Son Finishes Father’s Violin Performance That Nazis Interrupted
Eugene Drucker finished his father’s 1933 violin performance of Brahms’ concerto in D Major, Op. 77 after it was interrupted by Nazis in Germany.
80 years since his father was interrupted and taken off stage in 1933 mid in his performance by Nazis, violinist Eugene Drucker has finished that performance. In an emotional performance, the teary Eugene Drucker did a rendition of the uncompleted piece, Brahms violin concerto in D Major, Op. 77 in Raanana, Israel along with the Raanana Symphonette Orchestra. It was, according to Eugene, a violin performance that offered a “sense of completion“. While he acknowledged that it was not his place to “correct a history wrong”, he still expressed what finishing the piece meant to him. It was a concert that was full of memories as the occasion was set to commemorate the Judischer Kulturbund.
The Judischer Kulturbund remains a unique phenomenon in the history of Jews with a mixed cultural legacy. It was a federation of Jews formed by musicians in Nazi Germany after being segregated from other institutions so as not to sully the claimed pure Aryan culture. This was before the Jews were sent off to concentration camps and at the time the segregation saw them being removed from and denied public posts and barred from public events while harassed to emigration.
For the assimilated German Jews who saw themselves as part of the culture, the Kulturbund served as a refuge. This is one of its legacies in the sense that it allowed the Jews to maintain their cultural lives and a sense of normalcy amidst the growing discrimination around them. The other legacy is that its formation and existence allowed the Germans to use it for their propaganda in claiming their moderate policy to the world. It has also been accused of lulling the slightly Jews in to not seeing the danger that faced them. However, it is still celebrated for the way it maintained humanist values and preserved the Jewish culture through the segregation and descent to genocide.
In the mid-1900s, Ernest Drucker was a promising violin student at Cologne conservatory of music when he was scheduled to perform the entire Brahms piece in the graduation ceremony in 1933. He noticed shortly before the event his name had been crossed off the program, upon his violin teacher’s insistence and threat to resign if he (Ernest Drucker) was not reinstated, a compromise was reached which saw him perform only one movement before being taken off stage and replaced by a non-Jewish student. He went on to be a prominent member of Kulturbund and later fleeing the persecutions to America where he had his son Eugene Drucker. Eugine Drucker, now 63, is a founder member of the 9 time Grammy Winning Emerson Quartette. He is followed in is father’s footsteps as a professional violinist and is also an author for the acclaimed novel, The Savior.