Alex’s Wake: A Voyage of Betrayal and a Journey of Remembrance By Martin Goldsmith


013015_mishmash_bookBest known as a popular radio host on Sirius XM’s Symphony Hall channel, Martin Goldsmith has a deeper and darker tie to music.

As the son of the famed German musical couple of flutist Gunther Goldschmidt and violinist Rosemarie Gumpert Goldschmidt, Goldsmith has highly personal ties to classical music and defines the genre as “an exciting and moving expression of what’s best about humanity.” But through that same genre, his family was exposed to an example of the worst humanity has to offer.

In 2000, Goldsmith published “The Inextinguishable Symphony: A True Story of Music and Love in Nazi Germany,” a book detailing his parents’ experience performing in the “J¸discher Kulturbund,” an all-Jewish orchestra maintained by the Nazis from 1933 to 1941. “Alex’s Wake” chronicles a trip he took with his wife to retrace the steps of relatives who were killed by the Nazis.

Though his parents, like many other Holocaust survivors, did not speak much about their past, Goldsmith says he did learn “the basic outline” of his family history piece by piece. His uncle and grandfather were among the passengers on the infamous MS St. Louis, a ship carrying more than 900 Jewish refugees who were denied entry into Cuba, the United States and Canada, forcing the refugees to return to Holocaust-torn Europe.

After conducting research at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., he took a 6,000-mile journey with his wife from the U.S. to France, Germany, and Poland that would follow his ancestors’ paths to their deaths during the Holocaust.

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