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Sympathy - by Tipton & Hurst, Inc.
Hill stumbles into a bust when his financial counselor makes him an interesting proposition. The framers of the Constitution have lost the battle. Manzano, in both her fiction and poetry, examines with an aggressive irony the limits of machismo, and elaborates on the condition of women, with a combination of forceful self-affirmation and feminist solidarity. Father, Eddie Fisher, Jewish. Cohen , 5 Mrs. Thanks for all the memories and smiles. Brett, Stephen - Stephennoelbrett gmail.

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Honey entered a coughing fit that lasted forty-three seconds, due to the condition at time of interview. I knew at this point something serious was going on.

I decided to stay back in 's containment area. Laughs It's not like anyone was using it! Rights is still unconscious, and SCP has remained in the room.

Zurn returns, and after a short coughing fit checks on Dr. Rights again, unaware of SCP in the room. After a cursory observation, he turns from her, and begins to leave the room. SCP then pauses in the doorway. Were it not for your heartbeat, even I may have not noticed you.

Don't touch my dear Doctor, danke. I will return shortly. We got through, and we're both still alive. The cannibal's a scary fucker, but the fuckers shooting at us were a bit scarier. Besides, Fernand ain't stupid. Someone shootin' at him is a much bigger deal than a couple of guys what are just running through. Now, we're gettin' close to the armory. We're gonna get in there, grab some hardware, and then try and meet up with other agents. Hopefully someone out there's still alive an' giving orders.

Failing that, we keep the intruders busy. We steer them into dangerous skips. You ever see Home Alone? Agent Willhein is disabled in the process, and paralyzed.

SCP carries him out of camera range. Two figures enter the room, one of which is sloppily dressed in security helmet and flak jacket. Other figure wears no clothing. Figures identified as instances of SCP Subject remains in coma. Bullets strike upper arms of figure dressed in security armor. Figure returns fire with standard security firearm. Figures return to observation of subject.

Subject remains in induced coma. Joins other figures in observation of subject. Fourth figure enters room wearing white lab coat and administers unknown substances to subject. Subject begins to recover from induced coma. Four figures remain motionless in observation. Subject begins screaming in pain. Subject continues screaming in pain.

Subject is served breakfast as scheduled. Life signs of the subject are within normal parameters. A series of explosions is heard elsewhere in the facility. Seconds later, Security Breach Alarms are heard. Containment for SCP appears unaffected. Subject appears concerned; life signs show increased anxiety. Sounds of large numbers of personnel moving quickly can be heard intermittently. Subject starts looking around in agitation.

Flying insect population noticeably visible. Subject starts pounding on the door leading outside containment, screaming "Let me out of here! Camera shakes briefly due to another explosion, louder than previously. Subject is shaken slightly, retreats underneath the cot in the cell. A third explosion is heard, much louder than previously. Entire containment cell is shaken for a full second. Subject remains underneath the cot. Life signs continue to appear normal for high-stress circumstances.

Horseflies seen flying in containment. Subject slowly emerges from underneath the cot, approaches door to containment cell. Subject attempts to force the door open, fails. Subject appears to appraise containment cell.

Black ants seen swarming around feet of subject. Subject approaches floor grating at northwest wall, appears to inspect junction. Subject attempts to force up floor grating at northwest wall. Subject opens gap in the floor grating large enough to squeeze through, disappears down vacuum outlet. Figure identified as Prof. Bjornsen enters corridor from transportation depot, wearing SCP The bodies of several guards lay on the ground approximately 10 feet away from the door.

Unidentified assailant runs from behind the holder of the cell phone towards Prof. Bjornsen, screaming and brandishing a large knife in each hand. Two 2 cellulose tentacles emerge from SCP and grab weaponry from the bodies of the guards.

The tentacles rapidly retreat towards Prof. Bjornsen and two human arms emerge to take the firearms. These arms immediately proceed to fire the weapons indiscrimately. Analysis of the recovered footage reveals that shots fired struck the ceiling, floor, both walls, the oncoming assailant and at least one round grazed Prof.

The holder of the cell-phone is apparently wounded by the weaponsfire and drops the cell-phone. Remaining footage is taken approximately twelve 12 centimeters from the base of a wall before ending.

Rights' office show SCP entering, moving to beneath camera range, and ends abruptly. Believed to be the work of SCP disabling the camera.

Audio systems remain intact. SCP can be heard in the background, voice indistinct. SCP can be heard humming to himself, and SCP is believed to be the source of crying heard in background.

A large piece of concrete falls on the desk, severely damaging the PA system. Camera is jolted, but undamaged. They carry machine guns of unknown caliber and manufacture.

They converse, although the details of their conversation are inaudible. Gunfire, screams, and sirens are audible. The individual is accompanied by a male in a humanoid SCP uniform, later identified as SCP , who appears to be carrying a suitcase. SCP turns to face the individual. I saw many more severe cases in need of assistance on the way here.

Are you sure this is the one you want healed? These are hardly ideal conditions, though. The patient will have their voice back, but I can't guarantee that they will live very long afterwards. The PA system appears to transform into a mass of flesh. The unidentified individual stands facing the door. This has been determined to be the result of a scheduling conflict. Johannes Sorts and an animate clay statue a SCP replica wearing a burnt technician's jacket are standing on rubble and peering into the lens.

Five other SCP replicas are wearing assorted remains of security uniforms and carrying weapons, manning the security station. The alarms are off but I think I can…". Sorts are crouched within the security station. Just try not to kill - [inaudible] that's one of our [inaudible]".

Two members of unknown forces in full body armor hold position at far end of hall. Unidentified individual wearing a standard humanoid SCP uniform is moved down the hall and out of view by a third member of unknown forces.

Sorts is attempting to give instructions to replicas. Security replica retrieves grenade and runs down the hall to the position held by unknown forces. Replica takes several dozen rounds to the arms and legs and crumbles to inanimate pieces approximately two meters from the end of the hallway.

Grenade rolls back into the position held by unknown forces. There is an explosion, both hostile agents appear to be killed. Sorts as he examines the hostile agents. Sorts notes its arrival and tries to communicate. Security replicas are exchanging fire with two replicas that have taken the position previously held by hostile agents. The two groups appear to be purposefully missing each other, one replica goes through the motions of aiming and firing without discharging any ammunition.

Sorts is not on camera. No alarms are being sounded. We have a containment breach! Sirens are heard along with sporadic gunfire. SCP is observed to be devouring a human corpse through immolation, victim unidentified. Fragments of audio logs reveal words. Hungry…hungry…burn…large burn…like sun…so hungry…want food…want fuel…hungry…. Zurn emerges from door, slamming it shut behind him. Faint shouting can be heard. Listen up, you lousy shits!

Did you see what they did to Jacob? Not to me, fuck no! You can escape if you want, but I for one…. I don't care about how stale your muffin was, get to the point of the explosion.

So, I'm eating my muffin, right? And suddenly I hear this big boom and there's alarms blaring everywhere and I don't know what the fuck to do, I'm just looking after all the Misters, right?

And then I get an emergency memo from the boss, and he says to me, "Evacuate all the Misters. So I put down my muffin, and I'm like, "Holy shit guys, we gotta get outta here! So you were instructed by Dr. Hayward to evacuate his projects? Yeah, so I handcuff Forgetful to myself because, y'know, every 20 seconds he has no idea what the shit is going on.

And then I handcuff Chameleon to Hungry, and Moon just kinda hobbles along with us on his cane. And it was a waning moon, so he was missing the majority of his face, yes? Yeah, he could only see through one eye. Everything else was covered. Transcript of Video Log from Hallway 21, outside designated "Misters" corridor. Research Assistant Corbette turns around. Moon, catch the up! This is an evacuation, you lard-ass!

Ok, does somebody have the braille book. I have no idea what this guy's saying. He says he can hear gunfire down the evacuation route with his one good ear. Ok, guys, we're gonna have to find another way out of here. Um… anybody have a map? It is at this point that the situation escalated to a full-out Tempest Night scenario, as multiple containment breaches occured throughout the facility, causing near-complete loss of containment.

