Eugen Transky

Eugen Transky singsMeine Sonne (i.e. 'O sole mio)

Born 25 February 1885 (or 1886?) in Riga. He was Latvian (which does not go without saying for somebody born in Riga!) and Jewish, his real name was Aiziles Tabacniks. He spent his entire career in Germany, and not in major theatres: Thorn (today Polish Toruń), where he made his debut in 1910; Nürnberg, Breslau (today Polish Wrocław), Gera, Volksoper Berlin, the early Berlin radio (1926–30).

The most interesting period in his life (though the most unfortunate for him, no doubt) came after the Nazis took power: as long as they thought it might be useful to placate the international public opinion, they entertained the Jüdischer Kulturbund, in a way the Jewish equivalent to the Reichskulturkammer – the corporate association whose member every artist had to be by law in order to be allowed to work. Jewish artists, of course, were not admitted to the Reichskulturkammer – they had to join the Jüdischer Kulturbund instead. And the Jüdischer Kulturbund even ran a small opera theatre in Berlin, with Jewish artists only, and for the Jewish public only – Transky was one the "stars" of this bizarre enterprise, though his career was in fact over, already before 1933. He later managed to escape to Rio de Janeiro, where he was teaching; he died in 1967 or 1968 in São Paulo.

The Jüdischer Kulturbund opera, to complete also this history, performed as long as 1941, and this must really have been a place capable of turning one's love of opera into hatred and despair – a false front of "normal life", while all the artists and visitors involved were in fact living in midst of terror, expulsion, murder, and inhumanity.

Reference 1, Reference 2

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