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1943

October 27 

Newsreel showing Ludmilla Berkwic 1910-2005), whose father's family was Jewish, playing the piano at the opening of the Chopin Museum in Wawel Castle, 1943. Hans Frank and other Nazi officials are in attendance. Berkwic is shown playing Chopin's piano, and her playing continues over interior shots of the museum and its artifacts.

Berkwic's father was Jewish, but she was living as a non-Jew when Hans Frank asked her to perform at the opening of the Chopin Museum in Krakow. Soon after her performance she was denounced as a Jew. She and her mother then obtained false papers and fled to Germany. Berkwic subsequently emigrated to the United Staetes where she settled in Spring Valley, NY. She attempted but was unable to restart her performance career in the U.S. and she turned to teaching. Pianist Artis Wodehouse was one of her students.

 

Tsarist Russia berated it as subversive, Nazi Germany banned it outright and to this day, for Poles, the cascading notes of Fryderyk Chopin still symbolise their country's long struggle for independence.

After hearing Chopin's quintessentially Polish "Mazurkas" and his "Revolutionary Etude", Robert Schumann, a German, and like Chopin a renowned 19th-century composer, understood. He described the music of his Polish contemporary as "cannons hidden among flowers".

Chopin wrote the powerful and turbulent "Revolutionary Etude" as an expat in his father's native France, where he landed after an 1830-31 uprising of Polish insurgents against the 1795 partition of Poland by Russia, Prussia and Austria.

**In Chopin’s time Poland did not exist as a state. It was a territory partitioned by three powerful neighbors: Russia, Prussia and Austria. In 1830--while the composer was touring Europe--an uprising broke out in Warsaw. It was brutally suppressed by the Russian Empire, which forced many Polish artists into exile. The composer settled in Paris.

“Unfortunately, he never got a chance to go back to his country, seeing his family, his friends,” Sporek says. “So he was being convicted to stay out of his loving country with no chance of coming back. This is probably why we hear the music--so dramatic sometimes--that he composed.”After moving to France in 1830, Chopin remained there until his death in 1849. -  Jun 28, 2010 · by Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska**

Having refused to take a Russian passport, Chopin was never able to set foot on his and his mother's native soil again after the doomed insurrection. Schumann showed ironic foresight when he said of Tsar Nicholas I, if "this powerful and autocratic monarch of the north knew the danger of the enemy he has in the works of Chopin (...) he would ban his music."

And indeed, after the 19th-century partition of Poland the tsar censured public performances of Chopin's music as dangerous. In 1863, Russian troops even destroyed the piano Chopin had played as a child prodigy in Warsaw, throwing it out the second storey of a building in symbolic revenge for a failed assassination attempt against the Russian governor of Poland.

One of the apartments in Zamoyski Palace, nr 69, was inhabited by the Barciński family. Izabella Barcińska, Frederick Chopin’s younger sister, lived there with her parents and one of the objects she inherited after their death was a piano made by Fryderyk Buchholtz in Warsaw around the year 1825. It is visible in the sketch of their drawing room by Antoni Kolberg of 1832

 

This was the piano on which Frédéric François Chopin used to play his juvenile compositions and on which he gave his first public concerts before leaving Warsaw for good in 1830. On September 19, 1863, it was brutally thrown out of the window and destroyed on the pavement.

 

No one before nor anyone since Chopin "has been able to create a sonic universe from the melodies and rhythms surrounding Poles," said Stainslaw Leszczynski, deputy director of Poland's Chopin Institute in Warsaw. "He delved into folklore and created music that has become folklore. Chopin's music "is intuitively Polish, even if this in itself is difficult to define," Leszczynski told AFP.

**On September 1, 1939, Poland is invaded and occupied by Hitler's overwhleming forces. 

**On September 17 in 1939, 16 days after Hitler invaded Poland, Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov declares that the Polish government has ceased to exist, as the U.S.S.R. exercises the “fine print” of the Hitler-Stalin Non-aggression pact—the invasion and occupation of eastern Poland.

