Trio Lescano, Tulipan (story of Italian vulgar music trio, Dutch Jewesses who fled to Italy in 1935 )

Quoted from Gregorio Nardi’s paper on the Orel Foundation

“One sad story has to do with popular music, and specifically with the most famous vocal group in twentieth–century Italy: the Trio Lescano, made up of three Dutch sisters (Lescano was an Italianization of the original Dutch surname, Leschan) who had arrived in Italy in 1935 and had quickly achieved extraordinary success. Their 78 r.p.m. record of the song “Tulip” sold 350,000 copies. Although they never joined the Fascist Party, they were chosen to launch the first experimental television broadcasts in 1939, and in 1941 they obtained Italian citizenship.”

“But their Jewish origins meant that all of their programs were cancelled shortly thereafter. They were arrested in November 1943, accused of spying and imprisoned in Genoa. The ridiculous accusation was that their rhythmic songs — a witty combination of swing and jazz — contained hidden, coded messages for the enemy. While they were in prison, and because they spoke German, they were forced by the SS to be interpreters during the interrogations and torturing of captured partisans. When the war ended, they were unable to gain back the popularity they had previously known, and they quickly disappeared from the entertainment scene.


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