By Inna Rogatchi, Times of Israel-—
Family Reflections on Yom HaShoah
The essay is an excerpt from Inna Rogatchi’s forthcoming book on her personal search into the dramatic saga of her Mahler- Rose-Bujanover family.
I grew up with those photos. The photos from distant beautiful fairy-like life: Tuileries Garden, Paris, elegantly dressed woman, her children surrounded by birds and flowers in a totally other dimension of life. Are those my uncle and aunt? And the elegant madame is my great-aunt? How interesting, I thought. It would be nice to speak with them, I thought. Which language should we use? My French is not so good, my German is inoperable although I do understand quite a lot of it because of Yiddish, but I do not think they have ever used it. Well, English will do then. We should be fine, I thought.
I was late to speak with my great-aunt. I did locate her a few years after her passing in London in the early 1990s. Our family used to think that she was staying in France after my great-uncle, quite famous doctor Simcha Bujanover’s death there in Aix-en-Provence the late 1970s. I was surprised to find out that today doctors in Europe are still using my grandfather’s brother Simcha’s book on gynaecology and paediatric studies published in 1921 in Berlin.
I like to look at the only photo of Simcha we had, the one on which he is most probably in Zurich where he studied, with my other great-uncle Chaim Bujanover, before the start of the Great War. Back to Ukraine, in 1918 Chaim was decapitated by Ukrainian Petljura animalistic gang on his way home after the date with his fiancee.
By the time I established that Simcha’s wife Eleanor Rose-Bujanover had relocated to London, I could only gather parts of facts and memories about her and her family. And what an illustrious family it was. Performing violinist, Eleanor was a niece of Arnold Rose, famous violinist, the concertmaster of Vienna State Opera Orchestra and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra for over fifty years and the co-founder and leader of the great Rose Quartet, eternal gem of the world music heritage. Arnold was married to Justine Mahler, the sister of great Gustav.
The other co-founder of the Rose Quartet was Arnold’s brother Eduard, the one of the great cellists of his time. They were four great Rose brothers, coming to the top of the Western music from Jassy in Romania, all born Rosenblums. Jassy was quite a place to be born for an art-affiliated Jews. The place is known traditionally as the Cultural Capital of Romania, with a huge and thriving Jewish community there in the past, the community which needed as many as 127 synagogues in the second part of the 19th century. Jassi is known in the Jewish cultural history as the place of both the first ever Yiddish newspaper and first ever professional Yiddish theatre appeared. Notably, brilliant Naftali Hertz Imber happened to write the text of Hatikvah while being just there in the course of his never-stopped journeys. The Rosenblum-turn-Rose family was moved to Vienna some seven years before that important fact of Jewish history. The main reason for the move is understood to be a strong musical talent demonstrated by all four Rose brothers. In Vienna they mastered their talent to shining brilliance.
In a significant inter-mingling of Rose and Mahler families, two of the Rose brothers, Arnold and Eduard married two of Gustav Mahler’s sisters, Justine and Emma. While Eduard and Emma were staying in Weimar, Arnold and Justine were living and working in Vienna where Arnold was perceived as the most famous of great Viennese musicians, ‘The God of the Violin’, as Oscar Kokoshka called him. Continue Reading….