Ironically, a significant portion of the containment breaches were caused by Foundation personnel themselves, in an attempt to stop the incursion by the unknown hostile force. Secondary containment breaches followed, resulting in the Foundation-Wide Alert Status being upgraded to Red. The result was complete loss of situational control. Without a central coordinating authority, individual Foundation personnel were working at cross-purposes, interfering with and even counteracting each others' actions.

In at least one case, a Foundation scientist's heroic sacrifice in maintaining containment of a Euclid-Class artifact was immediately rendered null and void when another Foundation researcher immediately breached containment of said artifact with the intent to use it as a weapon against the insurgent forces.

The situation would continue until the re-establishment of intra-site communications by Secretary Adams. By that point, however, the situation had proceeded past the point of no return. Many of the SCP artifacts had broken through the site lockdown and escaped into the wild.

Mission priority then changed from securing the breached artifacts to surviving the crisis. Locker A8 explodes on the far end of the room, knocking over several shelves and dumping their contents to the floor. Research Assistant Harold Wachtel becomes partially buried under many containment lockers.

For the next 45 seconds, only his head moves. Research Assistant Harold Wachtel nods to himself, then dons He reaches into his breast pocket and begins pulling out a paper tissue, then tears off a small piece of it.

He lifts the far end of one of the lockers on his chest with a grimace. Containment locker becomes made out of paper tissue. Scrap of paper tissue becomes a small shard of steel. Research Assistant Harold Wachtel tears off a small piece of the containment locker, then lifts up the end of another locker.

Scrap of paper tissue becomes a shard of rubber-lined steel. SCP begins oozing out of containment locker. He then proceeds to remove SCP, shove them in his right sock, and begin wrapping SCP in paper tissue from the lockers.

I'd missed my check-in by then, and since no-one had come looking for me, I was assuming the worst. I didn't want any hostiles getting their hands on it and exposing it to a dead body. Is that also why you took off your lab coat and trousers, and threw them in the incinerator?

Why are you making an unhappy um? This hallway's also too short. I fucking hate Eschers. We'll have to improvise. What do you think we been collecting all these years? Camera feed shows entrance to containment chamber of SCP Sirens are heard in background. A muted explosion is heard off-screen to the right, sounding like "popping a wet balloon".

Blood splatters onto camera, presumably from unknown source of explosion. A plump young female exits containment chamber of SCP, identified by name tag to be Researcher Min. She turns head in direction of explosion, appears stunned for a few seconds before withdrawing back into the containment chamber.

Researcher Min exits containment chamber donning protective lab goggles, hurriedly running to the left of the screen. Quick, we need to hurry!

They're going to flood the wing with bakelite in an hour. Are we under attack? Are you an Agent? Why is the wall screaming? Explosion registered in this wing around hours, not sure who did it. Either way, we're under a full scale attack, command is shattered, and most of the skips are out of their pens. And unless you want to be 6 feet deep in bright yellow plastic, you'll have to come with me. Main atrium to the wing's crawling with those motherfuckers, we'll need to head to the basement.

Hopefully we'll find others there, and wait for the whole thing to blow over. If it's a skip, open it. At least we'll have some more firepower than this empty gun. If the temperature in here so much as rises a couple degrees we'd be crawling with those spiders by now.

Camera feed shows minor stress fractures on south-east wall, overhead plaster sheeting has collapsed. Sir, there's been some sort of attack, we have to get to a security station. Dier's face] Sir, you're injured. Security cameras , , register Dr. There were two men there, with guns. I couldn't see their faces, before you ask. I…no, I couldn't hear them properly. They left after a few minutes. At this point, I knew that the area wasn't safe, so I went to the cafeteria. I hoped to find some people.

Honey enters the room. Remains of several researchers and security personnel are present within. Honey reacts with shock, then pulls a gun out of a corpses holster. Honey takes a seat on the other side of the room, holding his head in his hands. Sounds of somebody approaching are heard. Honey takes the gun and holds it to his head. Give you my gun, are you crazy? I want to see your identification! Adams slides her identification card along the table. Honey picks it up and examines it.

Sorry, ma'am, I didn't realize. You can have the gun, I suppose. Adams ' identification and his gun back along the table. I'm not taking your gun, though. You may want to keep your gun close, and I don't mean for defense. I was outside Decon 6, wrestling with one of the arms, trying to pry loose the last of the guns.

I'm pretty sure it was already out of ammo, but I didn't want one of the others to pick up a clip somewhere and reload it. Decontamination Wing 6 is quite a distance from the transport depot or your designated containment breach evacuation point. Why were you there? The explosions had filled a lot of the hallways with rubble and I was trying to get to the containment chamber of SCP It was the only place I could think of that was reasonably secure, assuming that it hadn't been collapsed.

Decon 6 was on the quickest path to get there. I'd seen her in the cafeteria a couple of times before, once with Director Clef, so I figured she belonged. She was headed straight for the doors into Decon, but I stopped her before she went in. I'd already peeked in there and it was fucking chaos. All safe or euclid class SCPs have to go through it, even if they're well-documented, but it's only supposed to be temporary containment and the explosions must've cracked some of the walls.

At least half the chamber doors were open and I saw about 8 or 10 people in what looked like riot gear, piling a ton of shit into some metal boxes. Paperwork, at least one laptop, and I think I saw a birdcage with something moving in it. Their gear didn't have any of the guards' markings on them, so I figured that they weren't part of the Foundation.

What do you think she did? She cursed and asked if there was any other way around it. She obviously found one, or we wouldn't be here. I told her to follow me and we took the long way around until we got to the security station outside the Safe Humanoids wing.

It took us about 20 minutes, since we had to backtrack a couple of times when we hit blocked hallways or more groups of those riot-gear guys. One time they were carrying something in a body bag that was struggling pretty fiercely. Not that I know of. I smelled something burning a couple of times and I was told later that there was a loose SCP made of fire. And when we finally got to the security station outside the Safe Humanoids wing, we found that all the guards had been decapitated and burned.

Assuming that she didn't encounter anything else, she should've been there in about 10 minutes. I went into the Humanoids wing. Unfortunately, it'd been pretty trashed too, although I don't know if it was from the explosions, from the invading force, or one of the escaped SCPs.

I do know that when I got to SCP's chamber, the door was wide open and the damn cocoon was ripped to shreds. And I couldn't even hole up there because the damn handle was ripped off and the door wouldn't close. Security camera footage shows that you didn't stay in the Humanoids Wing very long. If you were looking for a safe place to hole up, why did you leave? Well, like I said, the place was pretty trashed, so it wasn't really any safer than the rest of the Site.

I'd spent over a year studying it and if it had finally emerged, I sorta wanted to see what it was. If it was moderately harmless, I could hopefully herd it back into containment and if it wasn't… well, I figured I could at least get some observations for the next guy to review.

I can think for us both. Now, see that door over there? That's quarantine for new skips, and I got an idea. I'm gonna distract them. Go in there, open the third door to the left, and then go flat on the ground.

Video shows Agent Lombardi appearing in the hall near the insurgents. He appeared to yell something, then dived back behind cover.

Agent Vance approached, using a vending machine for concealment, until running the remaining distance to the door. Several shots were fired, but neither Agent was injured. The insurgents ran through the door after Agent Vance. Approximately thirty seconds later, several pieces of the insurgents flew out of the room, striking the opposite wall. It then deactivated, falling to the floor. Agent Lombardi picked it up as Agent Vance emerged back into the hallway, visibly shaken.

You've got some insurgent on you. At least use the trashcan. All right, now… FUCK! Jerry— I had to stop by the Site business office to pick up some documents and I couldn't help noticing that the water in the urinals of the mens room next to Conference Room G is boiling.

Also, there is a weird smell in the parking lot, like rotten eggs. Might want to have a crew check it out. The information is intended to be for the use of the individual or entity named above. If you are not the intended recipient, be aware that any disclosure, copying, distribution or use of the contents of this message is prohibited.