Later on, the Nazis also perceived the power of this native whose music they banned during their brutal World War II occupation of Poland. So potent was the perceived threat of his expressive compositions that the Nazis even blew up a monumental statue of the composer in Warsaw's sprawling Royal Lazienki Park. "The Germans wanted to destroy Poland's national heritage, and this included Chopin's music which stirred patriotic sentiments," Leszczynski said.

In 1958, the statue was rebuilt and returned to the park. Chopin concerts are still played there every Sunday from April through to September in what has become a weekend ritual for many residents of the capital.

Born in Zelazowa Wola near Warsaw in 1810, Chopin died in exile in Paris in 1849 of what was then diagnosed as tuberculosis, but which some experts now believe may have been cystic fibrosis. His body is buried in the Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris, but his heart was sent back home. It lies inside a crystal urn filled with alcohol in Warsaw's sprawling and ornate baroque Church of the Holy Cross. It was brought back from Paris in 1849 - as Chopin wished - by his elder sister Ludwika. A commemorative plaque at the site is inscribed with a Biblical passage from the Gospel of Matthew: "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

- AFP/Wojtek Radwanski

............

WWII History

These educational actions were brutally repressed. Professors and directors of schools were arrested by the Gestapo, and after cruel interrogations they were executed or sent to concentration camps. The clandestine universities’ students were most often subjected to similar persecutions. At the Staadtlische Musikschule opened in the Warsaw Conservatory building, although officially only orchestra musicians were sanctioned, teachers also gave illegal courses in composition and conducting. 

30 January 1941 a Polish clandestine Information Bulletin (1941: 3) commented that

the city is divested almost completely of intellectual entertainment. In place of [...] sym- phonic concerts, we have concerts in cafés, where it is not allowed to play Chopin, Paderewski or Moniuszko. Absolute uncertainty, as far as the fundamental needs of a human being are concerned: liberty and life. Every now and then haphazard roundups occur. Planned arrests, of individual people or en masse, continue, behind them the specter of Auschwitz looms more or less distinctly.

Surprisingly, Chopin’s works were exempt from this order, and were indeed often performed in Nazi Germany. How was the inconsistency between the ban to perform ‘music of enemy countries’ and the permission to perform Chopin reconciled?

The Nazi propaganda in Germany appropriated Chopin and strived to Germanize him through any means, just as it also attempted to accomplish the same goal with respect to Mozart, who was, next to Beethoven, Bruckner and others, hailed as the truly German master. How could this be proven? Similar methods of appropriation were used. In accordance with the military campaign and new regulations introduced in Poland, the ideological

In 1942 the ban to play Chopin was not only lifted, but Nazi authorities encouraged collaborationists and exerted pressure on other Polish musicians to perform this previously forbidden music. Characteristically, this repertoire was not played at non-collaborationist cafés.

One of the greatest paradoxes of the Nazi politics and the most striking example of propagandistic manipulation, however, was the Chopin exhibition, organized in Krakow in October 1943 by the very same General Governor Hans Frank, who had earlier introduced the multitude of regulations against the Polish intelligentsia and against all categorized as Jews, whether they were composers, instrumentalists, singers or musicologists. The rationale behind these actions was identical to that invoked in Nazi Germany: an attempt to fit Chopin into the Nazified view of culture. This narrative was unmasked by the underground Cultural Revue of November 1943:

A Chopin exhibition in Krakow – ‘the monument of German magnanimity’: By the end of October Germans organized an exhibition of objects related to Chopin in the Jagiellonian Library in Krakow. The exhibit diplayed the remains of Polish collections in Warsaw and Krakow.

The keystone of German reasoning is the assertion, ‘that national defendance of Chopin’s music ought not distract, because under its all ornaments, behind all deco- rative and constructive elements, lies the ‘kernel of German music.’

Another interesting example of the use of Chopin symbolically was the history of Chopin’s heart during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. It was kept in the church of the Holy Cross, where severe fighting took place. A German soldier, a priest named Schultze, suggested that Polish priests remove the heart and have it protected during the war.

