Shimon Krongold at his music room, Warsaw.   

Shimon Krongold at his music room, Warsaw.



The Zimermann-Krongold violin, Warsaw, 1924.

Yaacov Zimermann was one of the first Jewish violin makers in Warsaw.  Shimon Krongold was a wealthy industrialist there and an amateur violinist, who ordered a violin made by Zimermann.  Zimermann made him a fine instrument with a lovely Star of David inlaid on the back. Inside the violin he glued a label in Yiddish:

I made this violin for my loyal friend Shimon Krongold , Yaacov Zimermann, Warsaw, 1924.

When war broke in 1939 Shimon managed to escape to Russia and ended up in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where he died of typhus towards the end of the war.  A few years later a survivor from Tashkent came to the Krongold family in Jerusalem with the story of his death and a violin in hand.  Shimon was the uncle of the Krongolds in Jerusalem, who paid for the violin and kept it in memory of their uncle.

It is important to note that before the war Shimon Krongold helped some Jewish prodigal children, among them Michel Swalbe, who used to get music lessons in Krongold's home. Swalbe later became the leading violinist of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and remembered Krongold as his benefactor.