IRS Circular Notice: We are required to advise you no person or entity may use any tax advice in this communication or any attachment to i avoid any penalty under federal tax law or ii promote, market or recommend any purchase, investment or other action. She has suffered several shrapnel injuries to her lower abdomen. It appears SCP is heading in this direction. Bullets may not be the only thing we will need to worry about. Assistant Researcher Huang was an eyewitness of Containment Breach and the immediate aftermath.

People flocked to Gamma for safety. The logic was that if it could contain a Keter-class SCP object, then it could protect them from the attackers.

Though communication with the main Site had been disabled, Gamma was believed to be one of the safest places in Site Basic security had remained uncompromised, and there were plenty of weapons.

At , of course, the attack by—. Many Foundation personnel, having…collected SCP objects from Site, began to use those objects in order to repel the attackers. The explosions had already breached containment for some objects, which were just picked up off the ground. The exact details escape me. However, approximately thirty seconds into the firefight, I became aware of somebody using SCP as an enhanced stunner by producing what I presume to be some sort of pressure shockwave.

Perhaps unauthorized usage of SCP provided a power source. Maybe a stray grenade caused structural damage. I assume that many others were similarly unaware. The shockwaves were very loud, which already exacerbated the situation.

However, that alone was not enough to cause the destruction associated with Containment Breach I am not entirely certain, but I have my suspicions about what did.

A piece of metal debris that resonated with a shockwave in just the right way, producing a sound quite like a bell…we all know what happened next. I remember an explosion of wings, and then, nothing. I woke up a few minutes later. SCP was nowhere in sight. But fifty-two people died in Containment Breach This period of the crisis can be considered the nadir of the incident: Hostile elements had free reign of the facility, and many priceless artifacts were lost. The situation was further exacerbated by a complete release of D-Class personnel when confinement protocols failed.

The presence of several hundred hardened criminals in this crisis situation was, to put it mildly, not optimally conducive to maintaining order. It is at this point that certain facts about the hostile force became evident. Firstly, the training and skill level of the hostiles were widely disparate: Secondly, the goal of the hostile force was not capture, but release of the contained artifacts: It is for this reason that I believe that the hostile force were not directed by Marshall, Carter, and Dark: Among other things, the Global Occult Coalition would have simply eradicated the entire site, while the Insurgency would not have passed up the opportunity to capture several easily weaponized artifacts for private use.

Although the goals seem consistent with the group called the Serpent's Hand, the brazen nature of the attack and the lack of SCP-class artifacts among the attackers are not characteristic of that organization's modus operandi. Further research is required. Jerry— when I went back to the parking lot to head back to my office in the city, my car was gone and there was just this smoking crater where my parking spot used to be. You know how often I'm in and out so I am requesting that the handicapped spot next to Building C be reassigned to me.

Also, if you see Burt or Sungwoo, tell them I need a ride. We're almost done here. I hope you do realize your conduct in the cafeteria was highly unprofessional. I was not really thinking of my after-action review at the time, sir.

Nevertheless, what did you do next? We've got this bit on camera, but we need you to confirm it. Oh…sorry, sorry, don't quite know what came over me there. Yes, and I ran right into a man…must have been a D-class, I suppose, with the jumpsuit…holding a fire extinguisher, and then…. I…I don't remember what happened next. What is this, where the hell am I?! You were beaten to a pulp by the D-class and entered a deep coma.

I am sorry, but you never came out of it. Instance of SCP was removed from the room and expired a week later. Transcript of Video Surveillance Recording Location: Service Entrance is visibly closed and locked down. The bodies of at least two hostile combatants are visible in the periphery. An individual visually identified as Dr. Rachel Mackenzie is seen rounding the corner towards the checkpoint, looking slightly disoriented.

A gunshot wound is visible on her left shoulder. I'm lost, there's people everywhere… I need help…. Mackenzie looks behind her once, then quickly approaches the checkpoint. Individual previously identified as Dr. Ed Goldberg and the Odessa Klezmer Band, self-published, , Because most of the 19th century interest in polka music centered around the "polka belt," which stretched north from Croatia all the way to Norway, there wasn't much overlap with klezmer music, whose compass was to the east, in particular Romania and Moldavia.

But Ed Goldberg is surely the man to make the match. But what makes it particularly appropriate is that kishka is eaten by both gentiles and Jews: Whichever you prefer, buy this CD and enjoy! I've loved his theater organ playing since , when I bought a CD of his duets with pianist David Harris. Now you can hear him play the "Clarinet Polka" on the Kimball-Wurlitzer at the Organ Piper Music Palace in Greenfield, Wisconsin, and enjoy two of life's pleasures at once -- the mighty Wurlitzer and polka music.

The music is great duh! Then grab your credit card and buy this CD. Includes an excellent booklet with liner notes by Carl Finch. It's your chance to hear one of the seminal bands of New Wave Polka.

Back in the day, Rotondi named for an eccentric vegetarian author from California could be found playing on the same bill with Brave Combo and Polkacide. The band members were a wickedly talented bunch: Mike Rose, who lent his classic sax chops to "She's the Lion," a Paul Lacques original with an Mbube-like groove, has played with the Ventures and done much other session work. All the music is original, written or co-written by Paul Lacques, the mad genius who put this wild bunch together.

Paul has started or performed with more bands than almost any human alive today. Overall, the material ranges from manic to sweetly charming. Good liner notes by Christopher Monger. A [Rated "B" on; raised to "A" on ] [Vendor: Each tune features about five tamburitzas, all played by Grcevich, who also wrote all the music.

Styles range from traditional to Baroque to pop and beyond. No polkas, but you should buy this anyway. A [] [Purchased from: Cedric was formerly with Whoopee John. If you want to join the fun, buy the CD. A [; revised ] [Vendor: Ed then recorded an entirely new band to accompany the Spetich tracks. The result is excellent. The band -- including Frankie -- totally rocks, with a sound I would call "neo Slovenian.

Klancnik and Friends have a harder, ballsier sound, anchored by the robust and inventive bass playing of Jerry Zagar. Lynn's vocals are solid and pleasant, the music is very polished. Not real traditional, but real good!

The arrangements are generally characteristic of each country, with the addition of a bit of electric guitar. Performances, production and packaging are all major-label quality. My only complaint is that Wild Wilson got to this before me -- darn you, Wild Man! Liner notes are in German. What makes that song so special -- along with much of the rest of the album -- are the enchanting triple-tracked vocals by Marilyn Lange. Thanks to excellent production and engineering she sounds a bit like the McGuire Sisters.

Back that up with a sharp 8-piece oom-pah band and they achieve a sound unlike any other polka band I know of. Recording Orchestra, Polkaland CD, original LPs released and A fine Wisconsin Bohemian album from Dick Rodgers, who started the band in , when he was still in high school, and led it through The songs are interesting and peppy, the 8-man band plays with skill and gusto, the arrangements are top-notch, and the stereo separation is crisp.

While a more modern recording would have a fatter bass sound, the transfer to CD is very clean Did they have access to the original tapes? I love almost every tune, but two stand above the others: Note that five other Dick Rodgers CDs have the same title as this one -- you have to tell them apart by their album numbers! Whether you call it neo-folk, world music, or roots music, it's breathtaking and beautiful.

Grzegorz Ciechowski's great remix of traditional Polish folk singing with dance grooves reminds me of Deep Forest. Jamaican and Polish singers collaborate on the poignant "Joint Zelene," singing in both English and Polish.

Kroke is a classically trained trio from Kraków who are part of a revival of Jewish music from Poland. They play a sher "scissors dance" , which is a kind of Jewish square dance. If you know Chudoba and you should, if you've been paying attention to my reviews , they're also represented here. Liner notes are thorough and in English. This CD is hot, hot, hot! Sounds a bit like Vallenato an afro-caribbean style from Colombia or cumbia. I imagine that the Buena Vista Social Club would sound like this if they were playing polkas.

Kryner, BMG Global. Kryner presents 13 familiar tunes, ranging from "Stardust" to "Like a Virgin," all flawlessly performed in the oompa brass oberkrainer style. These six brilliant musicians from Austria have been hugely popular in Germany, playing a style that originated in Slovenia.