-from The Use of Polish Musical Tradition in the Nazi Propogands by Katarzyna Naliwajek-Mazurek

http://files.musicologytoday.hist.pl/files/Musicology_Today/Musicology_Today-r2010-t7/Musicology_Today-r2010-t7-s243-259/Musicology_Today-r2010-t7-s243-259.pdf

............

CHOPIN MONUMENT

Wednesday, December 15, 2004 
by Anna Golka

In 1899, the 50th anniversary of Chopin’s death, a decision to build a monument for Poland’s greatest composer was made. This was a very difficult endeavor because Poland was still ruled by the Russian Tsar.

The cause for the monument was aided by Polish prima donna Adelaida Bolska whose singing for the Tsar brought tears to his eyes. He asked what he could do to repay her for her magnificent singing. “Your Majesty,” she bravely answered on behalf her nation, “Allow us to erect a monument of Fryderyk Chopin.”

That was a courageous act because in those times it could be interpreted as a patriotic act and could result in severe punishment.

To everybody’s astonishment, the Tsar gave permission. Gathering funds and organizing a competition for the best design of the monument took many years, and, finally, on November 14, 1926, the chosen version, by sculptor Waclaw Szymanowski, was placed in the Lazienki Park in Warsaw.

......

 A competition was held and the winning sculptor, Wacław Szymanowski, set to work on the statue depicting Chopin sitting on a Mazovian pussy willow tree. The First World War and Poland’s various campaigns to establish its new borders delayed the project and the monument was first revealed in 1926.

**with the base, pool and park designed by Warsaw architect, Oskar Sosnowski.**

On May 31st, 1940, on the orders of General Government chief Nazi Hans Frank, the monument was blown up, cut into small pieces, melted down and used to make weapons. It was the first monument to be destroyed by the Germans in Warsaw, possibly because of its location in the German district and the need for raw materials but also for its symbolic significance. The Germans said it was ugly.

The Nazis also ordered all copies of the monument around Poland to be destroyed, meaning that after the war it was difficult to find a faithful imitation that could be used for its reconstruction. A complete copy was only discovered when Szymanowski’s house in Mokotów was cleared of rubble in 1946. On May 11th, 1958, the monument was placed on its pedestal, which had earlier received the inscription: “This statue of Frederic Chopin, demolished and taken away by the Germans on 31 May 1940 **(this is correct**), is being rebuilt by the nation – 17-X-1946." **(Chopin's date of death)**

By Stuart Dowell for The Warsaw Insider

........

ABOUT HANS FRANS AND IRONIC EVENT OF CHOPINS MUSIC DURING OCCUPATION

Governor Hans Frank was not only a fan of Chopin music, but as an outstanding pianist he often gave Chopin recitals. He invited generals and Wehrmacht officers, SS and Gestapo executioners. One of such concerts was witnessed by the outstanding Italian writer and publicist Curzio Malaparte. During the Second World War he was a war correspondent and in this capacity he was in occupied Warsaw. Malaparte left an unheard of description of the recital of Chopin's music forbidden for Poles by the German murderer, criminal and genocide of Hans Frank, hanged after the war by the judgment of the Nuremberg Tribunal! The emotional record of Malaparte from the Chopin concert "nur für Deutsch" is a special kind of contribution not only to the history of music: "In the palace there was an elevated, pure melancholy of Chopin. From far away I heard loud German voices and laughter - and stopped at the door uncertainly. But soon Frank's voice called me and he came across me, opening his arms wide with this prideful cordiality that always surprised me again and filled me with deep confusion.

And now, in the Brühlowski Palace, not far from the ruins of the Royal Castle, in the warm, slightly smoky air of the bourgeois German interior, Chopin's clean, captivating tones flew from beneath Frank's soft white fingers, from the German hands of Generalgouverneur of Poland; feelings of shame and rebellion enveloped my face with a flame.

Everyone listened to me in silence, holding their breath. Tony's prelude, clean and light, floated in the air like propaganda flyers thrown from the plane. Each note had a large inscription in itself: "Let Poland live!" I looked at snowflakes falling softly outside the window, onto the huge white plane of Saski Square, empty in the moonlight, and on each petal I could see the same words written in red letters: "Long live Poland!".

