Cover Osteuropa 7/2010

In Osteuropa 7/2010

Cycles of a Myth
Weinberg and the Great Patriotic War

Wolfgang Mende

Deutsche Fassung


The 20th century’s experiences with violence are a central theme in the work of Soviet composer Mieczysław Weinberg. Weinberg’s handling of these themes reflects the development of Soviet history policy. During the Great Patriotic War, he wrote patriotic works to strengthen the resolve to fight. The Polish-Jewish composer, whose family was murdered by the Nazis, only publicly addressed the Holocaust in the 1960s when the taboo of this topic was loosened. In the Brezhnev era, when the Soviet regime raised the commemoration of victory into a mass ritual, Weinberg also dealt with the war intensively. But Weinberg avoided gestures of blaring triumph and focused on suffering and sorrow.

(Osteuropa 7/2010, pp. 41–66)