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Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum
Valstybinis Vilniaus Gaono Žydų Muziejus

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A VIOLIN OF DANIEL POMERANTZ, A VIOLIN VIRTUOSO AND PIONEER OF JAZZ MUSIC IN LITHUANIA, WILL SUPPLEMENT MUSEUM‘S COLLECTIONS

 
Published: 2018-06-12
On June 11, a very special guest from Boston visited the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum: violinist, educator Prof. Dana Pomerantz-Mazurkevich, whose miraculous rescue story during the Holocaust is told in the documentary film “Sisters”. Danutė, accompanied by her husband Yuri Mazurkevich and another hero of the film Aušra Petrauskaitė, brought a violin manufactured in Paris in 1806, which belonged to her father Daniel Pomerantz, and a vinyl record “Sukas Ratukus”, recorded in 1930s.
 
Daniel Pomerantz (1904-1981), a prominent violinist and pioneer of jazz music in interwar Lithuania, was born in Šiauliai. Pomerantz studied violin at the Kaunas Juozas Naujalis School of Music and at the Berlin Conservatoire. In Vienna he attended master classes given by a prominent violinist Bronisław Huberman. While in Berlin, Pomerantz played in cafés and Marek Weber orchestra, one of the most popular orchestras in Europe at the time. Upon returning to Kaunas around 1933, Pomerantz formed an ensemble of multiinstrumentalists. The ensemble often performed in Konradas café, frequented by intellectuals and artists.
 
During the years of Nazi occupation, Pomerantz was imprisoned in the Kaunas ghetto. Together with another prominent artist Moishe Hofmekler he organized a ghetto inmates orchestra which consisted of 40 members. Later Pomerantz was imprisoned in Dachau concentration camp. After the war he returned to Kaunas, played in Kaunas Operetta, café “Tulip”, Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra. In 1974 Pomerantz emigrated to Canada.
 
We sincerely thank Dana Pomerantz-Mazurkevich for these valuable gifts: the violin will supplement the collections of the upcoming Litvak Culture and Identity Museum as a long-term deposit, and the ownership of the vinyl record is completely transferred to the Museum.
 
Photo credit: Živilė A. Juonytė & Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum collections.

 

 
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