Frank sat at the piano with his head bent over his chest. His forehead was pale, glistening with sweat, deep pain and humiliation on a face full of pride. He breathed with effort, biting his lower lip. His eyes were closed.

«Oh, he's playing like an angel!» Frau Brigitte Frank whispered. At that moment the music stopped. Frau Brigitte jumped up violently, ran to her husband and kissed his hands, took them, lifted them up, and turning to us, she said with a hint of triumph in her voice: "Look, these are the hands of angels!"


It seemed the end of a long battle to have this beautiful monument proudly displayed in the city where Chopin spent his youth and schooldays.
Unfortunately, tragedy was to come. In September 1939, as a consequence of Nazi Plans to destroy Polish culture, the notorious Hans Frank ordered the monument destroyed. The sculpture was disassembled and the high quality metal was sent to Germany for use by the Third Reich.

After the war, the construction of the monument had to start all over again. On May 11, 1958, after 18 years of absence, the monument was completed. From then on, pianists have been coming and performing concerts on a piano next to the monument. Huge crowds continue to gather around to hear this most beautiful music at this most beautiful concert setting.

............

from Youtube video notes on Ludmilla Berkwic plays for the Butcher of Poland, Hans Frank

Newreel showing Ludmilla Berkwic 91910-2005), whose father's family was Jewish, playing the piano at thye opening of the Chopin Museum in Wawel Castle, 1943. Hans Frank and other Nazi officials are in attendance. Berkwic is shown playing Chopin's piano, and her playing continues over interior shots of the museum and its artifacts.

Berkwic's father was Jewish, but she was living as a non-Jew when Hans Frank asked her to perform at the opening of the Chopin Museum in krakow. Soon after her performance she was denounced as a Jew. She and her mother then obtained false papers and fled to Germany.

Berkwic subsequently emigrated to the United Staetes where she settled in Spring Valley, NY. She attempted but was unable to restart her performance career in the U.S. and she turned to teaching. Pianist Artis Wodehouse was one of her students.

...........

The Polish child was to be able to count up to 500, sign and above all know that obedience to the Germans was his duty. 

......

In Leszno, Poland

There were organized concerts of classical music combined with the recitation of poems and the presentation of a paper on the subject of the author (mainly Chopin was played - prohibited by the occupiers.

In the interwar period, Wielkopolska Association of Singers' Circle was active in Wielkopolska, within which there functioned District XII Leszno, in which eighteen choirs operated. The moment of the outbreak of the war and the action that took place after September 1939 resulted in the cessation of the activity of both the union and the singing circles70. Some activists were arrested, others were shot or deported in various circumstances from the city. Despite these adversities, those who had the opportunity to meet secretly. In the "underground" meetings were organized, which were of a cultural and educational nature. They were often inspired by J. Rosochowicz71.

Education and culture suffered large material losses. Many school buildings were devastated, flags were destroyed, school chronicles, documents, maps, archives, books - several thousand pieces were destroyed. 

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Tsarist Russia berated it as subversive, Nazi Germany banned it outright and to this day, for Poles, the cascading notes of Fryderyk Chopin still symbolise their country's long struggle for independence.

After hearing Chopin's quintessentially Polish "Mazurkas" and his "Revolutionary Etude", Robert Schumann, a German, and like Chopin a renowned 19th-century composer, understood. He described the music of his Polish contemporary as "cannons hidden among flowers".

Chopin wrote the powerful and turbulent "Revolutionary Etude" as an expat in his father's native France, where he landed after an 1830-31 uprising of Polish insurgents against the 1795 partition of Poland by Russia, Prussia and Austria.

Having refused to take a Russian passport, Chopin was never able to set foot on his and his mother's native soil again after the doomed insurrection. Schumann showed ironic foresight when he said of Tsar Nicholas I, if "this powerful and autocratic monarch of the north knew the danger of the enemy he has in the works of Chopin (...) he would ban his music."

And indeed, after the 19th-century partition of Poland the tsar censured public performances of Chopin's music as dangerous. In 1863, Russian troops even destroyed the piano Chopin had played as a child prodigy in Warsaw, throwing it out the second storey of a building in symbolic revenge for a failed assassination attempt against the Russian governor of Poland.

