Cover Osteuropa 9-11/2019

In Osteuropa 9-11/2019

“Only when it serves self-reconciliation”
A conversation about active life and the German interest in Jewish culture

Jascha Nemtsov

Deutsche Fassung


The pianist and musicologist Yasha Nemtsov is working to stop Jewish culture from being forgotten. As a music archaeologist, he has uncovered the works of persecuted composers. He has traced the Jewish legacy in European music and familiarised listeners with the sound of the “New Jewish School”. As an individual and through his work, Nemtsov represents the Russian-Jewish cultural transfer. Incidentally, he also fills in the gaps in the German culture of remembrance. In an autobiographical retrospective of Jewish life in the Soviet Union, Nemtsov explains why the Gulag was a major stroke of luck for his father, and why his family emigrated to Germany of all places. He has a problem with the fact that many Germans are only interested in Jewish culture when this serves their “self-reconciliation”. Never has knowledge about the “New Jewish School” been greater than today, although in musical life, it remains marginalised.

(Osteuropa 9-11/2019, pp. 7–18)