playing for life


"Bach, Baroque -- and Bonsai," Michael Levin's 1983 New York Times article about Leipzig in East Germany, written after his initial 1982 trip there with Anna and Hirsch, was a gateway to Papers, Please: A Twentieth Century Odyssey, the source-book from which Two Pianos is drawn.  The first page of that article, plus its full text from the NY Times digital archive, are here.
In 2021 the Two Pianos Project will publish its own "Further Readings," Fierce Competition and From Darkness Using expanded first-person interviews and other Papers, Please material, the first publication will trace in more detail how Anna came to Leipzig, finished piano studies, and met and married Hirsch.  The second will follow the tumultuous paths of Halina and Jola after their 1938 expulsion from Germany through the Holocaust, their arrivals in England (1947-48), and separate voyages to the U.S.


“Aryanization” in Leipzig:  Driven Out. Robbed.  Murdered. (Exhibit Catalogue; Leipzig City History Museum, 2009)

Berg, Mary, Warsaw Ghetto:  A Diary (L.B. Fischer, NY, 1945)

Bliven, Bruce, “Thank You, Hitler!” The New Republic (10 Nov. 1937)

Gold, Fran, "Survivor Recalls Ghetto," The Jewish Horizon, p. 12 (25 March 1993) (interview with Jola Hoffman)

Goldsmith, Martin, The Inextinguishable Symphony: A True Story of Music and Love in Nazi Germany (Wiley, NY, 2001) (intertwined with the history of the Kulturbund)

Lukas, Richard C., Out of the Inferno: Poles Remember the Holocaust (U. Kentucky press, 1989) (containing interviews with Zofia Rontaler and her sister-in-law, Krystyna Lipińska, Resistance figures later honored as "Righteous Gentiles" at Yad Vashem (Jerusalem) for helping save Halina and Jola in the Warsaw Ghetto)

Preil, Joseph J., ed., Holocaust Testimonies:  European Survivors and American Liberators in New Jersey (Rutgers Univ. Press, NJ, 2001)

For a more extensive bibliography, please contact us for permission to access the Papers, Please source-book.