Polish Jewish Cabaret: a library of wonderful but forgotten Yiddish songs of the 1920s - 1930s. Have a listen!

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Friday, September 30, 2016

A reader's query about a Warsaw underworld romance, 1920s-1930s - can you help?

This is the story that was sent to me via email. If you have any ideas please let me know (jane@mappamundi.com) - thanks.

The reader writes:

Please could you help me identify a song about a Warsaw underworld tragedy. Chana Dziobak was a street merchant who sold cookies at the gate of Rynkowa/Gnojna 3 in Warsaw where my father lived before the war. Chana's husband Melech Paser (also known as Melech Ganev) was an underworld character who had an affair with Chana's sister Esther-Chaye. My father wrote:


"The lusting of Melech Fence for Esther-Chaye was transformed, with time, into a stormy spurt which connected them together like a couple on their wedding night. Chana Pockmark became wounded to the depths of her concealed feelings. She threw herself upon her sister like a bleeding animal, smashed her body, hit her, bit into her flesh with her teeth and nails – and these two sisters remained blood enemies forevermore. Chana did not reproach Melech, and she did not speak to him anymore. A wound oozed in her heart, which pushed its way through her laughter, song, and her entire being. Warsaw sang a pop song about Chana Pockmark’s tragedy, a song that meandered through the attics and cellars of the Warsaw realm of poverty."

Do you know of any Warsaw pop song (shlager) that might fit this story?

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