In this Sunday, July 7, 2019 photo, Russian Jewish songwriter Psoy Korolenko, left, and Canadian historian Anna Shternshis perform a song from "Yiddish Glory," a Grammy-nominated project that brings to life the lost songs of World War II, in Tel Aviv, Israel. The songs describe the harrowing World War II perspective of Soviet Jews and were long though to be lost until Anna Shternshis uncovered them. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Long lost WWII-era Soviet songs brought to life in Israel

July 09, 2019 - 3:07 am

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — A Canadian historian has brought back to life Yiddish songs depicting Jewish life during World War II, rescuing a collection of works lost to history.

The result is "Yiddish Glory," a Grammy-nominated concert that recently had its first performance in Israel.

University of Toronto Professor Anna Shternshis discovered the trove of handwritten poems in the Ukrainian National Library as she was researching prewar Jewish culture in the Soviet Union.

She collaborated with Russian-American musician Psoy Korolenko to set the words to music.

The songs describe the harrowing experience of Soviet Jews in the 1940s.

The project is part of current attempts to resurrect the Yiddish language. Much of the world's Yiddish speakers perished in the Holocaust and those who survived often refrained from speaking it publicly again because of anti-Semitism.

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