Lyrics are in English; the lovely booklet is in German. CD was released in It's not polka, but you should buy it anyway. The sound is lush and extravagant I'd call it "swing band on steroids" and features the smooth vocal stylings of The Golden Voices of the Walt Procanyn Orchestra. You'll hear polkas, straight big band, and Dixieland, all performed to perfection by a group of nameless musicians except the drummer, who's credited.

Walt contributes his usual excellent graphic design. Best classical polka CD I've heard so far. Alison Krauss's hauntingly beautiful vocal on "Dream Lover" transforms the old Bobby Darin tune into a touching love song. It's very listenable and often downright beautiful; the recording is excellent, and the performances sparkle.

They specialize in folk tunes from Galicia and neighboring areas, reinterpreting them with an array of acoustic instruments that include Jew's harp, mandolin, guitar, violin, dulcimer and flute. Good liner notes in English. I call it non-stop fun from an amazingly eclectic band. Their music ranges from soca to bluegrass in the same song!

I'll just say that they're totally amazing. Liner notes in both English and German. The CD booklet has lavish graphics and extensive notes in Slovenian.

It ain't all polkas but it's a gas. Thanks to Greg Brown for giving me the heads-up about this fun group. The CD runs only 34 minutes, but Louie -- like L'il Wally -- has a wonderful polka voice and a warmth that makes you feel like you've been invited to a party.

Raised to "A" on Sure, there are no liner notes and it sounds like the vocals were recorded in a wash tub, but the album is so cheerful that I keep listening to it over and over.

Excitement" in my book. Sure there's a bit too much synthesizer and the vocals are uneven, but this CD puts a smile on my face every time. The songs range from bright-sounding Slovenian to sweet Czech, with Polish and German rounding out the mix. One website called them "German folk-punk with polka and gypsy stylings. There's a nuclear polka version of Piaf's "Padam Padam.

Goldenstein Goldenstein has given us a generous 73 minutes of music collected from old records. All the music is "Dutch Hop," i. The arrangements cover a pretty wide range from big band to hoedown, but it all has an appealing lilt. Some even reminds me of Scandinavian polkas. Because of the age of the recordings, the sound quality is not so good, with the result that the hammered dulcimer -- characteristic of the Dutch Hop -- can be hard to distinguish. On some songs, the accordion player does an amazing imitation of a violin.

Considering the care that the producer lavished on this project, the liner notes are surprisingly poor. I say that that's his charm. Finally I can hear what those Eastern-style bands must have sounded like their heyday. Not only is the sound quality good, but the arrangements are rich and varied, and show off the breadth of Wagner's band. They can sound like Witkowski or Sturr or a straight big band. I particularly like Walt's singing on the minor key "In the Pines Polka.

I only wish the notes had made clear which song is associated with which of those bands. Otherwise, the notes are ok, crediting the musicians and songwriters. The excellent album art is uncredited, probably produced by some nameless drudge at Disk Makers. Twenty songs, 72 minutes. Best Eastern-style polka CD I've heard so far.

Flaco joins in duets with a variety of singers and plays button accordion throughout. Of sixteen tracks, one is a polka instrumental and seven are rancheras sung to a polka beat. Compiled from five other Arhoolie CDs of varying vintage so the sound quality is uneven but it's a lot of fun anyway.

They have a brilliant yet sweet tone. Their arrangements are of symphonic quality, employing more counterpoint than one usually expects from a polka band, and totally devoid of schmaltz. The tunes are mostly Polish, but there is one outstanding doo-wop number. There is plenty of variety, including two songs with vocals. The drumming is excellent -- listen for where Reinhard Hoffman doesn't play. There is a bit too much echo for my taste and the limited liner notes are in German.

At first I hated all three albums. They're loud and irritating like a drunken party when you're trying to get some sleep.

I began to notice a real tunefulness under the noise. It turns out that those are the cumbias -- not the sweet cumbias of Mexico or Columbia, but cumbias that smack you upside the head.

There are also polkas, played with all the energy and finesse of a good garage band. The rest of the repertoire consists of chotes schottisches and mazurkas which I found less compelling. All instrumental, no liner notes. She plays polkas, waltzes, reinlanders and a couple marches, all with verve and skill. Jerry Bravo and Butch Kresovich accompany her with admirable subtlety. But don't be fooled by the snow-covered mountains on the CD cover -- this Norwegian fiddler lives and works in Florida.

Add a pinch of raunch from the Fugs, and what would you get? I have no idea. But that's the only way I can think of to describe the manic, sometimes vulgar, good-time music of Polkacide. LynnMarie markets herself as a mainstream artist, but this is the best "alternative" polka album I've heard yet. Her "Cleveland, the Polka Town" is amazing. She brings new life to the hoary old "Beer Barrel Polka. And the list goes on. LynnMarie and Charlie Kelley, her outstanding arranger, have done a dynamite job.

The sound quality is a bit weak in places, but almost every song is a gem. No liner notes what a shame! Almost every song is a gem: Even Lawrence Welk is represented, and he sounds great. Carl Finch helped make the selections. The sound quality is good, even the stereo is mostly good. Packaging is attractive but the liner notes don't list the musicians. Just 80 minutes of music is spread across two CD's ugh! In spite of its faults, it's a must-have. I see that you can get this on Amazon.

If you don't already own it, buy it NOW! Becky Livermore has a great voice and there is some terrific harmony singing here -- even a bit of yodeling! The arrangements are understated but excellent. The packaging is nice and the liner notes list the band members. Too bad that the songwriters are uncredited e.

Quite a few slow songs, but I love it anyway. Die Schlauberger plays some polka, some Alpine, some bubblegum and some reggae, and they do it all well. This CD is so good that I barely noticed that the lyrics are nearly all in German. Buy it, it's an "A. Twenty-two mostly Polish polkas and waltzes, though one of my favorite tunes is the Czech-style "Moravia Polka" by Mark Halata.

The album has a strong Texas Country-and-Western flavor maybe that's true Tatra mountain fiddling in there, but it sure sounds like a square dance to me. I like it all, even the booklet. Thanks go to my brother-in-law, without whom I would have missed this band entirely, since they're usually booked as a "folk" act rather than as a polka band. While the Dujka Brothers are considered a Texas-Czech act, much of the album sounds Slovenian to me, with two accordions in front and bass guitar carrying the bottom.

Nevertheless, the infectious cheerfulness and quality of the arrangements, as well as the album's length and variety earn it an "A. These guys really know how to put together a set, varying songs between different styles, tempi and languages. It still holds up. The vocals are perfect and the arrangements sparkle.

The songs range from typical polkas to a tarantella "Butcher Boy" , from a bit of cocktail jazz to "Come Back to Sorrento. The sound is a bit weak in the treble, most likely because of the need for noise reduction in transcribing from the early recordings.

The slim booklet is unusually good, listing sidemen with pictures! The album could have benefited from a competent producer, but the producer would probably have made Wally sound like Frankie Yankovic so what's the point? I don't know what I was hoping for -- Polkacide? But I keep coming back for more Li'l Wally. I'm raising my rating to an A. While it has some of the studio sound that plagues Miskulin's Country Polkatime album, it fares better due to Gomulka's songwriting ability and great voice, as well as the interesting arrangements.

Also, listen for some hints of rock and roll in the drumming. Extensive notes and the packaging is very good, too. The more I hear Reko and Tikkanen, the more I like them, and the more I think they're crypto-klezmorim. I tracked down the band — John Fritzler and the Polka Band — and found that they're still recording and performing Ducth Hop music.

Further Googling turned up other active Dutch Hop bands: Their music has the kind of tuneful lilt I associate with the Scandinavian music of Minnesota , and Wayne Appelhans' dulcimer playing is a gas. I love their conservatory-quality performance of folk music -- every note perfect, yet never too studied or academic.

