A farewell song for Henry Hafenmayer

Left, German dissident Henry Hafenmayer; right, a traditional German song taken from the collection preserved by Max Friedlaender in his major 474-page opus (Cotta, Stuttgart 1902).

Translation of song lyrics:

Brethren, let us exalt wisdom!
Sing songs, fiery and beautiful.

News of Henry Hafenmayer’s early departure came as a shock. He died two days before I was sent back to jail after losing on appeal (my sentence thus extended.) I had no idea, until last week when I was able to access my mail again.

After reading several accounts of Henry’s burial and the affront caused, last week, in a historic cemetery near Berlin, my sadness is alleviated by my research into the work of Professor Max Friedlaender. (Prof Friedlaender’s remains were deposited elsewhere by the family long ago, but the headstone remains as a national heritage site, now marking Henry’s final resting place.)

Henry and I had sometimes chatted together on social media. He expressed thanks for my work. I especially remember sharing our knowledge of German songs still taught in schools today. Friedlaender must be happy about that.

Friedlaender’s major work consists of a two-volume study of German song in the 18th century. No indication on Wikipedia (English) that he was of Jewish origin. He was a German musician; a singer and musicologist, author of several books on music. These books contain his transcripts of traditional German and other European folk songs.

Friedlaender also published a collection of humorous songs. See “Die Familiengemaelde” – “Mein Herr Maler..”!

Illuminated by the spirit of good Professor Friedlaender and accompanied by the echo of past refrains, Ernst Zuendel and Manfred Roeder on the harp, may Henry Hafenmayer rest in peace.

My condolences to his loved ones.

AC, October 18, 2021.

2 thoughts on “A farewell song for Henry Hafenmayer

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