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Leon Jessel

Leon Jessel

Leon Jessel (1871 Szczecin – 1942 Berlin) – composer of Jewish origin, conductor, author of operettas, piano music, songs, waltzes, mazurkas, marches, choirs and other works. His works were very popular and played all over Europe. He has composed The Parade of the Tin Soldiers, the world’s most popular joyful march, used among others in a cartoon Betty Boop Parade of Wooden Soldiers (1933) and since 1933 to this day in a famous choreography of New York dance group Radio City Rockettes. Several times filmed Black Forest Girl operetta became a real breakthrough. Aria “Malwine, ach Malwine, du bist wie eine Biene...”
has been popularized by Stanisław Grzesiuk and later Szwagierkolaska music group in Rum Helka – “Rum Helka, Rum Helka, you’re as fat as the beam...”. In 1937 his works were banned and in December 1941 Jessel was arrested, accused of instigation against the Reich and tortured by Gestapo in Berlin. He died of the sustained injuries with his last words being: “Gestapo, Gestapo, Gestapo…”.

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