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Outside the window, summer

topples into fall. Furtwengler,

his hand squeezing the baton,

salutes the fuhrer on his

birthday.

 

Strauss hides his Jewish

daughter in law, the mother

of his beloved grandson, in

her protected space, her

little place.

 

When Catholic Hofmannsthal,

three generations from the Jew

who made the money died,

Strauss asked Jewish Zweig

to write librettos. Zweig,

valise in hand, was on his

way to kill himself.

 

The music, like big gray

zeppelins, spread like

smoke.

 

 

 

Author’s Note: These poems are about the reaction of the German classical music establishment, supreme during the Weimar period, to the coming of Hitler. And of course they are about twentieth century Jewish history.

 

 

 

Stephen Kaplan: I was born in 1936. I will be eighty next March (2016). I have worked as a painter and poet since my late teens. In 2000 I was awarded a Pollack-Krasner Foundation grant in painting. My paintings can be seen on their web site pkf.org, scroll to grantees and then my name, Stan Kaplan. When I publish poetry I use Stephen Kaplan. I was nine when the war ended and for the first time I saw survivors who came to visit us at our Brooklyn apartment. Then came the photographs and newsreels. As a working artist, I was interested in the life and work of the artists I admired, in particular those of the twentieth century, and their reaction to the horrendous events they lived through, consequently these poems. My poems have been published in a number of journals, the most relevant being Midstream, and two New York City themed anthologies, Tokens and Bridges.

 

 

 

Image by Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz. Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz is a writer and photographer. Her work has appeared in various journals and anthologies. She (infrequently) blogs about her creative life at wwwonewriter.blogspot.com.

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