Hilde Zadek: Soprano, Proud Jew, and Zionist

July 31 2019

In February, the singer Hilde Zadek, whose career spanned decades at the Venna State Opera, died at the age of one-hundred-one. Born to a Jewish family in eastern Germany, Zadek made her formal debut at the Opera in 1947 in the title role of Aida, to an audience including no small number of recent Nazis. Jay Nordlinger writes:

An important incident had occurred in 1934: Hilde Zadek overheard a schoolmate say, “Es stinkt nach Juden”—“It reeks of Jews.” She punched the girl in the face, knocking out her front teeth. Hilde was expelled from school and then had to flee—not to another city but to another country. She went, age sixteen, to Palestine.

There, she trained as a pediatric nurse. She also studied singing—with Rose Pauly, a Hungarian soprano who had [also] fled there. Eventually, the rest of the Zadeks came to Palestine, too. This was after [her father], Alex Zadek, had been imprisoned in a concentration camp, Sachsenhausen. Others in the family—the extended family—were not so lucky.

In 1945, when the war ended, she returned to Europe [to pursue her musical career]. She never lost her connection to Palestine, or Israel—in fact, it strengthened. She taught in Israel a lot, pro bono. She worked to put voice instruction in that country on a solid footing. She was constantly concerned with the development and success of Israeli singers.

From official Austria, she garnered many honors. . . . In her last years, she was asked a simple question: do you want anything? She said she would think about it, overnight. And, in fact, she did want something: as Austria had honored her, she would like to be honored by Israel. After a process, Israel did agree to honor her—but this was never consummated: Hilde Zadek never got back to Israel and did not receive the honor.

She had one final wish: “After I die, tell my friends that Israel offered to honor me.” She wanted them to know. It was important to her.

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Read more at National Review

More about: German Jewry, Nazi Germany, Opera, Vienna, Zionism

The Evidence of BDS Anti-Semitism Speaks for Itself

Oct. 18 2019

Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs recently released a lengthy report titled Behind the Mask, documenting the varieties of naked anti-Semitic rhetoric and imagery employed by the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction the Jewish state (BDS). Drawn largely but not exclusively from Internet sources, its examples range from a tweet by a member of Students for Justice in Palestine (the “world would be soooo much better without jews man”), to an enormous inflated pig bearing a star of David and floating behind the stage as the rock musician Roger Waters performs, to accusations by an influential anti-Israel blogger that Israel is poisoning Palestinian wells. Cary Nelson sums up the report’s conclusions and their implications, all of which give the lie to the disingenuous claim that critics of BDS are trying to brand “legitimate criticism of Israel” as anti-Semitic.

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Read more at Fathom

More about: Anti-Semitism, BDS, Roger Waters, Social media