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Portrait of Jewish musician Michael Hofmekler in Munich.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 58547

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    Portrait of Jewish musician Michael Hofmekler in Munich.
    Portrait of Jewish musician Michael Hofmekler in Munich.


    Portrait of Jewish musician Michael Hofmekler in Munich.
    Circa 1946 - 1947
    Munich, [Bavaria] Germany
    Variant Locale
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Robert W. Hofmekler

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Robert W. Hofmekler
    Source Record ID: Collections: 1991.206.25

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Robert Hofmekler (1905-1994) was the son of Motel and Bertha (Blinder) Hofmekler (spelled variously as Hofmekleris and Gofmekler). He grew up in a highly musical Jewish family in Vilna, where his father was a well-known cello player. Robert had three siblings: Zelda, Michael (b. 1898) and Leo (or M. Leo, b. 1900). In the fall of 1920 the family fled from Vilna to Kovno. Michael was a gifted violinist, who was decorated by the Lithuanian president in 1932 for his cultural achievement in propagating Lithuanian folk music in performances, recordings and transcription. Leo served as the conductor of the Lithuanian state opera in the 1930s. After the Soviets occupied Lithuania in 1940 he was appointed music director and conductor of the National Radio Orchestra in Vilna. Robert emigrated to the U.S. in the fall of 1938. Following the German occupation of Lithuania in the summer of 1941, Leo, his wife and two children were forced into the Vilna ghetto, where they all perished in 1942 or 1943. Motel and Bertha and Michael and Zelda were forced into the Kovno ghetto. Motel played in the ghetto orchestra. He and Bertha perished in the ghetto early in 1944. Zelda’s husband, David Kovarsky, was dragged from his home and shot by Lithuanian nationalists during the early days of the German occupation of Kovno. Zelda and her daughter perished in an underground malina (bunker) during the final liquidation of the ghetto. Michael served as the conductor of the ghetto orchestra. He was probably deported to Stutthof during the liquidation of the ghetto and then transferred to Dachau or one of its satellite camps. In late April 1945 he was evacuated and ultimately was liberated in the vicinity of Landsberg, Bavaria. Robert, who was drafted into the U.S. Army in January 1941 and served in Europe with the 9th Infantry and 10th Armored Division, found his brother at the St. Ottilien displaced persons hospital camp in June 1945.
    Record last modified:
    2004-03-19 00:00:00
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