But what stands out is the amazing choral singing, presumably from the Croatian "klapa" tradition. Liner notes don't explain anything about the songs or say what instruments were used. It features the group's fine four-part harmonies, as well as Tom Staab's hot fiddle and guitar playing. The sound quality is excellent, the arrangements sparkle, and everyone sounds like they're having fun.

But are they really this good live? The answer is mostly yes. While they didn't bring their much-vaunted Marshall stacks, they did bring all of their enthusiasm, charm and musicianship. They have a solid "goodtime" -- almost honky -- sound that reminds me of Touch of Chicago or Pat Zoromski.

I could have done without "Swingin' the Alphabet," and the "Prelude to Celebration" doesn't actually lead into "Celebration," but those are quibbles. The CD is a lot of fun, the production is professional, and the liner notes are informative. I'd say they fall about halfway between Polkaholix and the Leningrad Cowboys. Vocals and musicianship are excellent throughout.

All the songs are original and the CD comes with a slick booklet with all the lyrics in Norwegian, natch. At the site, you can also listen to samples of Ompakara's more acoustic recordings from the early s. This is the only recording they made during their eight-year run and it's quite enjoyable.

Performance and production are high-caliber. Other immigrant groups added their own customs and, by , a formal New Year's Day parade up Broad Street had evolved.

Shortly after, "string bands" joined the parade; the name comes from the guitar, mandolin, banjo and violin that made up some of the early bands. Today's instruments might include saxophones, banjos, accordions, violins, bass violins, and glockenspiel no brass instruments are allowed.

This CD, issued on their 70th anniversary, contains eight polkas played in the distinctive string band style, as well as a medley of mummers' standards, including "Alabama Jubilee. The vocal harmonies are impeccable, the instrumental musicianship sharp and clean. On this CD, they lovingly revive the work of forgotten folk musicians of the early 20th century. The best part is that the recording and engineering are just modern enough to be pleasing, the singing is sweet, and the fiddling is easy on the ears.

Part of the liner notes are in both English and Lithuanian, but the notes to the songs are just in Lithuanian. All vocals are in Polish but it didn't bother me one bit. The classic Honky band had both concertina and piano accordion, but since the s it has become more common to use just the piano accordion.

Many people find Honky more danceable than Slovenian; I think it has more soul and sounds a bit like Dixieland Jazz. Thanks to Steve Litwin for setting me straight on Dyno. Chicago Push Like Honky, Push is a Polish style, but with a snappier sound characterized by a double-time "bellows shaking" rhythm played on the accordion.

You'll often find the lead played by two trumpets, the accordion carrying the rhythm, the bass line played on Fender bass and trap drums played in the style of a rock band. Major proponents are Eddie Blazonczyk and Lenny Gomulka. Read what Jim Polaski says about the history of Chicago style and what Lenny Gomulka has to say about the role of the concertina.

The Encyclopedia of Chicago also has a brief history of Chicago polka. Frankie Yankovic , the biggest name in American polka, modernized the sound of the Slovenian polka and spread it through all the polka-loving ethnic groups. He had several chart hits in the 40s and brought a high level of professionalism to his performances. Yankovic is to polka what the Beatles were to rock and roll. Read what Tom Brusky says about how they play Slovenian polkas in Wisconsin.

Allmusic has an informative paragraph about Slovenian music. Conjunto A Mexican working-class musical style found in Northern Mexico where it is usually called Norteño and in Texas, where it is called Conjunto. The modern Conjunto repertoire consists mostly of polkas and waltzes.

Narciso Martínez is the pre-WWII father of the modern conjunto sound; Tony de la Rosa further modernized it in the post-war era and Flaco Jimenez went a step further by adding elements of jazz and rock. Flaco's younger brother, Santiago Jimenez Jr. See the article on the Thomson Gale site.

Other references can be found at AMG. There's also an interview with Flaco Jimenez , where he talks about how Conjunto came out of Texas polka music. Mike Matousek says that Conjunto derives from Tejano, and he provides a brief history. Dutch Hop The traditional style, now virtually extinct, of the "Volga Germans" who emigrated to Russia in the 18th century and then to several states in the American west in the late 19th century -- most notably Colorado.

Also found in Argentina. Typical instrumentation includes hammered dulcimer and accordion. Prominent artists included Adolph Lesser and Paul Weingardt. Eastern Starting in the s, the urbanized Poles of the East-coast cities started turning away from the village-style wiejska bands, toward a more Americanized sound with the big-band instrumentation typical of the time.

These "Eastern style" big bands, many from Connecticut, played a mix of Polish and American tunes. This is a logical continuation of the innovations of Eddie Blazonczyk, who began mixing rock and country with polka many years ago.

The genre is still in flux, as some proponents consider LynnMarie and Brave Combo to be part of Extreme Push even though neither are Push artists. Hoolerie Hoolerie is a sub-genre of the Minnesota Dutchman style. A Hoolerie is usually a concertina or clarinet solo or clarinet duet or even clarinet trio, with a trombone or bass trumpet walking along the bass line providing a sort of counter-melody in the background. The Dutchman bands seem to be built around concertina lead , tuba bass and banjo rhythm.

The Texas-Czech bands are more eclectic: Nuclear Polka For the last decade or so, bands have been experimenting with combinations of polka and rock. The band's style was nicknamed "Oberkrainer" perhaps a play on "Kraine," the German name for the Kranjska region of Slovenia. The music is rooted in Slovenian folk music traditions and has a German "oom-pah" sound. In time, the Avseniks' hundreds of original compositions became a central element in the Slovenian-American "Cleveland style" polka repertoire.

Read a biography of Slavko Avsenik. Walia consists of four dances: Carl Finch of Brave Combo says, "The polka in Paraguay is more like a huapango, which is three against four [beats].

You actually can waltz to it, although the dance looks more like a polka. It's not at all what we think of as polka. I remember her music moved in and out of 2 and 3 throughout, more like a Colombian Vallenata. Check out Bimonos de Oro. They make the most of that musical phenomenon. Polcalypso It is claimed that polcalypso developed in the Caribbean islands of St. John, when the polkas of the immigrant Danes mixed with indigenous calypso rhythms. To my ears, it sounds more like Spooge also "Spouge" -- a late 60s calypso-like style from Barbados than like polka.

Ukrainian I cannot yet describe Ukrainian polkas, but there is a robust Ukrainian polka scene in Canada read Joe Rodgers' description. The Keil book lists six types of polkas in three categories: What makes the polka so square, under-appreciated, slow to change and poorly documented? In the fall of , I offered my thoughts on why polka music is so slow to change. Because its audience is stable, content and conservative. In the early 's there was a paradigm shift in klezmer music sort of the Jewish equivalent of polka.

In a few short years, klezmer went from being grandpa's old-world music to being baby-boomers' hip music. I think the critical factors are that 1 the parents of the Jewish baby boom generation had already become assimilated and had discarded klezmer and 2 the kids had left home and left the old neighborhood.

By the early 70s, klezmer was an anachronism rather than a daily reality; so, when the New Ethnicity hit, klezmer was adopted as a nostalgic connection with a romanticized past. Finally, The Klezmorim the first neo-klezmer group put R. Crumb's art on the cover of their first album and the boomers all understood that klezmer was now hip.

Read Matt Dziedzic on polka and klezmer. Also in the fall of , I speculated on why polka music is so poorly documented: Nobody writes about dance music. Serious writing about jazz doesn't begin until after World War I, when jazz moved from the dance floor to the phonograph.

The same can probably be said of tango, rap, etc. It wasn't such a good theory, and no one wrote to compliment me. When I was a kid in rainy Seattle I'd wear my wet leather-soled shoes into Safeway and nearly flip tail over teacup. Leather is really slick when wet. And when dry it is perfect for turning on a waxed wood dance floor. At least better on a wet day and better for basketball. But they have enough more friction than leather that they hurt my knees when I constantly turn in the Waltz and Polka.

In other words, a change in the folk costume of America has changed the folk dance of America! I love it, too is sort of an "illegitimate child" of a marriage between Polish, American and other types of music , not fully embraced, as Malinowski said, by either its mother, Poland, or its father, English-speaking America.

