I talked to Mr. Chasin about life in Warsaw
After I contacted Itsik Gottesman, editor of the Yiddish Forward, to ask permission to translate/publish Mr. Chasin's letter (see previous post), he said that Mr. Chasin was alive and well in Miami Beach!
I was shocked, but he was in the phone directory so I gave him a call. He was surprised but pleased (I hope) that somebody cared enough about his reminiscences to contact him. We talked briefly - I didn't want to overwhelm him with questions!
It was absolutely thrilling to hear that among others he had actually attended the Azazel nightclub, one of the main Polish Jewish cabarets in Warsaw. He didn't remember the Azazel shimmy, of course, one of my current obsessions (because the more it seems something doesn't exist, the more I want to find it).
He said very firmly: "There were no Yiddish cabaret songs. They were all in Polish." It's curious that he'd say that, since I have a number of them in hand; I pointed out there was a version "Vaser" (about the time there was no water in Warsaw) written to the tune of the Jerzy Petersburski tango Wanda. He was amazed that I knew the tune and we sang a line or two of that tango together on the phone!
I put one of my cds (I Can't Complain, But Sometimes I Still Do) in the mail for him along with a few pages from the books of nightclub songs in Yiddish which I recently acquired. I look forward to talking with him again soon.
My mother Janina Ponczek was a Jewish singer at Adria in Warsaw.
She survived under false papers as Zamoyski and died in 1985.
Post a Comment