Holocaust Memorial Day to Feature Carolyn Enger’s Mischilinge Expose

Enger is a musician who tells the story of a little-known aspect of the Holocaust.

Carolyn EngerCarolyn Enger's Mischlinge Expose is a layered multimedia performance centering around her family's history and her personal experience with Judaism. Enger will perform on campus at Manhattan on Thursday, April 12 at 6 p.m. in Hayden Hall, room 100, in commemoration of Yom Hashoah – Holocaust Memorial Day.

The program features the music of German-Jewish-born composers Felix Mendelssohn, Arnold Schoenberg, Alexander Zemlinsky and Hanns Eisler. The works contextualize video and audio testimony of Enger's father, Horace J. Enger, and godmother, Rosemarie Steinfeld's, experiences in Germany after the Nuremberg Laws were passed. Both were labeled "Mischling, Grade A," by the Nazis.

Readings of text by Rahel Varnhagen and Heinrich Heine, both converts to Christianity who felt deeply conflicted after their conversion, show the turmoil that may have made its way into the music. Works by contemporary Israeli composers Paul Ben-Haim and Lior Navok offer a glimpse of Israel, where Enger's father's fully Jewish cousin emigrated during the war to escape Germany.

Through the lens of historical context and the artistic and poetic testimony of prominent converts, Enger’s performance illustrates what it was like to live between the worlds of Judaism and Christianity in Germany in the first half of the 20th century.

Admission is free to event, which is sponsored by Manhattan College’s Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education (HGI) Center. For more information, please contact Mehnaz Afridi, Ph.D. at mehnaz.afridi@manhattan.edu.

By Pete McHugh