Stories shared by Margalit Wachsman, daughter of the Jewish Kulturbund’s founding member and director Kurt Singer, reveal the times of the artists, the issues they confronted, and the ways in which they endured living under the control of the Nazis.
Margalit remembers her father’s exuberant energy and passion for the Kulturbund. He believed that he and the Kulturbund were the darlings of the Nazis. Having the opportunity to leave Germany to visit his sister at Harvard in 1938, he took leave and while there was offered a teaching position. Soon after, he learned of the November’s Kristallnacht. Singer declined the Harvard’s offer, wanting to go back to Germany. He believed if he could keep the Kulturbund afloat, he could save people. However, he never reached Berlin. On his way, he visited friends in Holland who persuaded him to stay. He knew that the Kulturbund could not survive the Nazis. He never saw Berlin again. Singer was deported to the concentration camp Terezin in 1943, dying from illness in the camp a year later. His daughter Margalit, granddaughter, and great grandchildren live in Israel.