Kay Dreyfus
Silences and Secrets: The Australian Experience of the Weintraub's Syncopators
Monash University Publishing (June 10, 2013)
ISBN : 978-1-92186-780-4

June 10, 2013

The Weintraubs Syncopators, international musical celebrities of the 1930s, embarked on a four-year journey across Europe, Russia, and the Far East, in exile from the anti-Semitic ideologies of the German Third Reich. This band of mainly Jewish musicians arrived in Sydney, Australia, in 1937. The decision of some of them to stay brought them into conflict with the aggressively protectionist Musicians' Union of Australia. They gained employment at a high-end Sydney nightclub, but, when war came, they were forced to come to terms with a change in their status, from celebrities to enemy aliens. Denounced for alleged espionage activities in Russia, three members were interned, and the band broke up. Silences and Secrets is the first major recounting of the experiences of the Weintraubs Syncopators. The book pieces together the complex personal, social, and political forces at work in this story of migration at a time of insecurity, fear, and dramatic conflict.
"Kay Dreyfus presents a fully researched case detailing the cultural and political issues the band members faced because of ethnic discrimination but more importantly because their style of performance was at odds with the Musicians' Union of Australia and their rules." - AJL Reviews, May/June 2014