In her new book, Lily E. Hirsch introduces us to a woman who truly persisted. Anneliese Landau pushed past bias to earn a PhD in musicology in 1930. She then lectured on early German radio, breaking new ground in a developing medium. After the Nazis forced the firing of all Jews in broadcasting in early 1933, Landau worked in the Berlin Jewish Culture League (Jüdischer Kulturbund), a closed cultural organization created by and for Jews in negotiation with Hitler's regime. Although Rabbi Leo Baeck tried to help Landau’s parents leave Germany, in 1939, she would emigrate alone, the fate of her family members tied separately to the Kindertransport and to the Terezín concentration camp.
Landau settled in Los Angeles, assuming duties as music director of the Jewish Centers Association in 1944. In this role and those that came before, she knew and worked with many significant historical figures, among them Arnold Schoenberg, Bruno Walter, and Leo Baeck.
Anneliese Landau's Life in Music offers fresh perspective on the Nazi period in Germany as well as on music in southern California, impacted as it was by the many notable émigrés from German-speaking lands who settled in the area. Landau's story is ultimately one of stubborn survival: an account of one woman's confrontation with other people's expectations of her, as a woman and a Jew.
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