Critical Thinking/Discussion Questions - Sam Weinreich

1.  After liberation, Sam thought the world would be at peace and there wouldn’t be any more wars or fighting. But there is still animosity between some people of different religions. What can we do as individuals, or groups, to make this situation better?

2. Imagine being told you have to leave your home immediately and can only bring one suitcase. What would you pack to bring with you? Discuss.

3. In the ghettos, songs helped people spiritually and songs were a way to reflect upon their situation. Sam was gifted with a beautiful singing voice. At the displaced persons camp he was involved in the Yiddish dramatic theater and choir for a few years. One of their performances was in 1948 in Stuttgart, on the stage from which Hitler often spoke. Sam continues to sing yearly at the Day of Remembrance ceremony. Sam is famous for singing “Zog Nit Keynmol” (“Never Say”), also known as the Ghetto Song or the Partisan Song.

Why do you think it was important to the survivors to be able to participate in performing plays while in the displaced persons camp?  Why do you think it was significant for Sam to perform on the stage where Hitler gave speeches?

Use the links below to hear the Partisan Song (a song of spiritual resistance):

"Zog Nit Keynmol” (Song of the Warsaw Ghetto), Kiev Jewish Theater, Nigunim. 1989

“Zog Nit Keynmol” (Never Say), Ross Altman. 2011.  (English introduction, Yiddish & English verses.)

“Never Say That You Have Reached the Final Road” (Zog Nit Keynmol Az Du Geyst Dem Letstn Veg). (audio player located in the bottom right hand corner of the webpage)