Baby Record 1

Baby-Record (Poland) / c. 1908

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Design: The notation below the Hebrew characters translates as 'Funeral prayers for the Jews murdered in Russia,' which very likely refers to the pogrom in Russia which took place between 1903 and 1906. The following report was published in the New York Times, April 28, 1903: "The anti-Jewish riots in Kishinev, Bessarabia [modern-day Moldova], are worse than the censor will permit to publish. There was a well laid-out plan for the general massacre of Jews on the day following the Orthodox Easter. The mob was led by priests, and the general cry, "Kill the Jews," was taken up all over the city. The Jews were taken wholly unaware and were slaughtered like sheep. The dead number 120 [Note: the actual number of dead was 47 or 48] and the injured about 500. The scenes of horror attending this massacre are beyond description. Babies were literally torn to pieces by the frenzied and bloodthirsty mob. The local police made no attempt to check the reign of terror. At sunset the streets were piled with corpses and wounded. Those who could make their escape fled in terror, and the city is now practically deserted of Jews" (source: Wikipedia).

Rather than being a record made specifically for children, as the label name might suggest, it may instead refer to the massacre of innocents as described above. Following these atrocities, millions of Jews fled Russia, many going to Poland, where in Warsaw alone (noted at the foot of the record) they would yet again suffer persecution, this time under the Nazis, in cruel confinement in a ghetto in that city, from where many were sent to death camps; during the years of WWII, at least 300,000 of them would be exterminated (source: Wikipedia). However, their desperate attempts at self-defence gave impetus to the Zionist movement and would ultimately, in 1948, result in the birth of Israel as a nation.

History: Unknown (have info? Please send to info.re.78s@shaw.ca). Label scan courtesy of musicologist and collector Bill Dean-Myatt of the U.K.




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