 

No one before nor anyone since Chopin "has been able to create a sonic universe from the melodies and rhythms surrounding Poles," said Stainslaw Leszczynski, deputy director of Poland's Chopin Institute in Warsaw. "He delved into folklore and created music that has become folklore. Chopin's music "is intuitively Polish, even if this in itself is difficult to define," Leszczynski told AFP.

 

**On September 1, 1939, Poland is invaded and occupied by Hitler's overwhleming forces. (me)**

**On September 17 in 1939, 16 days after Hitler invaded Poland, Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov declares that the Polish government has ceased to exist, as the U.S.S.R. exercises the “fine print” of the Hitler-Stalin Non-aggression pact—the invasion and occupation of eastern Poland.**

Later on, the Nazis too perceived the power of this native whose music they banned during their brutal World War II occupation of Poland. So potent was the perceived threat of his expressive compositions that the Nazis even blew up a monumental statue of the composer in Warsaw's sprawling Royal Lazienki Park. "The Germans wanted to destroy Poland's national heritage, and this included Chopin's music which stirred patriotic sentiments," Leszczynski said.

In 1958, the statue was rebuilt and returned to the park. Chopin concerts are still played there every Sunday from April through to September in what has become a weekend ritual for many residents of the capital.

Born in Zelazowa Wola near Warsaw in 1810, Chopin died in exile in Paris in 1849 of what was then diagnosed as tuberculosis, but which some experts now believe may have been cystic fibrosis. His body is buried in the Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris, but his heart was sent back home. It lies inside a crystal urn filled with alcohol in Warsaw's sprawling and ornate baroque Church of the Holy Cross. It was brought back from Paris in 1849 - as Chopin wished - by his elder sister Ludwika. A commemorative plaque at the site is inscribed with a Biblical passage from the Gospel of Matthew: "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

- AFP/Wojtek Radwanski

............

WWII History

These educational actions were brutally repressed. Professors and directors of schools were arrested by the Gestapo, and after cruel interrogations they were executed or sent to concentration camps. The clandestine universities’ students were most often subjected to similar persecutions. At the Staadtlische Musikschule opened in the Warsaw Conservatory building, although officially only orchestra musicians were sanctioned, teachers also gave illegal courses in composition and conducting. 

30 January 1941 a Polish clandestine Information Bulletin (1941: 3) commented that

the city is divested almost completely of intellectual entertainment. In place of [...] sym- phonic concerts, we have concerts in cafés, where it is not allowed to play Chopin, Paderewski or Moniuszko. Absolute uncertainty, as far as the fundamental needs of a human being are concerned: liberty and life. Every now and then haphazard roundups occur. Planned arrests, of individual people or en masse, continue, behind them the specter of Auschwitz looms more or less distinctly.

Surprisingly, Chopin’s works were exempt from this order, and were indeed often performed in Nazi Germany. How was the inconsistency between the ban to perform ‘music of enemy countries’ and the permission to perform Chopin reconciled?

The Nazi propaganda in Germany appropriated Chopin and strived to Germanize him through any means, just as it also attempted to accomplish the same goal with respect to Mozart, who was, next to Beethoven, Bruckner and others, hailed as the truly German master. How could this be proven? Similar methods of appropriation were used. In accordance with the military campaign and new regulations introduced in Poland, the ideological

In 1942 the ban to play Chopin was not only lifted, but Nazi authorities encouraged collaborationists and exerted pressure on other Polish musicians to perform this previously forbidden music. Characteristically, this repertoire was not played at non-collaborationist cafés.

One of the greatest paradoxes of the Nazi politics and the most striking example of propagandistic manipulation, however, was the Chopin exhibition, organized in Krakow in October 1943 by the very same General Governor Hans Frank, who had earlier introduced the multitude of regulations against the Polish intelligentsia and against all categorized as Jews, whether they were composers, instrumentalists, singers or musicologists. The rationale behind these actions was identical to that invoked in Nazi Germany: an attempt to fit Chopin into the Nazified view of culture. This narrative was unmasked by the underground Cultural Revue of November 1943:

A Chopin exhibition in Krakow – ‘the monument of German magnanimity’: By the end of October Germans organized an exhibition of objects related to Chopin in the Jagiellonian Library in Krakow. The exhibit diplayed the remains of Polish collections in Warsaw and Krakow.

