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RESEARCH - The Misadventures of Dr. Danziger in Manxland

Thu, 15 Sep 2022

The Misadventures of Dr. Danziger in Manxland


Maurice Powell

This article, one of an occasional series about musicians who were interned on the Isle of Man during World War II, relates the experiences of Dr Danziger, and amateur ‘cellist, whose sojourn was different from many, often young, Jewish musicians, who were interned here, because he, and his wife, was already resident on the Island when war was declared. Regretfully, I have been unable to discover very little about his life and career before he and his wife arrived on the Island just before the outbreak of World War II, other than that he was a retired physician (fachartzt).

Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage

Felix Salo* Danziger, was born in Leipzig on 12th August 1880. His wife, Else, was born in Königsberg on 14th December 1889. They arrived at Southampton in June 1937 from Bremen on the Columbus, and it seems likely that they were Jewish refugees escaping the Nazi regime in Germany. By 1939 they were living at 3, Dalmeny House, 77 Anson Road, London N. 7 (Islington), aged 59 and 50.

* Hebrew: derived from Solomon.

Dr. Danziger’s name first appears in the Isle of Man newspapers in April 1939* at the annual concert of the Manx Amateur Orchestral Society held at St Andrew’s Hall, Douglas on 28th March, when ‘a new ‘cellist was noted in the person of Dr Danziger’. The orchestra was conducted by Kathleen Rydings** and the programme included Quilter’s Suite of English Dances, Grieg’s Norwegian Dance no. 2, Dr George Tootell’s Manx Airs,*** Walford-Davies’ Solemn Melody and pieces by Handel and Schubert. Kathleen Rydings herself performed a violin showpiece by Wieniawski. The reviewer observed that ‘. . . the orchestra has developed in numbers and efficiency during recent years . . . now boasted double basses, trumpets, trombones and timpani.’ Dr Danziger probably took part in the performance of Haydn Wood’s cantata Lochinvar at the Music Festival concert on Saturday 27th April 1939.