The beginning of the end of German Jewry


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15 DECEMBER 1933 >

11 December 1933

Concert, theater and film diary kept by Luba Mirskin

On the evening of 11 December 1933 the Cultural League of German Jews put on a concert in the Beethoven Hall of the Berlin Philharmonic. Alto Susanne Stein and baritone Fritz Lechner performed songs and arias by Schubert, Gluck, Handel and other composers. Nineteen-year-old Luba Mirskin was seated in the audience and afterward recorded details of the performance in her "concert, theater and film diary, " which she had been keeping for over five years.

A lover of culture, Luba Mirskin (1914–1996) had moved to Berlin with her parents and sister in 1925. The family rented rooms in different pensions in Charlottenburg, where Luba usually found a piano to play. There the young girl also met a variety of actors and musicians, who occasionally gave her free tickets to concerts or theater productions. In addition, she went to the cinema almost every week. Luba carefully entered information about all these cultural events—including composer, director, performers and venues—into her book for "notes on concerts, operas, plays and films." In this way the diary came to reflect the rich cultural life of the German capital.

The first entry is devoted to the silent film Doña Juanna starring Elisabeth Bergner, which Luba saw in March 1928 at the age of thirteen. The last entry contains details of the concert on 11 December 1933. At that time, faced with the Nazis‘ anti-Semitic policies, the Mirskin family had decided to leave Germany.

After the Mirskins immigrated to Palestine the following year, Luba devoted herself to her second artistic passion after music and enrolled in a training program taught by the photographer Zvi Oron. She traveled from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv every day to take part.

In 1942 she co-founded the "Photo Ora" studio in Jerusalem with a friend. The two young women were so successful with their children‘s photographs that Luba was even able to support her now widowed mother.

In 1948 she married the lawyer Stephan Baumblatt, a native of Bad Nauheim. The couple returned to Germany in 1950 and settled in Mannheim, where Stephan Baumblatt served as a district attorney. Considered a thoroughly unsentimental person by her relatives, Luba surprised them by keeping the diary until she died.

Miriam Goldmann

Categorie(s): artists and writers | Berlin | childhood | emigration
Concert, theater and film diary belonging to Luba Mirskin, Berlin,
Permanent loan

"Talent à encourager"

The Mirskins originally came from Russia. Before moving to Berlin, ten-year-old Luba and her older sister, Helen, attended a girls‘ boarding school in the French part of Switzerland. During this time her parents searched for a new place to live in Germany. It took a while for the girls to get used to classes held in French. Luba was an avid piano player and was given music lessons.

On 26 March 1925 Luba performed one of Edvard Grieg‘s "Lyric Pieces" at an audition for the Association des Jeunes filles de Pensionnats de Lausanne et Environs. The examiners noted her talent and recommended that it be further cultivated. Piano playing and a love of music were always important elements in her life and she shared her passion with her future husband, Stephan Baumblatt. The couple regularly attended music events in Mannheim well into old age.

Examination certificate issued to Luba Mirskin for a piano audition, Lausanne, 26 March 1925
Permanent loan