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Harvest of Blossoms: It's Discovery and Remembrance

This course was offered in Fall, 2017.

Harvest of BlossomsSelma Meerbaum-Eisinger was only eighteen when she died in a labor camp in Ukraine. In the course of a life cut short, Selma wrote over fifty poems in German. She recorded them in an album meant for her love, Leiser Fichman, who had already been deported to a Romanian labor camp. Selma was from Czernowitz, the city her cousin, Paul Celan, described as a place where people and books used to live. Selma and Paul grew up together, and he played an instrumental role in the eventual publication of her poetry.

While Selma’s poetry has been translated into French, Spanish, Dutch, Ukrainian and Japanese, Harvest of Blossoms is the first English edition of her complete work.

A reading of Selma’s poetry takes the audience to Czernowitz between the Wars, as well as to today’s Chernivtsi. Drs. Irene and Helene Silverblatt will talk about the history and miraculous survival of Selma’s album of poetry that traveled from a labor camp in Romania, to DP camps in Europe, and finally to Israel where it is housed in Yad Vashem. Their presentation includes slides of Czernowitz/Chernivtsi, as well as recordings of musical compositions written using Selma’s poems from European and American composers.


# Sessions
Date & time

Thursday, October 19
6:30 - 8:00 pm

Session Time Days Location Instructors
Oct 19 6:30 PM–8:00 PM Thu Magnes Helene Silverblatt Irene Silverblatt


The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life

University of California, Berkeley

2121 Allston Way

Berkeley, CA 94720



Irene Silverblatt

Irene Silverblatt, PhD, professor of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University, studies the cultural expressions of power. These interests are both historical and contemporary, and have taken Silverblatt to the Inca Empire, the colonial Andes, and most recently, to contemporary Europe. She has received Guggenheim, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (Harvard University), Rockefeller Foundation and Social Science Research Foundation fellowships. She is co-editor of Harvest of Blossoms, a rediscovered poetry collection from a lost voice of the Holocaust.

Helene Silverblatt

Helene Silverblatt, MD, is a professor of Psychiatry and Family and Community Medicine at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. Her programmatic and academic focus is on healthcare work force development and distribution as a way to transform primary care practice and health care delivery. She is co-editor of Harvest of Blossoms, a rediscovered poetry collection from a lost voice of the Holocaust.