I could see some parallels between polkas and mummer Philadelphia string band music -- both have similar European ethnic origins, and both have suffered as their audience and musicians have assimilated and moved to the suburbs.

African-American music is "liberal" in the sense that it is rebellious, questions authority and promotes individual autonomy. This lack of traditional fetters allowed African-Americans to produce or contribute to an astonishing range of American music: Pekacz writes at length about the conservatism of Polish Galicia and how that conservatism inhibited musical expression and creativity. If we presume that that conservative trait was characteristic of the Poles who immigrated to America, and was then passed on to their descendents, it could explain the glacially slow evolution of the Polish-American polka.

Outside the Polish community, Americans looking to express their dissatisfactions political, social, moral -- or just disappointment in love would be more likely to seek expression for their feelings in African-American music than in polka music.

Certainly, the explosive growth of rock 'n' roll in the post-war period seems to support this view. Ironically, conservative non-Poles would also be unlikely to seek expression through the polka, as they would be more likely to seek outlets within their own ethnic or cultural traditions. By contrast, classical music is plenty conservative and still seems pretty robust -- at least in comparison to the polka. Again we turn to Pekacz, who writes about the rigid caste system -- the social stratification -- of Polish Galicia.

One aspect of that caste system which is hard for Americans to appreciate is its disdain for social climbing. One knew one's place, appreciated one's place, and did not aspire to "move up. As a result, the climbers go elsewhere, perhaps to the Philharmonic, the opera, or the art galleries. Thus, the marginalization of the polka probably results from the conservatism and anti-elitism of the Polish-American community.

Interestingly, a few post-punk musicians, having become bored with all the other musical genres, turned to the polka -- partly because it was so uncool and marginalized. American polka is still primarily live music performed for actual dancing. Its dissemination tends to be limited to the distance a band is willing to drive for a gig -- figure a couple hundred miles, tops.

The few bands big enough to sustain national tours Yankovic, Sturr were influential outside of their home-base regions. Do all polka bands sound the same? Here are some American polka artists who I think sound totally unlike one another: What is the state of the polka today November ? I couldn't find a good answer to this on the Web, so I decided to try to answer it myself. How many new polka CDs do you think came out this year? However, we do not handle every Polka CD that is released. There are many local and regional bands that release CDs on their own that we do not handle.

Typically I'll use my judgment on what to handle or not to , and if we receive more than one request for a band we don't have, we try to obtain the CDs. Now, regarding these releases, there are several "re-releases" in the mix. Not all are new studio recordings. How does that compare to 5 years ago? Ok, as for how it compares: I would say the new releases are slightly down, but not dramatically. How many polka CDs do you think are in print at this time?

How many CDs are in print? We handle about 1, I believe, and there are others. I'd say 1, to 1, would be a fair guess, but I could be way off. Comparing now to 5 years ago, that is a dramatic difference. There were probably CDs on the market years ago.

The big change is somewhat due to new releases, but mostly due to older recordings being released in CD format as times change. Here are my thoughts: The Dutch Hop is extinct, in the sense that there are no active bands that specialize in this genre. The honky-style polka is an endangered species. The practitioners are aging and are not being replaced by younger musicians. Otherwise, the polka is reasonably healthy; it's not going to die anytime soon.

The slow dropoff in dance attendance will continue. Based on the pictures of polka dances that I've seen, the audience is younger than I expected.

Many people on the Internet i. Jim Polaski has articulated this position particularly well. I envision the polka world as divided into "old audience" and "new audience. Rick Nelson complained about this in "Garden Party" back in On the other hand, Freeze Dried seems to have been pretty successful at appealing to the old audience, which stretching the polka borders.

The most interesting new polka bands are coming from Europe: Austria, Germany, Poland, and Slovenia. What is the state of the polka today December ? I think it's useful to make a periodic assessment of how the polka world is doing. There were about 60 CD releases that were released in that were sold at Jimmy K Polkas , which is down from No question it is down from five years ago, simply due to less bands being active in the circuit.

I'd say the "per band" average is about the same. Probably between 1, and 2,, but that's a pretty rough estimate. Do you think pirated downloads are hurting legitimate sales? No question it does, but it's hard to say how much. Only a few older folks have pre-war roots in Amdur; the other residents settled there after the war sometime.

According to the older folks, Jews and Christians in Amdur always got along without a glitch. At least during their time 's and '30s , everyone went to school together and were friends with one another. The Jewish kids learned Polish, and the Christians understood Yiddish.

Our guide, Galina, a Jewish Belarrussian of my generation, believes this entirely. We truly saw no signs of anti-Semitism in Amdur or, for that matter, in Belarus. Jews were the overwhelming majority in Amdur during my grandfather's day. Jews and Christians kept separate, which may have caused some tensions, but if there was real trouble from gentiles, it would have been perpetrated by the Tzar's authorities, not by the local gentiles, who were quite a minority.

Harold Gordon, in his book The Last Sunrise , speaks of the hostility between the Jews and Poles in Grodno, with some name-calling, breaking of windows and light hooliganism. It's hard, after all these years, to get the Jewish perspective of how things really were in these towns during the 's, or in the 's, when my grandfather was a kid. Gordon does mention that the Jews got along much better with Russian and perhaps Belarussian families when they moved into Grodno when the Soviets gained control of the city in Perhaps the tensions were greater between Jews and Poles.

The economic situation is Belarus' biggest challenge today. In , it was mostly the soils of Belarus, not Ukraine, that were contaminated by Chernobyl's nuclear power plant explosion. Seventy-three percent of land in Belarus can no longer be farmed. This, coupled with the economic crisis in Russia of the 's, has led to a very depressed economy in Belarus.

In terms of the people's health, some contend that thyroid cancers among Belarus' children have been rising dramatically following Chernobyl.

It is hard to find any concrete research on this, and whether the government is covering up the problem, doesn't have the money to deal with the problem, or whether there isn't, in fact, a significant problem but merely uncertainty in the minds of the people is something I really could not figure out. What is certain is that the people of Belarus, especially the very old and the very young, have health problems due to poverty and its resulting malnutrition.

People aren't starving from lack of food here, but they lack the nutrients found in diets that include a variety of food. The poor eat little more than potatoes and cabbage. Shtetl Life This booklet consists largely of a translation of Efron's book about Amdur. Before reading that, it is useful to understand the common characteristics of the shtetlach of 19th century European Jewry.

Most of these towns also had non-Jewish populations. The Jews and non-Jews transacted business together, but their relationships usually did not extend far beyond that. Jews preferred to stay amongst themselves, maintaining their own schools and synagogues and living in kosher homes. Of course, there were exceptions, where strong friendships were forged between Jews and gentiles.

In later years, just before World War II, Jewish and gentile children studied together in the same schools primarily by force of the government. Jews lived in eastern Europe from the time of its earliest civilizations. This group is of particular interest to Jewish history.

Nearly years ago, when the Second Temple of Jerusalem was destroyed, some Jews migrated north to Turkish lands and assimilated into Turkish societies. The Turkish Khazar tribes then moved northward to eastern Europe and included some of these Jews. Later on, very large numbers of additional Khazarians converted to Judaism, while some were also Christian and Moslem.

In the 13th to 15th centuries, large numbers of Jews from Germanic lands in western Europe migrated east. It is believed that these Jews eventually intermarried and assimilated with the Jews of Khazarian descent already living in eastern Europe. While the German Jews outnumbered the Jews of eastern origin, some historians today believe that most of today's Ashkenazi Jews from eastern Europe us!

This is particularly interesting because most of the Khazarian Jews were converts and not from the biblical Hebrew tribes. The Jews from the German empire brought the Yiddish language with them to eastern Europe, and it was ultimately adopted by all Jews of the area.

Yiddish uses Hebrew letters, but its vocabulary more closely resembles the German language; it had originated in German lands which extended over a much larger area than does the present-day country of Germany. Some Hebrew and Aramaic the everyday language of the Jews living in Arab lands after the Babylonian exile words were incorporated into Yiddish, and Russian and Polish words were also added.