The keystone of German reasoning is the assertion, ‘that national defendance of Chopin’s music ought not distract, because under its all ornaments, behind all deco- rative and constructive elements, lies the ‘kernel of German music.’

Another interesting example of the use of Chopin symbolically was the history of Chopin’s heart during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. It was kept in the church of the Holy Cross, where severe fighting took place. A German soldier, a priest named Schultze, suggested that Polish priests remove the heart and have it protected during the war.

-from The Use of Polish Musical Fradition in the Nazi Propogands by Katarzyna Naliwajek-Mazurek

http://files.musicologytoday.hist.pl/files/Musicology_Today/Musicology_Today-r2010-t7/Musicology_Today-r2010-t7-s243-259/Musicology_Today-r2010-t7-s243-259.pdf

............

CHOPIN MONUMENT

Wednesday, December 15, 2004 
by Anna Golka

In 1899, the 50th anniversary of Chopin’s death, a decision to build a monument for Poland’s greatest composer was made. This was a very difficult endeavor because Poland was still ruled by the Russian Tsar.

The cause for the monument was aided by Polish prima donna Adelaida Bolska whose singing for the Tsar brought tears to his eyes. He asked what he could do to repay her for her magnificent singing. “Your Majesty,” she bravely answered on behalf her nation, “Allow us to erect a monument of Fryderyk Chopin.”

That was a courageous act because in those times it could be interpreted as a patriotic act and could result in severe punishment.

To everybody’s astonishment, the Tsar gave permission. Gathering funds and organizing a competition for the best design of the monument took many years, and, finally, on November 14, 1926, the chosen version, by sculptor Waclaw Szymanowski, was placed in the Lazienki Park in Warsaw.

......

 A competition was held and the winning sculptor, Wacław Szymanowski, set to work on the statue depicting Chopin sitting on a Mazovian pussy willow tree. The First World War and Poland’s various campaigns to establish its new borders delayed the project and the monument was first revealed in 1926.

**with the base, pool and park designed by Warsaw architect, Oskar Sosnowski.**

On May 31st, 1940, on the orders of General Government chief Nazi Hans Frank, the monument was blown up, cut into small pieces, melted down and used to make weapons. It was the first monument to be destroyed by the Germans in Warsaw, possibly because of its location in the German district and the need for raw materials but also for its symbolic significance. The Germans said it was ugly.

The Nazis also ordered all copies of the monument around Poland to be destroyed, meaning that after the war it was difficult to find a faithful imitation that could be used for its reconstruction. A complete copy was only discovered when Szymanowski’s house in Mokotów was cleared of rubble in 1946. On May 11th, 1958, the monument was placed on its pedestal, which had earlier received the inscription: “This statue of Frederic Chopin, demolished and taken away by the Germans on 31 May 1940 **(this is correct**), is being rebuilt by the nation – 17-X-1946." **(Chopin's date of death)**

By Stuart Dowell for The Warsaw Insider

........

ABOUT HANS FRANS AND IRONIC EVENT OF CHOPINS MUSIC DURING OCCUPATION

probably 1942-43 - Governor Hans Frank was not only a fan of Chopin music, but as an outstanding pianist he often gave Chopin recitals. He invited generals and Wehrmacht officers, SS and Gestapo executioners. One of such concerts was witnessed by the outstanding Italian writer and publicist Curzio Malaparte. During the Second World War he was a war correspondent and in this capacity he was in occupied Warsaw. Malaparte left an unheard of description of the recital of Chopin's music forbidden for Poles by the German murderer, criminal and genocide of Hans Frank, hanged after the war by the judgment of the Nuremberg Tribunal! The emotional record of Malaparte from the Chopin concert "nur für Deutsch" is a special kind of contribution not only to the history of music: "In the palace there was an elevated, pure melancholy of Chopin. From far away I heard loud German voices and laughter - and stopped at the door uncertainly. But soon Frank's voice called me and he came across me, opening his arms wide with this prideful cordiality that always surprised me again and filled me with deep confusion.

