Performer Tayo Aluko explores the pain, confusion and anger that erupted in Paul Robeson's 1949 Moscow performance of Zog Nit Keynmol, the song of the Jewish Partisans.
When Paul Robeson stood before a Moscow audience on the evening of June 14, 1949, in the Tchaikowski Hall, few there expected to hear him to perform the Yiddish Partisan song Zog Nit Keynmol (Never Say). His rendition of this fierce anthem of defiance, composed in the middle of Nazi slaughter, was thick with emotion and at the end the crowd either fiercely applauded or booed. Robeson had sung for those he knew were already murdered imprisoned or facing death as a new wave of Stalinist repression was underway against Soviet Jews. Performer Tayo Aluko explores Robeson’s torment and contradictory emotions that make this performance so dramatic.
Producer: Mark Burman