 1940s. He recalls the burning of Yiddish books in 1949. Bengelsdorf then addresses his work after graduation from the conservatory. In Chişinău, he worked as pianist and concertmaster at the theater/ opera house. He then worked a instructor at the Chişinău music institute until 1991. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Bengelsdorf began his activities in the advancement of Yiddish culture, together with Boris Sandler and Moisei Lemster.
00:19:28 Bengelsdorf addresses his childhood and friends in Birobidzhan. He recalls spending time at the Yiddish theater. Bengelsdorf then talks about his contemporary work and performances. He also discusses Jewish and Russian composers. Bengelsdorf also addresses Tkach's compositions.
00:38:15 Bengelsdorf accompanies professional Yiddish singers on piano.
00:57:41 Bengelsdorf speaks about Yiddish music, before he continues the concert. They also perform "Am Yisroel Khay" (The People of Israel live), written by Yosef Kerler.
01:02:34 End of recording.