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In the summer of 1948, amateur folklorist Ben Stonehill recorded more than 1,000 songs from Holocaust refugees who were being housed temporarily in the lobby of the Hotel Marseilles on New York’s Upper West Side. Stonehill’s efforts preserved for posterity a rich repertoire of songs in Yiddish as well as Polish, Czech, and Hebrew. The recordings are now being disseminated on the web by Yiddish scholar Miriam Isaacs through a partnership with the Center for Traditional Music and Dance.

In this special online multimedia program, Isaacs reveals the inside story of Ben Stonehill’s heroic project, and shares some of the remarkable performances Stonehill captured on wire recordings. Special guest musician Vladimir Fridman performs songs from the Stonehill archive.

Watch the program below:

This program was co-sponsored by the Center for Traditional Music and Dance and by Yiddish New York.