# 118 / Editorial

Near the town of Rovzhi, an hour’s drive from Kiev, a shtetl has been built in 2021 on over a hectare of land, to serve as the setting for Ady Walter’s film, shot entirely in Yiddish and entitled Shttl. The film, which will be released in France in the coming months, has already been shown at numerous festivals and won the Audience Award at the Rome Film Festival. For Akadem, Macha Fogel brought together director Ady Walter, historian Thomas Chopard, a specialist in Ukrainian and Eastern European Judaism, and Tal Hever-Chybowski, director of the Maison de la Culture Yiddish in Paris, who was involved in the making of the film. Together, they discuss this unique work, which recreates a world on the brink of disaster – the film is set in June 1941 in a Ukrainian village on the Polish border, twenty-four hours before the deployment of Operation Barbarossa. They also look at the unique context in which it was created, in a Ukraine engulfed in war. An opportunity to revisit the figure of Soviet Judaism and to question Ukrainian Jewish identity, throughout history and right up to the present day.

After “Is your German Hebrew?”, “Krawuri: my third identity card” and “My father’s sukkah”, Ruben Honigmann continues the intimate exploration of his questions – ironic and profound – that we are always happy to publish in K. The source of his new essay is a class photo showing him in 1995 among his classmates at the Aquiba school in Strasbourg. What happened to the people in the picture? And how does he make the link between who he was almost thirty years ago and who he is today?

Finally, we republish Philippe Olivier’s article on classical music under the Third Reich and the legacy of the great Nazi performers. Music played a fundamental role in Hitler’s Germany. The great German classical, romantic and post-romantic composers provided a large part of the Nazi regime’s soundtrack. Between 1933 and 1945, musicians flourished in the shadow of the Third Reich, rallying behind their führer with varying degrees of exaltation. Some of them were exceptional artists, pursuing glorious careers after the war, and their records remain benchmarks and milestones in the history of performance. How can we listen to them today? Philippe Olivier, music historian and musicologist, who does not intend to forget the political hors-champ of these recordings, raises the question of his own discomfort in listening to this musical heritage.

Ady Walter’s film Shttl, shot in Yiddish and in Ukraine, will be released in the coming months. It offers an opportunity to reflect on Ukrainian Jewish identity, historically and up to the present day. Akadem brought together the director Ady Walter, the historian Thomas Chopard, a specialist in Ukrainian and Eastern European Jews, and Tal Hever-Chybowski, director of the Maison de la culture yiddish in Paris. K. transcribes here the essential part of their discussion, moderated by Macha Fogel.

Often, I look at the class photo. Each time, I catch myself tracking down the tiny clues that foreshadowed the destinies: the Michael Jordan cap of one, the dissimulation of another, the absent air of this one, the coquetry of that one, a mischievous smile, a false air of self-confidence. For a long time this photo remained my social compass, the measuring instrument of my inner geometry, the one by which I evaluated the distance that separated me from each of my classmates. Each of us has gone our own way, the group has broken up and that’s good. I am no longer the center of the group, I am my own center.”

Do today’s music lovers and discophiles feel embarrassed when they listen to recordings of the great performers who played, between 1933 and 1945, without any qualms, for the Nazi leaders? This is the case of Philippe Olivier, a music historian and opera specialist – particularly Wagner – for whom this question is not insignificant and who wonders about his own relationship with this musical heritage.

With the support of:

Thanks to the Paris office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation for their cooperation in the design of the magazine’s website.