The language varied depending on what part of Europe one lived in. The first known written documents in Yiddish date back to the 's. For hundreds of years, the Jews of eastern Europe communicated amongst themselves in Yiddish, learning only as much of another language for example, Russian or Polish as was required to transact business. Prayer books were occasionally written in Yiddish, but throughout the centuries, learned Jews also knew Hebrew for praying and studying the Torah and Talmud.

Religious law and observance defined the ethos of the Jewish community. Men were frequently judged not as much by their wealth as by the extent of their Jewish knowledge. Families made staunch sacrifices so that a son, son-in-law or husband would be able to devote his time to studying the Hebrew texts.

Women, on the other hand, were expected to tend to the home and needs of the family. In some instances, women raised the children, cared for the home, garden and farm animals, prepared meals and earned the family's livelihood by maintaining a store or other business so that the husband would be free to pursue study of the Torah and Talmud.

At times, Jews led culturally and spiritually rich lives in eastern Europe. The Jewish klezmer music spirited weddings and other celebrations. The literature of Y. Peretz, Shalom Aleichem author of many tales, including that which became the basis for "Fiddler on the Roof" , and hundreds of other Yiddish writers accurately depicts life in those days. As the haskalah "enlightenment" or modernization movement grew in the early 's, Yiddish theatre grew and became the foundation for a group of Shtetl Jews and their children who later became the Hollywood studio greats Universal, 20th Century Fox, Warner Brothers, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Columbia Pictures and United Artists were all founded by men with Shtetl roots.

The relationship between the Jews and gentile authorities varied throughout the course of the eastern European experience. At times, the Jews were an integral part of the larger society, working closely with the nobility as active and loyal citizens and soldiers, working and fighting for their respective countries.

Their industriousness often led to positions of relative authority and prosperity, exceeding the successes of the gentile peasant population. But Jews were usually stopped short of holding the highest positions of authority or gaining too much wealth. As I've mentioned before, I believe it was a combination of things -- poverty, the Tzar's required lengthy army service, rising communism and related violence in Russia, signs of future war in western Europe World War I , stories of anti-Semitic murders in Ukraine, and the cultural stagnation and lack of modernism in Shtetl life -- that may have led our families to leave.

Droves of Jews left beginning in the 's, moving to the U. In America, the Yiddish language and Shtetl culture rather quickly and nearly entirely died, as Jews found themselves anxious to successfully assimilate among the many ethic groups of the American "melting pot. Shtetl life was coming to an end. The Nazis abruptly completed the end of the Shtetl era in the 's.

Town by town, Jewish families, entire Shtetls, were lined up and gunned down into mass graves. Others were forced into fenced-in ghettos before being sent to die in death camps.

Shtetls -- homes, businesses, synagogues, holy books -- were burned to the ground. Seventy percent of Europe's Jews were murdered or died of disease or starvation in the Nazi ghettos and camps, between six and seven million people.

The Shtetl was no more; though many of these towns remained or were rebuilt, their Jews were gone forever. In the Soviet Union, where religious life and culture was repressed for 60 years, most Jews lost all connection to their former culture.

Influences of Shtetl life helped to mould the flavour of Jewish life in the United States and in Israel. But Shtetl life is now truly extinct. Only tiny groups of ultra-religious Jews, mostly Holocaust survivors who resist assimilation, speak Yiddish in their daily lives.

Jews in Israel abandoned Yiddish in favour of Hebrew on ideological grounds. While Yiddish language and music has made somewhat of a comeback in American universities and in the American Jewish community, Yiddish is essentially gone as a spoken language. Religion in Amdur Most of Amdur's population was Jewish in the 's, and the Jewish religion was very important in the town's daily life. It is likely that Amdur was heavily populated with Jews for centuries before the Jewish community was extinguished.

The laws and customs of the Jewish community were dictated by Jewish law. In order for someone to live within the Jewish community, he or she had to abide by Jewish law.

Since Jews were mostly segregated from the gentile community, they usually conformed to the requirements of the rabbinate. Unlike in western societies today, being a secular Jew was really not an option. Further, today's designations of Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist Judaism did not exist.

The Jewish community was Orthodox, regardless of the precision with which individuals did or did not abide by religious law within the home. Hasidism, considered an ultra-conservative sect today, was thought of as radical in the 18th century. It attempted to bring fervent spirituality to a religion its followers believed had become stagnant with meaningless ritual.

The Jews of eastern Europe chronicled their history according to the rabbis, synagogues and institutes of religious learning of the time, just as modern countries organize their histories according to their heads of state and military operations. For these reasons, historical information below, along with sections of Efron's book, include the hierarchy of rabbinical figures of Amdur.

Amdur was known as an important rabbinic center in Lithuania in the 's, contributing numerous eminent Jewish scholars. Efron includes in his book a chapter on the Yeshiva of Amdur, noting that other more populous Jewish communities did not have a proper Yeshiva. From Efron's description of rabbis, cantors, Talmud teachers and Torah scribes, it is clear that religion was played a prominent role in the lives of many of Amdur's citizens.

Hasidism was a popular movement in this area, and Amdur was a significant center for Hasidism. In , , and , about Hasidim went from the Grodno area to Israel, settling in Jerusalem, Hebron, and Tiberias, where they founded yeshivas.

Amdur Hasidism is the topic of Chapter 3 pp. Amdur Hasidism was a branch of Lithuanian Hasidism. Rabinovitch regards Karlin Hasidism from another nearby shtetl and Amdur Hasidism as two of the three branches of Lithuanian Hasidism. There was bitter sectarian strife between Mitnagdim those who were against Hasidism -- Mitnagdim means "they are against" and Hasidim for 30 years.

In , in the face of Mitnagid "bans and boycotts," Karlin and Amdur were "the refuge of Lithuanian Hasidism. He authored an 18th century kabbalistic book republished in Israel called Hayim v'Hesed first edition: Renowned Jewish philosopher Martin Buber mentions Cheikel in one of his books.

Cheikel died in and was succeeded by his son, Rabbi Shmuel of Amdur active in Amdur Hasidism did not continue thereafter; Rabinovitch attributes that to Mitnaged opposition. Early rabbis of Amdur included: Yisrael Zack, head of the Court of Zablodvi; Bierz. Yisrael, son-in-law of kabbalist R. Shmuel, author of "The Responsa Shmuel," son of R. Shmuel, who wrote "Beit Shmuel," a commentary on the Shulchan Aruch section pertaining to marriage and divorce, who passed away in in Rackov, near Minsk; R.

Tuvya, and after he left Amdur he was appointed the head of the Jewish court in the city of Metz in the province of Tiktin; and R. Chaim Cheikel, who was well known in rabbinic circles. The strong religious community in Amdur, including the Hasidic base, is curious to us; after all, my grandfather truly had no use for organized religion whatsoever he told me that God has no use for fancy buildings, such as the then-newly constructed Morman tabernacle in Washington that we drove past in the 's; so he may have believed in God, though not in religious ritural.

He got into trouble as a teen for not going to shul. Dad remembers him inviting people into the house to eat during Yom Kippur when one is supposed to be fasting. But he was, undoubtedly, a paradox.

It's clear that most of Amdur's Jews were very pious. Recently the jewish genealogy magazine Avotanu printed an article on the amazing results that DNA matching can achieve. Click here to view this article which the magazine has granted us permission to include. Based upon the 18th and 19th century archival material we have acquired, we assume that all the Amdurs with roots in Braslav descend from a single common ancestor, a man named Elyakim, who probably lived in Indura and was born about or Those who descend from the Amdur[sky]s of Mogilev also have a tradition of a common ancestor.

In some cases, we cannot determine if an Amdur belongs to the Bialystok Amdurskys, the Braslav Amdurs, the Mogilev Amdur[sky]s or some other group as yet unidentified. DNA testing can help us answer some of these questions. A strand of DNA in the human genome, passed from father to son, or from mother to daughter, remains essentially unchanged down through the generations. Unlike the rest of our DNA. This means that a stretch of DNA is in every Amdur male with roots in Braslav should be essentially the same as that of his father, grandfather, great-great-grandfather and so on back into the mists of history.

