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Dachau Song

The Twentieth-Century Odyssey of Herbert Zipper

Paul F. Cummins

The odyssey of Herbert Zipper covers most of the 20th century. Born in Vienna in 1904, his life has spanned three centuries: from the 19th century world of the Habsburg Empire, through the 20th century horrors of Dachau, Buchenwald, and the Manila of World War II, to the emerging 21st century in China. Throughout his remarkable journey Zipper, a composer, conductor, concentration camp survivor, and educator, has maintained a spirit of achievement and optimism that contradicts his experiences. This is a story of the triumph of human will and the human spirit and, as such, is both fascinating and instructive.


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INTERLUDE Interlude Patriot of the Globe "I am a patriot of the globe." - Herbert Zipper The Army concerts lasted until February of 1946. In December of 1945 President Osmefia called Herbert Zipper to his office and informed him that he had just created a Committee for the Cultural Rehabilitation of the Philippines. He invited Zipper to serve on the committee, make policy recommendations and travel to America to seek financial support. Trudi and Herbert Zipper began immediately to make arrangements. At this point both of them were "stateless," that is, they had no citizenship any- where. But since his presence was now desired in America, within one week the U.S. Consul had secured non-quota, U.S. Visas. Next they needed a way to travel to the states. Because air travel was impossible, Zipper went down to the pier every morning to the shipping agency of Mr. Rocha, a member of the symphony committee. On the morning of February 12, 1946 Mr. Rocha told him that there was room for two people on the Russell A. Alger, a "Liberty" cargo ship. It was not equipped for passengers but the vacant 2nd and 3rd radio operator's cabin could accommodate the couple. And, oh by the way, he informed him, it was sailing that afternoon at 2:00. Zipper rushed home and at 10:00 A.M. told Trudi that they were sailing to the USA at 2:00 P.M. "Fine!" she said, "but you have to get me a truck." She insisted on...

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