Paul F. Cummins
Dachau Song
The Twentieth-Century Odyssey of Herbert Zipper

Peter Lang Inc., International Academic Publishers (308 pages)
ISBN : 978-1-43312-575-1
December 5, 2013




Herbert Zipper was born in 1904 in Hapsburg, Vienna. He was educated in the finest academies, studying under Richard Strauss and Maurice Ravel, among others, and became a conductor-composer in Germany in the early 1930s. When Hitler became Chancellor, he hastened back to Vienna, composing music for underground cabarets. In 1938, after the Anschluss, he was sent to Dachau and transferred to Buchenwald (1939). In Dachau, he organized clandestine concerts in an abandoned latrine. He and prisonmate Jura Soyfer also composed a song, «The Dachau Lied», which was to have an extraordinary history. He was released from Buchenwald and journeyed to Manila to marry the love of his life and to conduct the Manila Symphony Orchestra. When the Japanese invaded (1942), he was put in prison again. A few weeks after the liberation of Manila, out of the rubble of the city he created an extraordinary concert. After the war he came to America, was responsible for the founding of over a dozen community arts schools, and has been an internationally effective educator. Throughout his remarkable journey, Zipper maintained a spirit of hope and achievement. This is a story of the triumph of human will and spirit.

Paul Cummins attended Stanford University (BA, 1959), Harvard University (M.A.T., 1960), and the University of Southern California (PhD, 1967). For more than 40 years, Dr. Cummins has devoted his career to creating opportunities for all children to have equitable access to quality education. In 1971, he co-founded Crossroads School and built it into one of the city’s most successful independent schools, now well respected nationwide as a progenitor of Engaged Education. In 1995, he founded New Visions Foundation to serve as a catalyst in educational and social innovations for disadvantaged children and youth. As Founder, President, and CEO of New Visions Foundation, Cummins continued to create successful models of Engaged Education, founding New Roads School, another now-renowned independent school based on principles of social justice and diversity, as well as three charter schools and a nonprofit organization, PS Arts, which provides arts classes to children in title I schools. In addition, New Visions has implemented several innovative Engaged Education programs that help at-risk children and youth, including foster youth, those in the juvenile justice system, and economically disadvantaged children and youth. Also a prolific author, Cummins has written several books on education, two volumes of poetry, a collection of essays, a biography of Herbert Zipper, an autobiography, and three children’s books. He lives in Santa Monica with his wife Mary Ann. They have four daughters and three grandchildren.