The Inextinguishable Symphony by Martin Goldsmith

The Inextinguishable Symphony

In the spring of 1933, more than 8,000 Jewish musicians, actors, and other artists were expelled from their positions with German orchestras, opera companies, and theater groups. Later that year, the Jdische Kulturbund, or Jewish Cultural Association, was created to allow Jewish artists to perform for Jewish audiences. Here is the riveting and emotional story of Gunther Goldschmidt and Rosemarie Gumpert, two courageous Jewish musicians who strugg...

Details The Inextinguishable Symphony

TitleThe Inextinguishable Symphony
Release DateAug 1st, 2001
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, World War II, Holocaust, Music, War, Biography

Reviews The Inextinguishable Symphony

  • Carol
    5 stars, not so much for the writing, though it was good, but for the sheer persistence of the author, Martin Goldsmith to bare the roots and expose the branches of the tree that grew in his living room. This tree, which Goldsmith used metaphorically like families of alcoholics use the elephant plagued his childhood. I understand it. My mother lost her first husband in World War II. She married my father and never spoke much about her first love ...
  • Steve Kettmann
    Here is my review of this wonderful book from the San Francisco Chronicle in 2001:The Night Jewish Musicians Played Mahler Amid Nazi TerrorReviewed by Steve Kettmann--------------------------------------------------------------------------------THE INEXTINGUISHABLE SYMPHONYA True Story of Music and Love in Nazi Germany By Martin Goldsmith John Wiley & Sons; 352 pages; $24.95 ------------------------------------------------------------------------...
  • Karen Mosley
    "Where there is life, there is spirit. And where there is spirit, where there is even one human soul, there is music." P. 282 "And I am so proud of them [his parents] and so grateful to them for showing me what is truly important, for showing me that you must love the people and things that are important to you and that you must sometimes risk everything for that love. There is no finer lesson for parents to teach their children." P. 248 "Silence...
  • Mary
    This book is well-researched and expertly written by Martin Goldsmith, one of the voices for NPR, about the lives of his parents. Both musicians, they were a part of the Kulturbund, which provided a creative outlet for the Jews in Hitler's Germany both as performers and as spectators. Fortunately, the Goldsmiths were able to emigrate to the United States right before Jews were taken to concentration camps. Even though they tried to sponsor other ...
  • Tonya
    Excellent book that is very well written. For anyone with more of a musical background than I, it would be even more meaningful. The book begins early in the Nazi years and for that reason is a very good study in the insidious, gradual erosion of rights and humanity endured by the Jewish people. Just like 9/11, we must never forget the Holocaust."I wonder if, as he lay dying in the cold of Terezin, he ever awoke from his dream to face the bitter ...
  • Jeanette
    Wow! This book was so interesting. The author tells the story of his parents and their participation as musicians in the Jewish Culture Association during the time of Nazi Germany leading up to WWII, and how their participation in the Association most-likely saved their lives. The book is interesting because it is so many different types of books at once. A little bit of it is like this man's personal memoirs. Part of it is tracing his family his...
  • Valerie
    This incredible story underscores the importance of happenstance in our lives. Martin Goldsmith tells the story of his parents, and grandparents and how music saved some of them. But in doing so he tells the more insidious story of how that same music may have doomed other Jews. By giving an air of normalcy to Nazi decrees, by continuing to put on the Kulturebund, did those artists unknowingly give a degree of consent to what was happening around...
  • William
    This is quite a moving story of the author's family escaping (in some cases not escaping) from the Nazis, of love of music, and many other great elements. So it really has no excuse for being SO BORING! I'm talking about the audiobook here, which was read by the author, who reads in a very soothing way that makes you just want to sleep. He's an NPR contributor, so you know the kind of voice. But the story itself is so slow-paced. Maybe the author...
  • Jennifer
    A different take on the Jewish experience prior to WWII from a man whose parents belonged to the Kulturbund, a cultural refuge of sorts. Goldman intersperses a history of his family (and what he can piece together of the missing parts) with the history of the Kulturbund, resulting in a slower-paced, but still fascinating look at an aspect of Nazi Germany that I hadn't encountered before. The view into the machinations and propaganda that actually...
  • Laurie
    Beautifully written, this is a true story written by a son (NPR music expert) about his parents and their experience as Jewish musicians in Nazi Germany. The book starts with Gunther and Rosemarie as budding musicians in Germany during the very beginnings of the Nazi rule, and their involvement in the Nazi approved Jewish Orchestra which kept them alive. This book gives new insight into how Hitler's rule slowly and steadily crept into the lives o...
  • Dolores
    A beautiful love story, a testimony to the power and solace of music, and a beautiful tribute to Martin Goldsmith's parents. This book could open up meaningful discussions about the power of unbridled hate, the importance of love, and the need for each person to have something bigger than himself to hang on in the face of fear and hardship. It illuminated a chapter in the story of the Holocaust that is not well-known.
  • Judith Shadford
    Martin Goldsmith, NPR, first host of Performance Today, tells his parents' story, growing up, meeting, enduring the early days of the Nazi takeover of Germany, including Kristallnacht. Gunther, his father, was raised in a family who happened to be Jewish, but totally non-observant. It is also the story of the Judische Kulterbund (Kubu) that I knew nothing about. Jewish musicians and artists were "invited" under Joseph Goebbels' supervision, to fo...
