Austria-Czech SIG #Austria-Czech Dachau-Buchenwald #austria-czech


Re the discussion about the train journey >from Dachau to Buchenwald, I
have checked the biographical book "Dachau Song" - The20th C. Odyssey of
Herbert Zipper by Paul Cummins,
published by Peter Lang Publishing, New York.

Herbert ZIPPER was a well known composer. Herbert was the son of Emil
Zipper, who was one of several children of Cantor Josef/Chaim Ber
ZIPPER, who died in Vienna in 1884, and his third wife, Francesca
SCHWARZENBURG. My late step-Father's Grandfather, Julius/Jossel ZIPPER,
was also a son of Cantor ZIPPER and his first/second? wife, Etel, and
thus an older half-brother of Emil.

There is very little in the book about the actual train journey >from
Dachau to Buchenwald, but here are a few excerpts taken >from Herbert
ZIPPER's autobiographical notes/comments (which I do not have) :

In September 1938.............................the Nazis made plans to
expand their prison camps to accommodate the Jews and political
prisoners they would be accumulating. Zipper and many of his fellow
prisoners were told by the capos about a week before it happened tht
they would be transferred to Buchenwald.

On 22 September 1938, the day before they left Dachau, Zipper, and
Walter Zipper (his brother) and the others were issued new "clothes".
The thin synthetic clothes they had been wearing
were most unpleasant when they were wet. Partially made >from wood pulp
there was a prison saying :
Pisch nicht an der Baum du Schwein
morgen kanns dein Anzug sein

(Don't piss on the tree, you swine,
tomorrow it might be your suit)


On 23 September 1938, after the prisoners gathered in the assembly area,
the regular detachment of the dreaded SS guards who were in charge of
the train trip >from Vienna to Dachau marched off and a new, more elderly
group took over. The prisoners waited several hours. Finally, they were
loaded into passenger trains, Zipper in th first train, Walter in the
second. The curtains were drawn. Looking out the windows, like
everything else, was forbidden. The train arrived at Weimar whereupon
the prisoners were loaded into trucks and ordered to put their heads
between their knees
so that none of the citizens of Weimar would know who or what was being
transported in these many trucks. Zipper and the others had no
illusions that their new "home" would be any more hospitable than Dachau.

I cannot find any more detail about the train journey, but there is
quite a lot about conditions in Dachau and Buchenwald, some apparently
taken >from Herbert Zipper's autobiographical notes/comments.

Herbert and Walter were released >from Buchenwald (after the intervention
of their Father) in February 1939 and the family fled to Paris, and then
fled to the Philippines where they lived until they managed to get to
America after the war.

A final note, there are several mentions in the book about Jura Soyfer
(who was a friend and colleague of Herbert Zipper), and the words Jura
Soyfer wrote to accompany Herbert Zippes' Dachau Lied are quoted in full
in the book.

I am sure this book would be available >from libraries in America, and
California in particular, where Herbert Zipper lived and died on 21st
April 1997. I understand there is a Herbert Zipper Center and special
Collection Room at the Paul Cummins Library, Crossroads School, Sant
Monica, California, and it may be possible to find additional
information there.

Lorraine Bertelsen

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