A new translation of a seminal investigation examines the fate of dozens, from Jascha Spivakovsky to Marlene Dietrich’s jazz band.

A brand new English translation of a fascinating book on the plight of the Jewish refugee musicians who arrived in Australia is launching in Sydney and Melbourne. Albrecht Dümling’s 2011 German-language title, Die verschwundenen Musiker. Jüdische Flüchtlinge in Australien (The Vanished Musicians: Jewish Refugees in Australia), reveals the experiences of almost 100 musicians who fled the Nazi regime to end up on our shores. To accompany the launches, Dümling is in Australia to deliver a series of 90-minute talks, each of which is expected to cover different topics.

Musicians Efrem Kurtz and Jascha Spivakovsky

Dümling, a Berlin-based musicologist and music critic, is an authority on the Nazis and their attitudes towards what they described as Entartete Musik (Degenerate Music). An author of seminal texts on Brecht and Weill, he was a consultant on Decca’s award-winning series in the 1990s that brought back to life many ‘lost’ masterpieces from banned – and frequently murdered – composers such as Krenek, Schrecker, Schulhoff, Braunfels, Haas and Ullmann.“It all started with a...