And now, in the Brühlowski Palace, not far from the ruins of the Royal Castle, in the warm, slightly smoky air of the bourgeois German interior, Chopin's clean, captivating tones flew from beneath Frank's soft white fingers, from the German hands of Generalgouverneur of Poland; feelings of shame and rebellion enveloped my face with a flame.

Everyone listened to me in silence, holding their breath. Chopin's prelude, clean and light, floated in the air like propaganda flyers thrown from the plane. Each note had a large inscription in itself: "Let Poland live!" I looked at snowflakes falling softly outside the window, onto the huge white plane of Saski Square, empty in the moonlight, and on each petal I could see the same words written in red letters: "Long live Poland!".

Frank sat at the piano with his head bent over his chest. His forehead was pale, glistening with sweat, deep pain and humiliation on a face full of pride. He breathed with effort, biting his lower lip. His eyes were closed.

«Oh, he's playing like an angel!» Frau Brigitte Frank whispered. At that moment the music stopped. Frau Brigitte jumped up violently, ran to her husband and kissed his hands, took them, lifted them up, and turning to us, she said with a hint of triumph in her voice: "Look, these are the hands of angels!"

- Jozef Szaniawski (translated from Polish by me) from Niedziela Ogolnopolska 43/2010 str. 18-19


It seemed the end of a long battle to have this beautiful monument proudly displayed in the city where Chopin spent his youth and schooldays.
Unfortunately, tragedy was to come. In September 1939, as a consequence of Nazi Plans to destroy Polish culture, the notorious Hans Frank ordered the monument destroyed. The sculpture was disassembled and the high quality metal was sent to Germany for use by the Third Reich.

After the war, the construction of the monument had to start all over again. On May 11, 1958, after 18 years of absence, the monument was completed. From then on, pianists have been coming and performing concerts on a piano next to the monument. Huge crowds continue to gather around to hear this most beautiful music at this most beautiful concert setting.

............

from Youtube video notes on Ludmilla Berkwic plays for the Butcher of Poland, Hans Frank

Newreel showing Ludmilla Berkwic 1910-2005), whose father's family was Jewish, playing the piano at thye opening of the Chopin Museum in Wawel Castle, 1943. Hans Frank and other Nazi officials are in attendance. Berkwic is shown playing Chopin's piano, and her playing continues over interior shots of the museum and its artifacts.

Berkwic's father was Jewish, but she was living as a non-Jew when Hans Frank asked her to perform at the opening of the Chopin Museum in krakow. Soon after her performance she was denounced as a Jew. She and her mother then obtained false papers and fled to Germany.

Berkwic subsequently emigrated to the United Staetes where she settled in Spring Valley, NY. She attempted but was unable to restart her performance career in the U.S. and she turned to teaching. Pianist Artis Wodehouse was one of her students.

...........

The Polish child was to be able to count up to 500, sign and above all know that obedience to the Germans was his duty. 

......

In Leszno, Poland

There were organized concerts of classical music combined with the recitation of poems and the presentation of a paper on the subject of the author (mainly Chopin was played - prohibited by the occupiers.

In the interwar period, Wielkopolska Association of Singers' Circle was active in Wielkopolska, within which there functioned District XII Leszno, in which eighteen choirs operated. The moment of the outbreak of the war and the action that took place after September 1939 resulted in the cessation of the activity of both the union and the singing circles70. Some activists were arrested, others were shot or deported in various circumstances from the city. Despite these adversities, those who had the opportunity to meet secretly. In the "underground" meetings were organized, which were of a cultural and educational nature. They were often inspired by J. Rosochowicz71.

Education and culture suffered large material losses. Many school buildings were devastated, flags were destroyed, school chronicles, documents, maps, archives, books - several thousand pieces were destroyed. 

FC-Chopin Bucholz piano in apartment of Izabella Barcinska at Zamoyski Palace before it wa
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