  • Roz
    I loved this book. It is in a category by itself. It is definitely about the holocaust but not like any of the many other holocaust books that i have read. It is a personal love story and a lovely homage from the author to his parents. He is very honest about their strengths and weaknesses and how they dealt with their situation in Germany and what happened to them and their family. Music is at the center of his life and during his book research ...
  • Colleen
    Goldsmith has written a moving and revealing account of how his parents met in Nazi Germany and were saved by the Jewish Kulturbund, which I had not known about it. It is harrowing and painful to read of the ever-narrowing restrictions placed upon Jews and how this Jewish Cultural Association was used as a propaganda tool. And yet the ability to play music did save them and other Jewish musicians, on several levels, for some years. I am very glad...
  • Heather Speirs
    Fascinating and scarily relevantAlthough this author is no literary genius,and bits of the narrative verge on purple prose, the book is notable for giving the reader a sense of one family's experience and response to the rise of the third Reich. Music saves them, both literally and metaphorically. It's a fascinating read.
  • Lorraine Shelstad
    The true story of the author's parents who played in the Kulturbund Orchestra for Jews in Nazi era Germany. His parents were able to come to the US but many others in the family were not so "lucky".
  • Ramona McConkie
    Beautiful, true WWII story about the healing and uniting power of music, yet also a tragic tale of how the regime was able to use those powers to pacify Jews and create a feigned front. For all music lovers, this is a must-read.
  • Phyllis
    What a story! Beautifully written, most compelling in its detail and pathos.
  • Christina
    Beautiful story, but a little long winded.
  • Giles
    An incredibly moving and well written book.
  • Tony Sachs
    Years ago, I went to see Martin Goldsmith, the author, speak about this book at a bookstore in San Francisco. This book is amazing. Wonderfully written, fantastic story, unimaginable pain and suffering. It is about the author’s parents‘ experience in Nazi Germany. At the time, he described it as “The greatest love story ever.” And it is.
  • Laura
    Martin Goldsmith's "The Inextinguishable Symphony is alternately inspiring, horrifying, very moving, and terribly sad. Goldsmith's book is both a biography of his parents, Jewish musicians who performed in Germany in the 1930s and early 1940s and a history of an organization called the Judische Kulturbund, a cultural organization created by German Jews and sanctioned by the Nazis as a way to keep German cultural activities "pure" while reaping th...
  • Erin
    This was the very first book that I added to my wish list back in August, 2001. Eleven years later I finally picked it up from the library. It seemed like the perfect combination for me - memoir, historically based, premise hinging on amazing coincidences, and across the board strong reviews. Unfortunately with all this expectation, it fell a bit short for me but was still an interesting read. This is the true story of two young Jewish...
  • Neil Pierson
    In the late 1930s, the German government was still somewhat conscious of its image in the world. The Nazis authorized formation of a Jewish cultural organization called, for short, the Kubu. They intended it to be a PR tool to counter reports of antisemitism.The Kubu's Jewish founders leveraged power and turf wars within the government to create an organization that employed Jewish artists to perform concerts, plays, and readings for Jewish audie...
  • Andrea
    Haunting and unforgettable, this book details an aspect of the Nazi era in Germany that I never knew of--that is, the lives of Jewish musicians in Germany. Fired from their jobs in various orchestras early in the 1930's, they participated in all-Jewish orchestras established in the various cities and overseen by the Nazis; Many great musicians and conductors spent the 1930's in this way, including a local Cincinnatian, the late Henry Meyer, whom ...
  • Linda
    Martin Goldsmith, former host of NPR’s Performance Today, has written a sobering and wonderful book about his parents. They were fellow musicians whose love affair and early-married life are set against the growing anti-Semitism of Nazi Germany. Gunter Goldschmidt, a flutist, and Rosemarie Gumpert, a violinist, met as members of the Judische Kulturbund, or Jewish Cultural Organization. The group, sanctioned by the Nazis, was made up of Jewish a...
  • Paula
    It is a true story of music and love. But the story that stays with me is the story of the tree in the middle of the house, the story Martin begins and ends with - a story of guilt, and sorrow, and betrayal. The fact that Martin's parents can do nothing to save their own families; the fact that our own country turned away a boat load of refugees on our own shore, many of whom ended up, like Gunther's father and brother, in the very camps they fl...
  • Len Knighton
    This is one of the best books I have read in the past 10 years, perhaps ever. It is the wonderful story of Goldsmith's parents; a love story set in the midst of the hate of Nazi Germany. It is the story, not only of love between 2 remarkable people, but their love for music and their desire to share that love with their fellow Jews under impossible conditions. Adding to the beauty of the book is Goldsmith's descriptions of the various pieces play...
  • Barbara
    I don't know how my daughter reads so many books about the Holocaust. They leave me despressed and discouraged.The author of this book is married to a woman I hike with. We're doing it as a book club selection and the author is coming to our discussion in 2 months. It should be an interesting discussion. It's such a personal account of life in Nazi Germany and the effect living through persecution has on family members.I haven't read a whole lot ...