Occasionally, a mutation may cause a slight alteration, but nothing more. Those who came from Mogilev or from Bialystok do not descend from the same common ancestor as those from Braslav even though the progenitors of all likely lived in Indura in the late 18th century.

It is also the company used by the academics that have studied the so-called Cohen gene and are conducting the massive DNA migration project for the National Geographical Society in Washington, D. Depending on the nature of the specific DNA, it also may show if they Do have a common ancestor within a certain number of generations.

The greater the number of markers analyzed e. In order to eliminate the possibility of no common ancestor, Y-DNA testing begins with a marker test.

Once an order is placed, a kit will be sent. The kit consists of three cotton swaps and a pre-labeled envelop in which to return them. Results will be mailed back within five weeks. They will give you your haplotype your specific marker scores and tell you to what haplogroup you belong. Common genetic research practice groups individuals with similar Y-DNA markers.

Each group is called a haplogroup. Based on the marker test, the distance between two individuals is measured by the number of mismatches in their DNA sequences. A zero distance indicates a perfect match 12 of If individuals have the same haplotype, they likely share a common ancestor.

Often these others have different last names. Contact the web master if this link does not work. One group tabs above shown in red is that of the Pittsburgh Amdur family and those who most probably link to them, and the other group tabs above shown in blue is that of the family we called the Braslav Branch and those that possibly link to there.

We still require a large number fo tests to be done as there are still many branches which we cannot link to and the results of the tests will allow us to narrow the area of genealogical research. If the tab link to your tree shows in black we ask that you find someone who will consider doing this non-invasive test.

Maps of the Amdur World from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. Aerial shot of modern Indura Amdur Geographical coordinates: Area map of Braslav and the smaller village of Slabodka. Aerial view of modern Braslav. This link is to a current list of all known Amdurs and their descendants dating from about the s.

The format of this page is currently under trial and we request your understanding if it does not work as well as it should. The first is to simply scroll down untill you find the name your are looking for and then click on the adjacent tree link.

The second option is to press Control F for a Window's machine XP, Vista, Win 7 , not too sure on an Apple and at the lower left hand side of the screen you will see a small ribbon with the word 'Find'. Enter the name and press 'Next' until you find the name you are looking for and then click on the adjacent tree link.

This link is to an Amdur family slide show made up of - photos you have kindly sent in. We do not have names on everyshot but the purpose is not so much names as enjoyment of seeing faces familiar yet unknown. Please be aware that this is a large folder and may take some time to download and run smoothly.

Speed will depend on your system and your download speed. We trace this tree back to an ancestor - Eliakim - who was born most probably in the s Warning: Given that the Braslav branch now runs to about members and will print out to over 7 metres the separate trees noted above will still be available to view as individual trees - Just click on the required trees.

This tree is known to be a part of the main Amdur trunk but currently we are not too sure exactly how it connects. How they link to the trunk however is currently under further discussion as there are three possible Yankels born , and and it is not certain as to which of these they link to. This file is very large over 15 mb owing to the numbver fo photos embeded into it. It may take some time to download depending in your ADSL bandwidth.

The Yankel Kark Amdur tree is a branch which has much Amdur information yet the progenitor's original surname was apparently totally different It is believed to have been Kark. Family memories tell one story yet facial similarieties with member so of the Braslav branch seem to indicate possible close relationship. For reasons unknow or remembered some of the sons changed their name to Amdorsky or Amdur during the 19th century. Hyam Meyers of Sydney Australia has provoded a detailed document which details the history of the family.

Given that although this family may not be connected to any of the Amdur branches either by genetics or place of origin I have decided to retain their data for others to view, review and use as they require. The webmaster requests that any discussions on this families origins be directed to Hyam Meyers, careof the webmaster. The Abraham Amdur tree is a group from Novo Alexandros. The progenitor is the father of Abraham, and at least one other son. Facial similarities indicate a relationship between this branch and the Amdur main trunk.

The Amdour tree consists of a family who live in a small town in northern France. The progenitor of this branch was Schneir Amdiur. The Avram Amdur tree. The Cecil Alexander Amdur Tree.

The progenitor of this Amdur grouping moved to Houston, Texas in the USA possibly from Kapuge, Latvia around the turn of the century, with at least the two elder children having been born in Europe. They went into the furniture business.

Click here to view an on-line newspaper article about the furniture business they ran. A second Amdur family from Houston has recently come to light and currently members of both families are attempting to find the connection via some common family histories.

Although the progenitor link is tentative the rest of the tree is well documented. There exists strong circumstantial evidence for the progenitor link such as a grandson being called Gedalya, as this name is only known in three other instances amongst Amdurs, and the fact that Gedalya Avraham had a son called Shlomo Meir Chaim Amdur whereas the descendants all know of a progenitor called Shlomo Chaim Amdur.

Gershon Geirszon Amdurski lived in Suwalki where he had a large family. Little is known of this branch except that many may have perished in the Sho'ar although at least one branch had a survivor who died in Leningrad in the s.

This tree may be connected to the tab headed Amdour France. Nothing else is known of this branch other than the slightly different spelling to the surnam. The Joseph Amdor family is a grouping that comes from northern England and Scotland. Today the one line we can trace has spread as far afield as Australia. The Chaim Hyman Amdur tree consists of a small group which originally moved to South Africa and then partial alyah to Israel.

This family originated possibly in Rokishkis and has some connection with the Gafenovich family. The progenitor is the father to Max Mottel, Louis, and at least one daughter. This new breakdown is thanks to the work of Michael Waas and Nehemia Shiff who recently met up in Israel to discuss this complex line. This link is a proposed ancestry created by Nehemia Shiff. This link is to a MS Excel document put together by Nehemia Shiff outlining what he belives is the possible Amdur linkage fof the Mogilev Amdur branch.

In it he also quotes his sources. The webmaster would appreciate any discussions about the validity of this ancestral line be directed to Nehemia.

Further work and DNA testing is required to determine exactly how each of these groups are related to each other, if at all. It may well be that there were at least two separate Amdur groupings living in Mogilev during the mid part of the 19th century. DNA testing will also determine the link if any with the Braslav branch or the Pittsburgh branch. The Mogilev 1 tree consists of the descendants of Mendel Amdurer and those who are connected with the Amdursky Hotel in Jerusalem.

The Mogilev 3 tree consists of the descendants of Abram Amdurer. This line currently disappears in the late C The Mogilev 4 tree consists of the descendants of Leib Amdursky.

The Mogilev 5 tree consists of the descendants of Zalman Amdursky. This Link is to a Hebrew publication honouring Yerachmiel Amdursky. The following narrative, put together by two interested members of this branch M. Shiff and contains a possible genealogy having been based on research, family stories and known history. If any reader cares to add to this we would be most appreciative. It is said that Rabbi Samuel Amdurer's name was held dear to the Vilna Gaon as a man of great knowledge and respect.

He died in Rakov but it is believed that some of his descendents moved to Mogilev. In the Hebrew publication honouring Yerachmiel Amdursky below it states that the grandfather of Yerachmiel, Samuel, was the grandson of his namesake grandfather, Rabbi Samuel Amdurer of Minsk. However there is no known son of Rabbi Samuel Amdur by the name of Mendel at this time.

Samuel, together with his wife and children, Joseph, Benjamin and Matcha, went to Israel , as is found in the Montefiore censuses. Joseph also had several siblings, among them Benjamin Amdurer.

The other branch of the family, which remained in Mogelev, is also headed by a man named Joseph Amdursky "B". It is not know who the father of Joseph was, though a possible naming tradition in the family indicates that Mendel Amdursky, the father of Samuel Amdur above, may have been the grandfather. This comes from two clues: Iankel-Esel' is named first for his paternal grandfather Iankel Rabinovich and second for his maternal grandfather Esel'. Further research needs to be conducted in the archives of the Mogilev region to determine the validity of this hypothesis.

The descendants of this family branch spread out to Leipzig, Germany, America, and Israel.

Hull-Oakes Sawmill